Abstract Metal concentration data are utilized to estimate the total observed metal fluxes in estuarine water of the Vistula River and rain fallout near the coastal zone of Gdańsk Bay. The flux ratio ( FR) between the observed flux ( F) and the theoretical flux ( F T), as well as the enrichment factor ( EF Fe M), were calculated for each metal in order to evaluate its origin in estuarine river water and rain fallout. The F T value was derived from the mean metal content in the Earth's crust and the total quantity of weathered land material. Iron was used as the normalizing element because of the lack of Al data, since EF Al M ∼ EF Fe M. The FR and F values were balanced, and are similar to the EF Fe M values for less-mobilized trace metals such as Co and Th in the Vistula flux and Th, U, Mn and Ni in rain fallout. For these metals no enrichment relative to Fe is observed in particulate matter. Additional fluxes in both the river and atmospheric components were found for Cd, Pb, Zn, and Cu, i.e. the four metals were enriched relative to Fe in the surficial Earth's crust. This may be due to the influence of natural sources (marine aerosols, geochemical fractionation, land vegetation emission) and/or artificial sources (pollution). Literature data indicate insignificant contributions of Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu from these natural sources, hence it may be concluded that the four metals were of anthropogenic origin.