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Chemosphere. 2006 Dec;65(11):2114-21. Epub 2006 Jul 27.

Assessing Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Cd pollution in bottom sediments of Wadi Al-Arab Dam, Jordan.

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Sultan Qaboos University, Earth Sciences Department, Muscat, Oman.


Thirty five bottom sediment samples were collected in a grid pattern from Wadi Al-Arab Dam. The present study focuses on the levels of Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, total organic matter (TOM) and carbonate content (CO(3)(-2)) in order to assess the extent of environmental pollution and to discuss the origin of these contaminants in sediments of the dam. Concentration data were processed using correlation analysis and factor analysis. The results of correlation analysis and factor analysis show low positive and negative correlations among Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, TOM, and CO(3)(-2) and indicate that heavy metals in sediments of Wadi Al-Arab have different anthropogenic and natural sources. The results also confirm the complicated behavior of these pollutants, that can be influenced by many factors. Sediments pollution assessment was carried out using enrichment factor and the geoaccumulation index. The calculation of enrichment factors showed that Mn and Cu are depleted by 0.76, and 1.33, respectively, whereas Cu, Zn, and Cd are enriched by 3.6, and 30, respectively. The results of geoaccumulation index reveal that sediments of Wadi Al-Arab are uncontaminated with Mn, Fe, and Cu, moderately contaminated with Zn, and strongly to extremely contaminated with Cd. Some of the elevated concentration of Zn and Cd are probably due to anthropogenic sources nearby the dam site. These sources mainly include fertilizers and pesticides used in agricultural activities, and the effluent of Irbid City treatment plant. Environmental risks of Cd and Zn were evaluated using the risk assessment code (RAC) and sequential extraction method. Zn poses a low environmental risk, whereas Cd poses a medium environmental risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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