Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 8, pp 6563–6578 | Cite as

Speciation of selected heavy metals geochemistry in surface sediments from Tirumalairajan river estuary, east coast of India

  • S. Venkatramanan
  • T. Ramkumar
  • I. Anithamary
  • M. P. Jonathan


Surface sediment samples from the Tirumalairajan river estuary were studied for grain size pattern, organic matter, and heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, and Pb) using the sequential and bulk metal extraction methods to evaluate metal behavior. Ten surface sediment samples were collected during the monsoon and summer seasons of the year 2009. The observed orders of concentrations of heavy metals in the sediments were as follows: Fe > Mn > Zn > Pb. The results obtained from sequential extraction showed that, among the metals studied, a larger portion of the metals were associated with the residual phase, although they are available in other fractions. The low concentration of metals available in bioavailable phases indicated that the sediments of Tirumalairajan river estuary were relatively unpolluted. Correlation analysis was also carried out to understand the associations of metals in different phases with sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. To understand the risk of heavy metals to sediment-dwelling organisms, the data were compared with risk assessment code and sediment quality values using the screening quick reference table. The main source of metals to the estuary is from the irrigation field and its associated activities in the study area.


Metals Sequential extraction Tirumalairajan estuary East coast of India 



The authors are grateful to two anonymous referees for their constructive comments and suggestions which led to significant improvements to the manuscript. We wish to gratefully acknowledge the valuable suggestions given by Prof. G.B. Wiersma, the Editor in Chief, which greatly helped in the final presentation of the paper. Special thanks to Dr. M.V. Prasanna, Senior Lecturer, Department of Applied Geology, Curtin University of Technology, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia; Mr. S. Subramanian, Laboratory Manager, Abengoa Water, UTE Desaladora, Chennai, India; and Dr. S.K. Sundaray, Faculty of Earth Systems and Environmental Science, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea for fine-tuning the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank the IIT Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India for the results generated by the ICP-OES.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Venkatramanan
    • 1
  • T. Ramkumar
    • 1
  • I. Anithamary
    • 1
  • M. P. Jonathan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesAnnamalai UniversityAnnamalai NagarIndia
  2. 2.Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigaciones y Estudios sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo (CIIEMAD)Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN)México D.F.Mexico

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