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Deposition and storage of solid-bound heavy metals in the floodplains of the River Geul (the Netherlands)

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Abstract

Because of past mining activities, the floodplains of the River Geul are polluted with heavy metals. The continuous supply of fresh sediments during floods has caused the floodplain soils to exhibit large quality variations in time. By measurements of 137Cs deposition rates in part of the floodplain area were determined at 0.4 to 2.7 cm yr−1. Analysis of soil metal concentrations at various depths at 65 locations, revealed that the upper 40 cm of the soil profile deposited during the past 30–45 yr, exhibit the highest metal levels. The geostatistical interpolation technique kriging was used to map actual and past pollution patterns. It was shown that, as a result of variable deposition rates, the spatial correlation structure of soil metal concentrations becomes less clear with increasing depth/age. Kriged maps of average metal concentrations in the upper 100 cm of the soil profile provided the basis for the calculation of the mass storage of heavy metals.

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Leenaers, H. Deposition and storage of solid-bound heavy metals in the floodplains of the River Geul (the Netherlands). Environ Monit Assess 18, 79–103 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394972

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Keywords

  • Kriging
  • Floodplain Soil
  • Floodplain Area
  • Mass Storage
  • Fresh Sediment