Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 24, pp 24808–24823 | Cite as

Distribution and risk assessment of metals and arsenic contamination in man-made ditch sediments with different land use types

  • Mathieu Nsenga Kumwimba
  • Bo ZhuEmail author
  • Tao WangEmail author
  • Diana Kavidia Muyembe
Research Article


Ditches are subjected to a large input of nutrients, trace metals, and arsenic and the enhancement of sedimentation due to human activities. However, the influence of different types of land uses on the distribution and associated environmental risk of metals and arsenic in the Red purple Sichuan Basin remains largely unclear, which is needed for water management. This study was carried out to characterize metal/metalloid status in ditch sediments from different land uses. A total of 68 surface sediment samples (0–5 cm) were collected from open ditches distributed in different land use types, i.e., cultivated ditches (CD), barren land ditches (BLD), roadside ditches (RSD), and residential ditches (RD), within the Sichuan Basin. Mean concentrations of Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and Mn in both RD and RSD were above the soil background values of Sichuan Basin, but Cd in ditch sediments of the basin posed considerable ecological risk to the environment. Overall, metals/metalloid (except Pb) decreased in the following order of RD > RSD > BLD > CD. Of the different land use types in the hilly region, residential and roadside land uses were likely to adverse effects on aquatic life. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that Mn, As, Cu, Ni, Zn, Fe, and Al were mainly influenced by natural weathering (erosion), while Pb might come from heavy vehicular traffic. The degree of contamination (Md), enrichment factor (EF), and the geo-accumulation index (Igeo) showed that Cd causes strong sediment pollution in the basin. Sediment quality guidelines SQG-Q values displayed that metals and arsenic created medium-low potential of adverse biological effects. These results provide baseline information on the metals and arsenic pollution in the Sichuan Basin. Awareness of land use type contributions to metals and arsenic requires that these man-made ditches be considered for their mitigation of pollutants in this region.


Man-made ditch sediment Metal/metalloid Land use Management Potential ecological risk indices Purple Sichuan Basin 



The authors are grateful to the Natural Science Foundation of China (41430750)‚ the STS project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KFJ-SW-STS-175-02), Open Fund of Key Laboratory of Mountain Environment Evolvement and Regulation, and the CAS-TWAS president’s fellowship program for developing countries for financial support of this work.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_7690_MOESM1_ESM.docx (606 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 605 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological RegulationChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Faculty of Agronomy, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ManagementUniversity of LubumbashiLubumbashiDemocratic Republic of Congo
  5. 5.School of Life Science and EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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