Trace element fluxes in sediments of an environmentally impacted river from a coastal zone of Brazil Academic Article uri icon


  • Data regarding trace element concentrations and fluxes in suspended sediments and bedload are scarce. To fill this gap and meet the international need to include polluted rivers in future world estimation of trace element fluxes, this study aimed to determine the trace element fluxes in suspended sediment and bedload of an environmentally impacted river in Brazil. Water, suspended sediment, and bedload from both the upstream and the downstream cross sections were collected. To collect both the suspended sediment and water samples, we used the US DH-48. Bedload measurements were carried out using the US BLH 84 sampler. Concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn were determined by inductively coupled plasma (ICP-OES). As and Hg were determined by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AA-FIAS). The suspended sediments contributed more than 99 % of the trace element flux. By far Pb and to a less extent Zn at the downstream site represents major concerns. The yields of Pb and Zn in suspended sediments were 4.20 and 2.93 kg km(2) year(-1), respectively. These yields were higher than the values reported for Pb and Zn for Tuul River (highly impacted by mining activities), 1.60 and 1.30 kg km(2) year(-1), respectively, as well as the Pb yield (suspended + dissolved) to the sea of some Mediterranean rivers equal to 3.4 kg km(2) year(-1). Therefore, the highest flux and yield of Pb and Zn in Ipojuca River highlighted the importance to include medium and small rivers-often overlooked in global and regional studies-in the future estimation of world trace element fluxes in order to protect estuaries and coastal zones.

author list (cited authors)

  • da Silva, Y., Cantalice, J., Singh, V. P., do Nascimento, C., Piscoya, V. C., & Guerra, S.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • October 2015