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Environmental Geology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 25–33 | Cite as

Status of anthropogenically induced metal pollution in the Kanpur-Unnao industrial region of the Ganga Plain, India

  • A. A. Ansari
  • I. B. Singh
  • H. J. Tobschall
Research article

Abstract

 The Ganga Plain is one of the most densely populated regions and one of the largest groundwater repositories of the Earth. For several decades, the drainage basin of the Ganga Plain has been used for the disposal of domestic and industrial wastes which has adversely affected the quality of water, sediments and agricultural soils of the plain. The concentrations of Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, Zn and organic carbon were determined in river sediments and soils of the Ganga Plain in the Kanpur-Unnao industrial region in 1994 and 1995 (pre-monsoon period of April–May). High contents (maximum values) of C-org (12.0 wt. %), Cr (3.40 wt. %), Sn (1.92 wt. %), Zn (4000 mg/kg), Pb (646 mg/kg), Cu (408 mg/kg), Ni (502 mg/kg) and Cd (9.8 mg/kg) in sediments (<20 μm fraction); and C-org (5.9 wt. %), Cr (2.16 wt. %), Sn (1.21 wt %), Zn (975 mg/kg) and Ni (482 mg/kg) in soils (<20 μm) in the pre-monsoon period of 1994 were found. From 1994 to 1995 the contents of Fe and Sn in sediments increase whereas those of C-org, Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn decrease. Considering the analytical errors, Al, Co, Cr, Mn and Pb do not show any change in their concentrations. In soils, the contents of Cd, Fe and Sn increase whereas those of Ni decrease from 1994 to 1995. Aluminium, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn do not show any change in their concentrations from 1994 to 1995. About 90% of the contents of Cd, Cr and Sn; 50–75% of C-org, Cu and Zn; and 25% of Co, Ni and Pb in sediments are derived from the anthropogenic input in relation to the natural background values, whereas in soils this is the case for about 90% of Cr and Sn; about 75% of Cd; and about 25% of C-org, Cu, Ni and Zn. The sediments of the study area show enrichment factors of 23.6 for Cr, 14.7 for Cd, 12.2 for Sn, 3.6 for C-org, 3.2 for Zn, 2.6 for Cu and 1.6 for Ni. The soils are enriched with factors of 10.7 for Cr, 9.0 for Sn, 3.6 for Cd, 1.8 for Ni and 1.5 for Cu and Zn, respectively.

Key words Anthropogenic pollution Heavy metals Ganga Plain Monsoon 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Ansari
    • 1
  • I. B. Singh
    • 2
  • H. J. Tobschall
    • 1
  1. 1.Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Chair of Applied Geology, Schlossgarten 5, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany, e-mail: aansari@geol.uni-erlangen.de, Tel. +49-9131-8522620, Fax: +49-9131-8529294DE
  2. 2.Department of Geology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow-226007, IndiaIN

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