Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 7, pp 3381–3392 | Cite as

Source and distribution of metals in bed sediments of Subarnarekha River, India

Original Article


The study was taken up to establish the distributions of metals as well as to assess the extent of anthropogenic inputs into the Subarnarekha River. Bed sediments were collected; analyzed for metals; and assessed with the index of geo-accumulation (Igeo), enrichment factor (EF) value, concentration factor (CF) and pollution load index (PLI). Metals in the sediment were variable in the river and there are major pollution problems at certain locations. The average concentrations of Fe, Cu, Cr, Pb, Mn, Ni, Zn, Co and Ba in mg/kg was found to be 30,802 ± 11,563, 69 ± 57, 111 ± 74, 75 ± 61, 842 ± 335, 42 ± 22, 100 ± 39, 15 ± 4 and 698 ± 435, respectively. The Igeo, EF, CF and PLI indices showed that the contamination of Pb and Cu was more serious than that of Ni, Zn, Co and Ba, whereas the presence of Fe, Mn and Cr might be primarily from natural sources. The contamination of the sediments with metals at few locations is attributed to mining, industries and other anthropogenic causes. Principal component analysis was employed to better comprehend the controlling factors of sediment quality. The statistical analysis of inter-metallic relationship revealed the high degree of correlation among the metals indicated their identical behaviour during transport. PCA outcome of three factors together explained 83.8 % of the variance with >1 initial eigenvalue indicated both innate and anthropogenic activities are contributing factors as source of metal profusion in Subarnarekha River basin.The overall study reveals moderately serious pollution in the river basin principally in some locations under the anthropogenic influences.


Metals Sediment Subarnarekha River Principal component analysis Index of geo-accumulation Pollution load index 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geo-Environment Division (EMG)Central Institute of Mining and Fuel ResearchDhanbadIndia

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