Distribution, Enrichment and Ecological Risk Assessment of Six Elements in Bed Sediments of a Tropical River, Chottanagpur Plateau: A Spatial and Temporal Appraisal


Distribution and enrichment of six elements (iron, zinc, copper, lead, cadmium and manganese) in surface bed sediments, collected from seventeen selected locations during pre-monsoon and postmonsoon periods, of the tropical Chottanagpur plateau river Subarnarekha along with the ecological risks involved were investigated. Owing to the rich occurrence of mineral resources, the Subarnarekha river basin has a large scale presence of industrial and mining units especially in the Indian State of Jharkhand. An assessment, which involved examining distribution pattern of elements, comparative studies with sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) and geochemical background values and a sequential and integrated index analyses approach (containing contamination factor (CF), pollution load index (PLI), contamination degree (CD), enrichment factor (EF), geo-accumulation index (Igeo) and potential ecological risk index (PERI)), was followed to estimate enrichment and risks of elements in the bed sediments. Sediments collected from areas having abundance of population, industrial conglomerates and mining units recorded elevated element concentrations, which exceeded SQGs, and significantly higher values of CF, CD, PLI, EF, Igeo and PERI. Cadmium demonstrated surprising regularity in its enrichment; contributed most to the ecological risks; and high toxicity risks due to cadmium exceeded 64% of the sites. Moreover, chronic exposures of other elements would also lead to similar ecological risks. In addition to revealing potential ecological risks due to cadmium and other elements our investigation markedly highlighted anthropogenic control over sediment quality deterioration and some immediate sediment quality management strategies are needed to remediate and control river bed contamination.

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Manoj, K. and Padhy, P. (2014) Distribution, Enrichment and Ecological Risk Assessment of Six Elements in Bed Sediments of a Tropical River, Chottanagpur Plateau: A Spatial and Temporal Appraisal. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1419-1434. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.514136.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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