Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 2303–2324 | Cite as

Heavy metal speciation, leaching and toxicity status of a tropical rain-fed river Damodar, India

  • Divya PalEmail author
  • Subodh Kumar Maiti
Original Paper


Speciations of metals were assessed in a tropical rain-fed river, flowing through the highly economically important part of the India. The pattern of distribution of heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were evaluated in water and sediment along with mineralogical characterization, changes with different water quality parameters and their respective health hazard to the local population along the Damodar River basin during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. The outcome of the speciation analysis using MINTEQ indicated that free metal ions, carbonate, chloride and sulfate ions were predominantly in anionic inorganic fractions, while in cationic inorganic fractions metal loads were negligible. Metals loads were higher in sediment phase than in the aqueous phase. The estimated values of Igeo in river sediment during both the seasons showed that most of the metals were found in the Igeo class 0–1 which represents unpolluted to moderately polluted sediment status. The result of partition coefficient indicated the strong retention capability of Cr, Pb, Co and Mn, while Cd, Zn, Cu and Ni have resilient mobility capacity. The mineralogical analysis of sediment samples indicated that in Damodar River, quartz, kaolinite and calcite minerals were dominantly present. The hazard index values of Cd, Co and Cr were > 1 in river water, which suggested potential health risk for the children. A combination of pragmatic, computational and statistical relationship between ionic species and fractions of metals represented a strong persuasion for identifying the alikeness among the different sites of the river.


Health risk Heavy metals Leaching potential Mineral characterization MINTEQ 



The authors would like to thank Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-ISM), Dhanbad, India, for providing the research facility and the scholarship to the main author. Authors would also like to thank CRF, IIT Kharagpur, India, for the XRD analysis of samples.

Supplementary material

10653_2018_97_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines)DhanbadIndia

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