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Geochemistry of stream sediments within the reclaimed coastal floodplain as indicator of anthropogenic impact (River Neretva, Croatia)

Kralj, Damir; Romić, Davor; Romić, Marija; Cukrov, Neven; Mlakar, Marina; Kontrec, Jasminka; Barišić, Delko; Širac, Siniša (2016) Geochemistry of stream sediments within the reclaimed coastal floodplain as indicator of anthropogenic impact (River Neretva, Croatia). Journal of Soils and Sediments, 16 (4). pp. 1150-1167. ISSN 1439-0108

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Purpose This study used multi-element signatures of stream sediments to assess both natural and human-induced impact on fluvial system in the River Neretva delta receiving environment over time. The river basin actually comprises several sub-catchments, and the geochemical features of major elements, trace metals radiometric and mineralogical characterisation of river bed sediments were used to assist the interpretation of the environment of deposition and its subsequent modifications caused by various anthropogenic pressures within the river basin. Materials and methods Five sites were chosen for sediment sampling at key locations within the study area with assumed undisturbed, continuous sedimentation process. At each of the sites, three representative cores were taken by scuba divers. Sample sites were selected in order to reflect the influence of different sub-catchments they belong to and the land-use pattern of the surrounding area. Samples were analysed for pH, redox-potential, granulometry, mineralogy, thermogravimetry, major and trace element concentrations and radionuclide activities. The univariate and multivariate statistics were applied. The geochemical normalisation of data was done using Al, the procedure based on calculation of the regression line of the metal on the normaliser followed by testing the ratios metal/normaliser on all data-points. Results and discussion All studied sediments are classified as silt, ranging from clayey silt to silt and sandy silt. Mineralogically, the sediments were dominated by carbonates and quartz. The chemical contaminant data are generally of good quality, mostly below guideline levels. Sedimentation rates were estimated using vertical distribution of 137Cs activities. Normalisation of TMs done by using Al shows strong R2 adj values for the regressions of Al and V, Al and Cr, and Al and Ni. However, Al cannot fairly explain the fluctuation of the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in sediment cores from all of the sampling sites. Generally, inorganic scavengers such as clay minerals followed by Fe and Mn oxides and S (pyrite and gypsum) seem to be dominant factors controlling TMs in studied sediments. Conclusions Although the River Neretva delta occupies a rather small area, the geochemical features of major and trace elements and 137Cs activities show complex sediment provenances. Each of the sampling sites reflect exactly different effects of anthropogenic intervention that particularly refer to the changes in river morphology and ecology, along with the altered flow regimes within the catchment on sediment loads and quality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental pollution; Major and trace elements; Normalisation; Principal component analysis; Radionuclides dating
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Geology
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Division of Materials Chemistry
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Zaslanjivanje tla - dijagnostika, procesi i utjecaj na biljku-Davor Romić178-1782221-0350MZOS
Depositing User: Jasminka Kontrec
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 13:51
DOI: 10.1007/s11368-015-1194-3

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