Distribution of heavy metals in surficial sediments of the Anzali Lagoon outlet, North Iran

Document Type : Research Paper



In this study, Heavy metal contents from outlet of the Anzali Lagoon were measured to assess the level and sources of possible contamination. The sediment samples were collected from 15 stations in the study area. Physico-chemical properties of the sediments were determined. Two instrumental methods of analysis were applied; powder X-ray diffraction to determine clay mineralogy and ICP-OES to determine bulk metal content of the samples. Eight metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cr, Ti, V, and Zn) concentrations were investigated in the surface sediments. The level of pollution attributed to heavy metals was assessed by several pollution indicators including the index of geo-accumulation (Igeo), Enrichment factor (EF) and pollution load index (PLI). The result of Igeo showed that the contamination degree of Cd and Cr ranged from unpolluted to moderately polluted in the most stations and show highest pollution compared to other metals. The EF results show moderate enrichment for Pb (in A1 and A2 sample stations), Cr (in A12 sample station), Cu (in A1 sample station) and Zn (in A1 and A15 sample stations). The values of PLI in most stations are > 1, so they are polluted, but the noticeable value of PLI is 3.12 which related to A12 sample station and other values varied between 0.48-1.51. Cluster Analysis (CA) and Principle Component Analysis (PCA) indicated that Cd, Pb, Zn, and Cu pollutions are mainly originated by anthropogenic sources while other metals have a lithogenic sources. The main sources of contamination in study area are produced by industrial activities and shipping.