Assessing Heavy Metal Contamination in the Bottom Sediments of Shitalakhya River, Bangladesh; Using Pollution Evaluation Indices and Geo-spatial Analysis

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh

2 Department of Geological Sciences, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh

3 Department of Environmental Science and Disaster Management, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Sonapur-3814, Bangladesh



The contamination of riverbed sediments by heavy metals has assumed
serious problems due to their toxicity and accumulative behavior. The present study
investigated the concentrations of heavy metals from the bottom sediments of Shitalakhya
River to understand the level of contamination and their distribution. The average
concentrations of heavy metals Al, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, As, Cu, Co, Cr, and Zn are 30432.41,
10929.21, 391139.13, 23148.14, 38697.37, 14.02, 143.69, 13.37, 74.82, and 200.59
mg/kg respectively in river sediments, and their abundance decreased in the following
order: Ca (79.05%)>Fe (7.82%)>Al (6.15%)>Mg (4.68%)>K (2.21%)>Zn (0.04%)>Cu
(0.03%)>Cr (0.015%)>As (0.0028%)>Co (0.0027%). In most cases, the mean
concentrations of the heavy metals exceed the permissible limit. Significantly higher
concentrations of Ca, Mg, Zn, and Cu were found in sediment samples. The heavy metals
contaminations in the sediments were also evaluated by applying index of geoaccumulation
(Igeo), contamination factor (Cf), degree of contamination (Cd), and pollution
load index (PLI) etc. These indices indicated that most of the samples were moderate to
strongly pollute by heavy metals and the spatial distribution showed that the northern and
southern parts of the study area are more contaminant than middle portion.


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