Rivers whose basins are underlain by carbonate rocks exhibit high pH, lower desorption of metals and possess high buffering capacity against acidic inputs to the river. The catchment of River Nahr-Ibrahim, Lebanon, is largely underlain by limestone. Compared to neighbouring countries, Lebanon is relatively fortunate since precipitation is high. However, recently a warming in temperature and a drop in precipitation has occurred, thus causing low water levels in rivers. The objective of this study is to investigate the variation of the total metal content (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd) in bed sediments and water of River Nahr-Ibrahim between 1996 and 1999 (two years); and relate these variations to the effect of changes in human activities and/or due to the variations of precipitation rate, temperature and pH of water. Bed load sediments and stream water were collected simultaneously from five sampling sites. Water pH and temperature were determined in situ. Sediment samples were dried at room temperature and sieved; the sediment size <75 μm size was retained. Water was analysed for major constituents and trace metals. Metals were extracted from sediments with aqua regia. Metal concentration in water and sediments were determined using ICP-MS technique. Data revealed a drop in metal concentrations (Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd) in sediments at quarry site after its closure. The decrease in precipitation rate, lowering the level of water and the dilution of industrial discharges and decrease in water pH led most probably to the desorption of metals from sediments into the water.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
APHA, AWWA, WEF: 1998, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th edn, American Public Health Association, Washington DC, USA.
Baghdady, N.H. and Sippola, J.: 1983, Total heavy metal recovery by aqua regia in soils of different origin, Annales Agriculture Fenniae 22, 175-185.
Campbell, C.D., Hird, M., Lumsdon, D.G. and Meeussen, J.C.L.: 2000, The effect of EDTA and fulvic acid on Cd, Zn, and Cu toxicity to a bioluminescent construct (pUCD607) of Escherichia, Chemosphere 40, 319-325.
Chapman, D.: 1992, Water Quality Assessments, University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Hall, L.W., Ziegenfuss, M.C., Anderson, R.D. and Lweis, B.L.: 1995, The effect of salinity on the acute toxicity of total and free cadmium to Chesapeak Bay copepod and fish, Marine Pollution Bulletin 6, 376-384.
Hudson-Edwards, K., Macklin, M. and Taylor, M.: 1997, Historic metal mining inputs to Tees river sediment, The Science of the Total Environment 194/195, 437-445.
Jarvie, H.P., Neal, C., Leach, D.V., Ryland, G.P., House, W.A. and Robson, A.J.: 1997, Major ion concentrations and the inorganic carbon chemistry of the Humber rivers, The Science of the Total Environment 194/195, 285-302.
Kersten, M. and Förstner, U.: 1989, Speciation of trace metals in sediments, in: Batley, G.E. (ed.), Trace Element Speciation: Analytical and Problems, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 245-317.
Khair, K., Aker, N., Haddad, F., Jurdi, M. and Hachach, A.: 1994, The environmental impacts of humans on ground water in Lebanon, Water Air and Soil Pollution 78, 37-49.
Korfali, S.I.: 1999, Metal Concentrations in The Nahr-Ibrahim River, Lebanon, PhD Thesis, University of Bradford, UK.
Korfali, S.I. and Davies, B.E.: 2000, Total and extractable trace elements in Lebanese river sediments: dry season data, Environmental Geochemistry and Health 22, 265-273.
Lewis, D.W. and McConchie, D.M.: 1994, Analytical Sedimentology, Chapman and Hall, New York, USA.
Large, R.R. and McGoldrick, P.J.: 1998, Lithogeochemical halos and geochemical vectors to stratiform sediment hosted Zn-Pb-Ag deposits, 1. Lady Loretta Deposit, Queensland, Journal of Geochemical Exploration 63, 37-56.
Lebanese MOE (Ministry of Environment): 1997, Resolution No. 1/182, Official Gazette 20 (in Arabic).
Martin, J.M. and Meybeck, M.: 1979, Elemental mass balance of material carried by world major rivers, Marine Chemistry 7, 173-206.
Morel, F.M.M.: 1983, Principles of Aquatic Chemistry, Wiley-Interscience, New York.
Piron, M., Pineau, A. and Mabele, R.M.: 1990, Sediment, parameters and distribution of metals in fine sediments of the Loire estuary, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 50, 267-277.
Ritchie, J.M., Cresser, M. and Cotter-Howells: 2001, Toxicological response of a bioluminescent microbial assay to Zn, Pb and Cd in an artificial soil solution: relationship with total metal concentrations and free ion activities, Environmental Pollution 114, 129-136.
Stephenson, A., Labounskaia, I. and Stringer, R.: 1998, Heavy Metal and Organic Screen Analysis of Environmental and Waste Samples Associated with Industrial Activities in Lebanon, September, 1997, Greenpeace Research Laboratory, University of Exeter, UK.
Trania, S.J. and Laperche, V.: 1999, Contaminant bioavailability in soils, sediments, and aquatic environments, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States 96, 3365-3371.
About this article
Cite this article
Korfali, S.I., Davies, B.E. A Comparison of Metals in Sediments and Water in the River Nahr-Ibrahim, Lebanon: 1996 and 1999. Environmental Geochemistry and Health 25, 41–50 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021284126632
- human activities
- metal content