Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 10, pp 3939–3953 | Cite as

Magnetic, geochemical and mineralogical properties of sediments from karstic and flysch rivers of Croatia and Slovenia

  • Stanislav Frančišković-Bilinski
  • Robert Scholger
  • Halka Bilinski
  • Darko Tibljaš
Original Article

Abstract

The aim of the present work was to investigate links between the low-field magnetic susceptibility (MS) and chemical and mineral composition of sediments from several Croatian and Slovenian rivers, as well as to determine possible anthropogenic influence on these sediments. MS measurements are a fast and simple method, which serves as a proxy for the estimation of pollution in different environmental systems. The investigated rivers are predominantly unpolluted rivers from Croatian and Slovenian karstic and flysch areas, which belong to the Adriatic or the Black Sea watersheds: the Dragonja, the Mirna, the Raša, the Rižana, the Reka, the Rak, the Cerknišnica, the Unec and the Ljubljanica rivers. It was assumed that, due to their mostly unpolluted status, they could serve as a database for natural MS background values for this region. For comparison, several rivers and a lake from the Celje old metallurgic industrial area (Slovenia) were also investigated: the Savinja, the Hudinja, the Voglajna rivers and Slivniško Lake. They form a sub-basin of the Sava River drainage basin. Sediments of the clean karstic and flysch rivers showed extremely low MS values, with mass susceptibility values ranging from 0.58 × 10−7 to 5.11 × 10−7 m3/kg, and isothermal remanent magnetism (IRM) values ranging from 0.71 to 7.88 A/m. In the Celje industrial area, river sediments showed much higher MS values, with mass susceptibility values ranging from 1.31 × 10−7 to 38.3 × 10−7 m3/kg, and IRM values ranging from 0.91 to 100.42 A/m. The highest MS value was found in the Voglajna River at Teharje-Štore, a point which showed a significant number of anomalies of toxic metals in earlier investigations. Semiquantitative determination of relations between grain size and concentration of magnetite was performed using the Thompson-Oldfield method. X-ray diffraction (XRD) mineralogical analysis showed that sediments of the Celje area have mostly quartz as major mineral, with relatively small amount of carbonate minerals, while in sediments of karstic rivers carbonate minerals prevail. Statistically significant correlations were obtained between MS and Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Ba in the Slovenian karstic region and between MS and Cr, Fe, Co, Ni and Zn in flysch drainage basins. On the contrary, no correlation of MS and Hg content was obtained.

Keywords

Karstic and flysch rivers Croatia Slovenia Magnetic susceptibility Trace elements Heavy metals Sediments Mineralogy Anthropogenic influence 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanislav Frančišković-Bilinski
    • 1
  • Robert Scholger
    • 2
  • Halka Bilinski
    • 1
  • Darko Tibljaš
    • 3
  1. 1.Division for Marine and Environmental ResearchInstitute Ruđer BoškovićZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Applied Geosciences and GeophysicsMontanuniversität LeobenLeobenAustria
  3. 3.Institute of Mineralogy and Petrology, Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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