Pollution of the Maa Panew River sediments by heavy metals: Part II. Effect of changes in river valley morphology

Ciszewski, D.; Malik, I.; Szwarczewski, P.

Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 13(6): 597-605


ISSN/ISBN: 1230-1485
Accession: 004274087

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This paper examines the relationship between the dispersal of sediment-borne heavy metals (barium, copper, cadmium, lead and zinc) and the changes in the morphology of the Maa Panew River valley in southern Poland. Sediment samples were taken from 66 vertical profiles up to 60 cm deep, situated at different heights above a water table. Alluvial levels of similar width and height appeared with different frequency along river banks within 7 selected 1 km long river valley reaches. Moreover, heavy metal concentrations in similar height levels are similar throughout the Maa Panew valley. This suggests that both the width of the river valley over which sediment-associated heavy metals accumulated, as well as the volume of these sediments stored within particular river reaches, changed downstream. Generally, the wide natural reaches of the river valley, which have been sinks for metal-associated sediments in the 20th century, are an important secondary pollution source, whereas narrow valley reaches in which flow regulation caused incision of the river channel are mainly transition zones for the polluted sediments conveyed in the river valley.