Multi-methodological approach to evaluate trace elements and major components in wetland system with subsaline and freshwater characteristics

Abstract

In this study, the present status of the transboundary wetlands in Central Europe was evaluated using complementary experimental and statistical methods. Detailed characterization of the complex, subsaline/freshwater system in this study is aimed to be the contribution to the global wetland inventory. The distribution and behaviour of major and trace elements in water from the Neusiedler Lake Basin (Austria) were investigated. Two water types were proposed: CaNaHCO3 and CaHCO3. Toxic metals were discussed in comparison with the sediment quality criteria, and Ni was above the value that might cause severe toxic effects. TOC/TN ratio in sediments suggested terrestrial origin of organic matter. Significant variation of trace elements in water was noticed among the sampling sites. Although the Wulka River was anthropogenically influenced, only dissolved Zn, As and U were above world average values. This was the consequence of precipitation and metal adsorption onto suspended particles. Cd, Zn, Mn and Fe were the highest in acidic spring, where low pH maintains metals in a dissolved form. Uranium amounts near closed coalmine exceeded maximum allowed concentration (20 µg L−1). Majority of elements in water and sediment have normal statistical distribution, with a small number of anomalies, thus indicating moderate anthropogenic influence.

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Acknowledgments

The research was supported by the bilateral project between Croatia and Austria (2010–2011): “Hydrogeological investigations of the upper flow of the Kupa River and its tributaries” (principal investigators: Dr. Stanislav Frančišković-Bilinski, Ruđer Bošković Institute and Prof. Dr. Thilo Hofmann, University of Vienna) financed by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and the Austrian Agency for International Mobility and Cooperation in Education, Science and Research (OeAD). Special thanks go to Univ. Prof. Dr. Hermann Häusler from the Department for Environmental Geosciences at the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy, University of Vienna and MSc. Philipp Stadler from the Centre for Water Resource Systems at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria for their generous and professional support during sampling campaigns. Thanks also go to Mrs. Tatjana Jauk, a professional linguist, who edited English language of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Stanislav Frančišković-Bilinski.

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Cuculić, V., Frančišković-Bilinski, S., Bilinski, H. et al. Multi-methodological approach to evaluate trace elements and major components in wetland system with subsaline and freshwater characteristics. Environ Earth Sci 75, 1351 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-016-6156-6

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Keywords

  • Transboundary wetlands
  • Ramsar site no. 271
  • Sediment and water geochemistry
  • Mineralogy
  • Piper trilinear diagram