Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 211, Issue 1–4, pp 299–312 | Cite as

Status Quo of Soil Contamination with Inorganic and Organic Pollutants of the River Oka Floodplains (Russia)

  • Dana ZimmerEmail author
  • Kristian Kiersch
  • Gerald Jandl
  • Ralph Meissner
  • Nikolay Kolomiytsev
  • Peter Leinweber


The contamination status of rivers and their floodplains with inorganic and organic pollutants in central Russia is poorly known. We investigated the concentrations of inorganic (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn) and persistent organic pollutants (hexachlorocyclohexane, PCBs, cyclodienes, DDX and other pesticides) in floodplain soils of the Oka River catchment (Russia). The level of contamination was generally lower than in the Elbe River floodplain but in the same range as in other European river systems such as floodplains of the rivers Rhine, Dřevnice and Yachroma. Only soil samples from the periphery of the city of Ryazan (200 km southeast of Moscow) had a higher anthropogenic enrichment of Cd, Cu and Zn which was comparable to the contaminated Elbe River floodplains. These soils also had the largest concentrations of persistent organic pollutants among all samples from the Oka River catchment. Therefore, the need for large-scale remediation seems to be less urgent than in Central European river catchments and mainly restricted to some “hot spot” areas.


Floodplain River Oka Heavy metals Persistent organic pollutants Phytoremediation 



This research was funded by a grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), contract no. 02WT0870, in cooperation with the UFZ–Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the All-Russian Research Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation–VNIIGiM Moscow. The analyses of POPs were carried out in the Mass Spectrometric Laboratory at the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock which is funded by the “Exzellenzförderprogramm” of the “Ministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur” Mecklenburg West-Pomerania, project UR 07 079. We thank Mrs. M. Hopp and Mrs. U. Grunzel for their technical assistance. Furthermore, we thank Prof. M.I. Litaor from the Tel-Hai Academic College in Israel for critical reading of the revised manuscricpt and language edition.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana Zimmer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kristian Kiersch
    • 1
  • Gerald Jandl
    • 1
  • Ralph Meissner
    • 2
  • Nikolay Kolomiytsev
    • 3
  • Peter Leinweber
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Land UseUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.Department of Soil PhysicsUFZ–Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchFalkenbergGermany
  3. 3.All-Russian Research Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation—VNIIGiMMoscowRussia

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