A comparison of geochemical information obtained from two fluvial bed sediment fractions
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A total of 121 bed sediment samples were collected from a 5.8-km stretch of Manoa Stream, Hawaii. Samples were physically partitioned into two grain-size fractions, <63 μm and 63–125 μm, acid digested and analyzed by ICP-AES and FAAS. Non-parametric matched-pair statistical testing and correlation analysis were used to assess differences and strengths of association between the two fractions for Al, Ba, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Ti and Zn. Results indicated statistically significant differences between fractions for all elements except Mn. Concentrations were significantly greater in the <63 μm fraction for Al, Cu, Pb, Ti and Zn, while Ba, Fe and Ni were higher in the 63–125 μm fraction. Though some elements had statistically significant differences between fractions (Al, Ba, Fe and Zn) percentage differences were in the range of analytical precision of the instrument and thus differences were not practically significant. Correlation analysis indicated strong positive associations for all elements between the two fractions (p<0.0001). Three contamination indices indicated similar degrees of pollution for each size fraction for four elements having an anthropogenic signal (Ba, Cu, Pb and Zn). The environmental information obtained from the 63–125 μm fraction was essentially equivalent to that from the <63 μm fraction. In this system it is clear that both bed sediment fractions indicate anthropogenic enrichment of trace metals, especially Pb, and further supports previous research that has found that aquatic sediments are critical median for tracing sources of pollution.
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