Enrichment and fractionation of heavy metals in bed sediments of River Narmada, India

  • C. K. JainEmail author
  • Harish Gupta
  • G. J. Chakrapani


A metal fractionation study on bed sediments of River Narmada in Central India has been carried out to examine the enrichment and partitioning of different metal species between five geochemical phases (exchangeable fraction, carbonate fraction, Fe/Mn oxide fraction, organic fraction and residual fraction). The river receives toxic substances through a large number of tributaries and drains flowing in the catchment of the river. The toxic substances of particular interest are heavy metals derived from urban runoff as well as municipal sewage and industrial effluents. Heavy metals entering the river get adsorbed onto the suspended sediments, which in due course of time settle down in the bottom of the river. In this study fractionation of metal ions has been carried out with the objective to determine the eco-toxic potential of metal ions. Although, in most cases (except iron) the average trace/heavy metal concentrations in sediments were higher than the standard shale values, the risk assessment code as applied to the present study reveals that only about 1–3% of manganese, <1% of copper, 16–19% of nickel, 4–20% of chromium, 1–4% of lead, 8–13% of cadmium and 1–3% of zinc exist in exchangeable fraction and therefore falls under low to medium risk category. According to the Geo-accumulation Index (GAI), cadmium shows high accumulation in the river sediments, rest of other metals are under unpolluted to moderately polluted class.


Heavy metals River Narmada Sequential extraction Tessier scheme Geo-Accumulation Index Risk assessment code 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Biswas, S. K. (1987). Regional tectonic framework, structure and evolution of the western marginal basins of India. Tectonophysics, 135, 307–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. CPCB (1994). Basin Sub-basin inventory of water pollution – The Narmada Basin, CPCB Delhi.Google Scholar
  3. Chandra Sekhar, K., Chary, N. S., Kamala, C. T., Suman Raj, D. S., & Sreenivasa Rao, A. (2003). Fractionation studies and bioaccumulation of sediment bound heavy metals in Kolleru lake by edible fish. Environment International, 29, 1001–1008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davidson, C. M., Thomas, R. P., McVey, S. E., Perala, R., Littlejohn, D., & Ure, A. M. (1994). Evaluation of sequential extraction procedure for the speciation of heavy metals in sediments. Analytica Chimica Acta, 291, 186–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Forstner, W., & Muller, G. (1975). Factors controlling the distribution of minor and trace elements (heavy metals V, Li, Sr) in recent lacustrine sediments, Resumes des Publications IX Congress Intl. De Sedimentologie, Nice, Theme II, p.6.Google Scholar
  6. Forstner, W., & Wittman, G. T. W. (1979). Metal pollution in the aquatic environment. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Fytianos, K., & Lourantou, A. (2004). Speciation of elements in sediment samples collected at lakes Volvi and Koronia, N. Greece. Environment International, 30, 11–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gibbs, R. J. (1977). Transport phases of transition metals in the Amazon and Yukon rivers. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 88, 829–843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gupta, H., & Chakrapani, G. J. (2004). Variations in daily sediment loads of narmada river. In C. K. Jain, R. C. Trivedi & K. D. Sharma (Eds.), Water quality monitoring, modelling and prediction (pp 31–39). New Delhi: Allied Publishers Pvt.Google Scholar
  10. Gupta, H., & Chakrapani G. J. (2005). Temporal and spatial variations in water flow and sediment load in Narmada river basin, India: Natural and manmade factors. Environmental Geology, 48(4–5), 579–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hakanson, L. (1980). An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control – A sedimentological approach. Water Research, 14, 975–1001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jain, C. K. (2001). Adsorption of zinc onto bed sediments of the river Ganga: Adsorption models and kinetics. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 46(3), 419–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jain, C. K. (2004). Metal fractionation study on bed sediments of River Yamuna, India. Water Research, 38(3), 569–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jain, C. K., & Ali, I. (2000a). Adsorption of cadmium on riverine sediments: Quantitative treatment of the large particles. Hydrological Processes, 14, 261–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jain, C. K., & Ali, I. (2000b). Arsenic: Occurrence, toxicity and speciation techniques. Water Research, 34(17), 4304–4312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jain, C. K., & Sharma, M. K. (2002). Adsorption of cadmium on bed sediments of river Hindon: Adsorption models and kinetics. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 137, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jain, C. K., Singhal, D. C., & Sharma, M. K. (2004). Adsorption of zinc on bed sediment of River Hindon: Absorption models and kinetics. Journal of Hazardous Materials, B114, 231–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jain, C. K., Singhal, D. C., & Sharma, M. K. (2005). Metal pollution assessment of sediment and water in the river Hindon, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 105(1–3), 193–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lima, M. C., Giacomelli, M. B. O., Stupp, V., Roberge, F. D., & Barrera, P. B. (2001). Speciation analysis of copper and lead in Tubaco River sediments using the Tessier sequential extraction procedure. Quimica Nova, 24, 734–742.Google Scholar
  20. Luoma, A., & Campbell, P. C. G. (1987). Partitioning of trace metals in sediment: Relationship with bioavailability. Hydrobiology, 149, 43–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Marin, B., Valladon, M., Polve, M., & Monaco, A. (1997). A reproducibility testing of a sequential extraction scheme for the determination of trace metal speciationin a marine reference sediment by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Analytic Chimica Acta, 342, 91–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Moore, J. W., & Ramamoorthy, S. (1984). Heavy metals in natural waters, Applied monitoring and impact assessment. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  23. Muller, G. (1979). Schwermetalle in den sedimenten des rheins – Veranderungen seit. Umschau, 79, 778–783.Google Scholar
  24. Nembrini, G. P. (1982). Speciation of Fe and Mn in a sediment core of the Baie de Villefrance (Mediterranean Sea, France), Environ. Technology Letters, 3, 545–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pardo, R., Barrado, E., Castrillejo, Y., Velasco, M. A., & Vega, M. (1993). Study of the contents and speciation of heavy metals in river sediments by factor analysis. Analytical Letters, 26, 1719–1739.Google Scholar
  26. Pempkowiase, J., Sikora, A., & Biemacka, E. (1999). Speciation of heavy metals in marine sediments vs. their bioaccumulation by Mussels. Chemosphere, 39(2), 313–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Perin, G., Craboledda, L., Lucchese, M., Cirillo, R., Dotta, L., Zanette, M. L., et al. (1985). Heavy metal speciation in the sediments of Northern Adriatic sea – A new approach for environmental toxicity determination. In T. D. Lekkas (Ed.), Heavy metal in the environment, vol. 2 (pp. 454–456).Google Scholar
  28. Quevauviller, P., Rauret, G., Muntau, H., Ure, A. M., Rubio, R., & Lopaz-Sanchez, J. F. (1994). Evaluation of a sequential extraction procedure for the determination of extractable trace metal contents in sediments. Fresenius Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 349, 808–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Romic, M., & Romic, D. (2003). Heavy metals distribution in agricultural top soils in urban area. Environmental Geology, 43, 795–805.Google Scholar
  30. Sakai, H., Kojima, Y., & Saito, K. (1986), Distribution of metals in water and sieved sediments in the Toyohira river. Water Research, 20, 559–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Salomons, W., & Forstner, U. (1980). Trace metal analysis on polluted sediments. Part II: Evaluation of environmental impact. Environmental Technology Letters, 506–517.Google Scholar
  32. Samanidou, V., & Fytianos, K. (1987). Partitioning of heavy metals into selective chemical fractions in sediments from rivers in northern Greece. The Science of the Total Environment, 67, 279–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Singh, K. P., Mohan, D., Singh, V. K., & Malik, A. (2005). Studies on distribution and fractionation of heavy metals in Gomti river sediments – a tributary of the Ganges, India. Journal of Hydrology, 312, 14–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Singh, S. P., Tack, F. M., & Verloo, M. G. (1998). Heavy metal fractionation and extractability in dredged sediment derived surface soils. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 102, 313–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sitasward, R. L. (1984). Distribution of Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, and Zn in Jamuna River Sediments, Delhi, Ph.D. Thesis. New Delhi, India: Jawaharlal Nehru University.Google Scholar
  36. Smith, J. D., & Milne, P. J. (1979). Determination of Fe in suspended matter and sediments of the Yana River Estuary and the distribution of Cu, Pb, Zn and Mn in the sediments. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 30, 731–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Subramanian, V., Grieken, R. V., & Vant, D. L. (1987). Heavy metal distribution in the sediments of Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Environmental Geology and Water Sciences, 9(2), 93–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tessier, A., Campbell, P. G. C., & Bisson, M. (1979). Sequential extraction procedures for the speciation of particulate trace metals. Analytical Chemistry, 51, 844–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tuzen, M. (2003). Determination of trace metals in River Yesilimak sediments in Tokat, Turkey using sequential extraction procedure. Microchemical Journal, 74, 105–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang, W. X., & Fisher, N. S. (1999). Assimilation efficiencies of chemical contaminants in aquatic invertebrates: A synthesis. Environmental toxicology and chemistry, 18, 2034–2045.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhai, M., Kampunzu, H. A. B., Modisi, M. P., & Totolo, O. (2003). Distribution of heavy metals in Gaborone urban soils (Botswana) and its relationship to soil pollution and bedrock composition. Environmental Geology, 45, 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of HydrologyRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of TechnologyRoorkeeIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Flood Management StudiesNational Institute of HydrologyGuwahatiIndia

Personalised recommendations