The Environmentalist

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 383–393 | Cite as

Fractionation of selected metals in the sediments of Cochin estuary and Periyar River, southwest coast of India

  • Mahesh MohanEmail author
  • Toms Augustine
  • K. K. Jayasooryan
  • M. S. Shylesh Chandran
  • E. V. Ramasamy


Cochin estuary is one of the highly polluted aquatic systems of the southwest coast of India. The present study focuses on the assessment of heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Pb, and Cu) present in the sediments of Cochin estuary and the adjoining Periyar River. The sediments were analyzed for total metal content and various chemically bound fractions such as exchangeable, carbonate bound, easily reducible, organic, and residual. Total metal content of sediment was found higher than the average values reported from other Indian rivers. The mean concentration of Zn, Cd, Pb, and Cu in the sediments was 1,249.44, 9.5, 221.37, and 166.14 μg/g, respectively. The results of sequential extraction showed that the concentration of Cd was high in the first two weakly bound fractions (exchangeable and carbonate bound) than the other metals, which are high in residual and organic bound fractions. Risk-assessment code analysis and environmental indices (enrichment factor and pollution load index) suggest that the sediments are highly polluted with metals, especially Cd.


Metal Sediment Fractions Bioavailability 



The financial support from the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, through their project (No.MoES/8/PC/2(3)/2007-PC-IV) is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also wish to acknowledge the suggestions by the anonymous referee in improving the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahesh Mohan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Toms Augustine
    • 1
  • K. K. Jayasooryan
    • 1
  • M. S. Shylesh Chandran
    • 1
  • E. V. Ramasamy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesMahatma Gandhi UniversityKottayamIndia

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