Distribution of heavy metals in the core sediments of a tropical wetland system|
Harikumar, P. S.; Nasir, U. P. & Mujeebu Rahman, M. P.
Five sediment cores from the fresh water region of the Vembanad wetland system were studied for the trace element contents The average concentration of iron, manganese, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium were determined. The core samples were collected using gravity type corer, digested with a mixture of nitric acid and perchloric acid and analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Heavy metals such as iron, copper, nickel and zinc reported enrichment towards the surface of the core sediment sample collected from the centre of the lake. Lead, cadmium and mercury showed uniform distribution through out the core. Quality of the sediments were evaluated based on sediment quality guidelines, pollution load index, sum of toxic units and with effect range low/effect range median and threshold effect level/probable effect level values of Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. The degree of contamination for each station was determined. The concentration of different heavy metals has been compared with the world average concentration of shale values. Results of the analysis showed that Vembanad lake is facing serious metal pollution with increased rate of deposition.
Trace elements, lake sediments, sediment quality guidelines, pollution load index, shale values