Characteristics of heavy metals and their evaluation in suspended sediments from Piracicaba river basin (São Paulo, Brazil)

Abstract : Fluxes of the particulate heavy metals like chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) were determined along the Piracicaba River basin. Suspended sediments from the main channel and tributaries were sampled during January 2005 (high water period) and analyzed for total concentrations after extraction by alkaline fusion procedure. The average concentrations showed a significant increase pattern from upstream to downstream for Zn, Cr, Ni, Cu and Pb, except for Co, in which only a small variation was noted. The specific fluxes of Zn, Cr and Ni were slightly higher (79.9, 33.3 and 20 kg km-2 yr-1, respectively) in comparison to other industrialized regions in Asia, Europe, North and South America. Significative correlations between organic matter and Cr, Cu and Co, observed in the suspended sediments along the Piracicaba River basin, revealed that heavy metals were adsorbed or complexed by the organic matter, while Ni and Pb were significatively correlated with Fe oxide. The geo-accumulation index (Igeo) used to evaluate the pollution degree of the Piracicaba River sediments, revealed a medium to strong pollution for Zn in the entire basin and moderate pollution for Cr and Ni at downstream direction around an important area covered by sugar cane plantations and urban areas influenced by domestic sewage.
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Jefferson Mortatti, Jean-Luc Probst. Characteristics of heavy metals and their evaluation in suspended sediments from Piracicaba river basin (São Paulo, Brazil). Revista Brasileira de Geociências, 2010, vol. 40, pp. 375-379. ⟨hal-00812008⟩

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