Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 5098–5120 | Cite as

Geochemical behaviour of dissolved trace elements in a monsoon-dominated tropical river basin, Southwestern India

  • G. P. Gurumurthy
  • K. Balakrishna
  • M. Tripti
  • Stéphane Audry
  • Jean Riotte
  • J. J. Braun
  • H. N. Udaya Shankar
Research Article

Abstract

The study presents a 3-year time series data on dissolved trace elements and rare earth elements (REEs) in a monsoon-dominated river basin, the Nethravati River in tropical Southwestern India. The river basin lies on the metamorphic transition boundary which separates the Peninsular Gneiss and Southern Granulitic province belonging to Archean and Tertiary–Quaternary period (Western Dharwar Craton). The basin lithology is mainly composed of granite gneiss, charnockite and metasediment. This study highlights the importance of time series data for better estimation of metal fluxes and to understand the geochemical behaviour of metals in a river basin. The dissolved trace elements show seasonality in the river water metal concentrations forming two distinct groups of metals. First group is composed of heavy metals and minor elements that show higher concentrations during dry season and lesser concentrations during the monsoon season. Second group is composed of metals belonging to lanthanides and actinides with higher concentration in the monsoon and lower concentrations during the dry season. Although the metal concentration of both the groups appears to be controlled by the discharge, there are important biogeochemical processes affecting their concentration. This includes redox reactions (for Fe, Mn, As, Mo, Ba and Ce) and pH-mediated adsorption/desorption reactions (for Ni, Co, Cr, Cu and REEs). The abundance of Fe and Mn oxyhydroxides as a result of redox processes could be driving the geochemical redistribution of metals in the river water. There is a Ce anomaly (Ce/Ce*) at different time periods, both negative and positive, in case of dissolved phase, whereas there is positive anomaly in the particulate and bed sediments. The Ce anomaly correlates with the variations in the dissolved oxygen indicating the redistribution of Ce between particulate and dissolved phase under acidic to neutral pH and lower concentrations of dissolved organic carbon. Unlike other tropical and major world rivers, the effect of organic complexation on metal variability is negligible in the Nethravati River water.

Keywords

Nethravati–Gurupur Rivers Dissolved trace elements REEs Redox processes Sorption reaction Tropical river Cerium anomaly 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. P. Gurumurthy
    • 1
  • K. Balakrishna
    • 2
  • M. Tripti
    • 2
  • Stéphane Audry
    • 3
  • Jean Riotte
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. J. Braun
    • 3
    • 4
  • H. N. Udaya Shankar
    • 2
  1. 1.Manipal Centre for Natural SciencesManipal UniversityManipalIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering, Manipal Institute of TechnologyManipal UniversityManipalIndia
  3. 3.GET UMR 5563Université Paul Sabatier, IRD and CNRSToulouseFrance
  4. 4.Indo-French Cell for Water Sciences, Joint IRD-IISc LaboratoryIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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