Skip to main content

Metals in the Surface Sediments of Selected Water Reservoirs, Slovakia


Ruzin and Velke Kozmalovce water reservoirs (Slovakia) receive potentially toxic elements through rivers draining catchment areas polluted with the former extensive mining of ore-bearing deposits. In this study, the concentrations and fractionation of metals (antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, vanadium and zinc) have been studied in the surface sediments of the two water reservoirs. Comparison of metal concentrations found in the sediments with the mean shale values revealed a significant anthropogenic enrichment mostly with antimony (22.7), copper (8.5), zinc (5.5), cadmium (4.7), mercury (4.7), arsenic (4.5) and lead (3.9), and antimony (9.8), cadmium (8.8), zinc (4.9), lead (3.3) and arsenic (3.1) in the Ruzin and Velke Kozmalovce reservoirs, respectively. The results of fractionation study showed that the major proportion of cadmium (44.9–52.6%), cobalt (35.7–58.3%) and zinc (27.8–48.7%) was found in labile fractions, i.e., water- and acid-soluble fractions, although copper and nickel exhibited also significant labile fractions. When the risk assessment code was applied to the fractionation study, cadmium and cobalt came under high and very high risk category for the environment, and therefore might cause adverse effect to aquatic life.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1


  1. Beldowski J, Pempkowiak J (2003) Horizontal and vertical variabilities of mercury concentration and speciation in sediments of the Gdansk Basin, southern Baltic Sea. Chemosphere 52:645–654

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Bird G, Brewer PA, Macklin MG, Balteanu D, Driga B, Serban M, Zaharia S (2003) The solid state partitioning of contaminant metals and As in river channel sediments of the mining affected Tisa drainage basin, northwestern Romania and eastern Hungary. Appl Geochem 18:1583–1595

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Brehuv J (2000) Contamination of sediment loads of the Waterwork Ruzin I. by heavy metals in relation to mining sludge basins (In Slovak). Acta Montan Slovaca 3:306–309

    Google Scholar 

  4. Caplat C, Texier H, Barillier D, Lelievre C (2005) Heavy metals mobility in harbour contaminated sediments: the case of Port-en-Bessin. Mar Pollut Bull 50:504–511

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Carral E, Villares R, Puente X, Carballeira A (1995) Influence of watershed lithology on heavy metal levels in estuarine sediments and organisms in Galicia (north-west Spain). Mar Pollut Bull 30:604–608

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Förstner U, Wittmann GTW (1979) Metal pollution in the aquatic environment. Springer, New York

    Google Scholar 

  7. Jain CK (2004) Metal fractionation study on bed sediments of River Yamuna, India. Water Res 38:569–578

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Jain CK, Singhal DC, Sharma MK (2005) Metal pollution assessment of sediment and water in the river Hindon, India. Environ Monit Assess 105:193–207

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Lalah JO, Ochieng EZ, Wandiga SO (2008) Sources of heavy metal input into Winam Gulf, Kenya. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 81:277–284

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Lintnerová O, Šottník P, Šoltés S (2006) Dissolved matter and suspended solids in the Smolník Creek polluted by acid mine drainage (Slovakia). Geol Carpathica 57:311–324

    Google Scholar 

  11. Lintnerová O, Šottník P, Šoltés S (2008) Abandoned Smolník mine (Slovakia)—a catchment area affected by mining activities. Estonian J Earth Sci 57:104–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Liu C, Xu J, Liu C, Zhang P, Dai M (2009) Heavy metals in the surface sediments in Lanzhou reach of Yellow river, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 82:26–30

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. MacDonald DD, Ingersoll CG, Berger TA (2000) Development and evaluation of consensus-based sediment quality guidelines for freshwater ecosystems. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 39:20–31

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Nirel PMV, Morel FMM (1990) Pitfalls of sequential extractions. Water Res 24:1055–1056

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Rao CRM, Sahuquillo A, Lopez Sanchez JF (2008) A review of the different methods applied in environmental geochemistry for single and sequential extraction of trace elements in soils and related materials. Water Air Soil Pollut 189:291–333

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Yalcin MG, Narin I, Soylak M (2007) Heavy metal contents of the Karasu creek sediments, Nigde, Turkey. Environ Monit Assess 128:351–357

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was financially supported by the Slovak Grant Agency, project VEGA No. 1/0312/08. We thank also gratefully the Czech Geological Survey, branch Brno (Czech Republic) and the Water Research Institute Bratislava (Slovak Republic) for helping us to collect sediment samples and performing the analyses.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Edgar Hiller.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hiller, E., Jurkovič, Ľ. & Šutriepka, M. Metals in the Surface Sediments of Selected Water Reservoirs, Slovakia. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 635–640 (2010).

Download citation


  • Metals
  • Speciation
  • Distribution
  • Sediment