Environmental Geology

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 664–671 | Cite as

Heavy metal pollution in freshly deposited sediments of the Yamuna River (the Ganges River tributary): a case study from Delhi and Agra urban centres, India

  • Munendra Singh
Research article


 The Yamuna River sediments, collected from Delhi and Agra urban centres, were analysed for concentration and distribution of nine heavy metals by means of atomic adsorption spectrometry. Total metal contents varied in the following ranges (in mg/kg): Cr (157–817), Mn (515–1015), Fe (28,700–45,300), Co(11.7–28.4), Ni (40–538), Cu (40–1204), Zn (107–1974), Pb (22–856) and Cd (0.50–114.8). The degree of metal enrichment was compared with the average shale concentration and shows exceptionally high values for Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd in both urban centres. In the total heavy metal concentration, anthropogenic input contains 70% Cr, 74% Cu, 59% Zn, 46% Pb, 90% Cd in Delhi and 61% Cr, 23% Ni, 71% Cu, 72% Zn, 63% Pb, 94% Cd in Agra. A significant correlation was observed between increasing Cr, Ni, Zn, and Cu concentrations with increasing total sediment carbon and total sediment sulfur content. Based on the Müller's geoaccumulation index, the quality of the river sediments can be regarded as being moderately polluted to very highly polluted with Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd in the Delhi and Agra urban centres. The present sediment analysis, therefore, plays an important role in environmental measures for the Yamuna River and the planning of these city centres.

Keywords Heavy metals Yamuna River Sediment pollution Ganga Plain 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munendra Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow 226007, IndiaIN

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