Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 7, pp 1337–1352 | Cite as

Source and distribution of trace metals and nutrients in Narmada and Tapti river basins, India

  • Sanjay Kumar SharmaEmail author
  • V. Subramanian
Original Article


The study was designed to establish the distributions of trace metals, dissolved organic carbon, and inorganic nutrients as well as to assess the extent of anthropogenic inputs into the Narmada and Tapti rivers. Water and sediment qualities are variable in the rivers, and there are major pollution problems at certain locations, mainly associated with urban and industrial centers. The metal concentrations of samples of the aquatic compartments investigated were close to the maximum permissible concentration for the survival of aquatic life, except for higher values of Cu (5–763 μg l−1), Pb (24–376 μg l−1), Zn (24–730 μg l−1), and Cr (70–740 μg l−1) and for drinking water except for elevated concentrations of metals such as Pb, Fe (850–2,060 μg l−1), Cr, and Ni (20–120 μg l−1). In general, the concentrations of trace metals in the rivers vary down stream which may affect the “health” of the aquatic ecosystem and may also affect the health of the rural community that depends on the untreated river water directly for domestic use. The assessment of EF, I geo, and PLI in the sediments reveals overall moderate pollution in the river basins.


Trace metals Nutrients Water and sediments Narmada and Tapti rivers 



The authors would like to thank the Jawaharlal Nehru University (SKS) and University Grant Commission Project (VS), New Delhi, India for providing necessary financial support for carrying out the study. The authors are also grateful to an anonymous reviewer whose critical and constructive comments helped to improve the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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