Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 35, pp 27587–27600 | Cite as

Seasonal variation of heavy metals in water and sediments in the Halda River, Chittagong, Bangladesh

  • Md. Simul BhuyanEmail author
  • Muhammad Abu Bakar
Research Article


The present study was carried out to assess the contamination levels of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Al, Ni, Co, Zn, Mn) in surface water and sediment of the Halda River. The observed order of heavy metal concentration in water for Al > Ni > Zn > Mn > Cu > Cd > Pb > Cr > Co > Hg (mg/l) and for sediments Al > Mn > Zn > Ni > Cr > Pb > Cu > Co > Cd > Hg (mg/kg), respectively. The concentrations of Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Al, Ni, Co, Zn, and Mn in water, whereas in sediment Pb, Cu, Al, Ni, Co, Zn, and Mn were found above the permissible limit (WHO 2004; USEPA 2006; EPA 1986, 2002 and ECR 1997). Significant variations in the concentrations of Al and Ni were found in water (p < 0.05) while Cr, Cu, Pb, Co, Mn, and Ni showed substantial changes in sediment (p < 0.05). Principal component analysis (PCA) and correlation matrix revealed anthropogenic intrusions of Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Al, Ni, Co, Zn, and Mn in water and sediment. In case of water, very strong linear relationship was found in Hg vs Pb (0.941), Mn vs Zn (0.939), and Ni vs Cu (0.922) at the significance level 0.01. In sediment, very strong linear relationships were found in Mn vs Cr (0.999), Co vs Ni (0.999), Ni vs Cu (0.994), Zn vs Pb (0.993), Co vs Cu (0.992), Cu vs Cr (0.990), Mn vs Cu (0.989), Mn vs Ni (0.975), Mn vs Co (0.975), Ni vs Cr (0.974), Co vs Cr (0.972), Mn vs Pb (0.951), Cr vs Pb (0.948), Zn vs Cr (0.944), and Mn vs Zn (0.941) at the significance level 0.01 which direct that their common origin entirely from industrial effluents, municipal wastes, and agricultural activities. The study shows that seasonal water flows/water discharge (pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon) have an impact on the mobility of metals. Elevated levels of metals were detected during monsoon in sediments (Pb, Cr, Cu, Al, Ni, Co, Zn, Mn) and post-monsoon in water (Cd, Hg, Ni, Co, Mn). The detection of high-risk metals in the Halda River may demonstrate that metals can cause significant effects on fry and fingerlings of the Gangetic carp fishery and prawn fishery (via sub-lethal and lethal effects and bioaccumulation or secondary poisoning of metals to fish and prawn).


Heavy metal Contamination Surface water Sediment Halda River 



The authors are grateful to the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Chittagong. The proposed research is a major contribution of Biodiversity, Environment and Climate Change Research Laboratory, Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, University of Chittagong. Authors also express heartiest thanks to the reviewers for their valuable guidelines to improve the paper quality.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine Sciences and FisheriesUniversity of ChittagongChittagongBangladesh
  2. 2.Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial ResearchChittagongBangladesh

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