Heavy metal concentrations in sediments of streams affected by a sanitary landfill: A comparison of metal enrichment in two size sediment fractions


The purpose of this study was to determine if metal concentrations are enriched in two size sediment fractions of streams that receive landfill effluent and, if so, whether there is a greater extent of metal enrichment in one of the fractions. Sediment samples were collected from three streams adjacent to a sanitary landfill. Sediments representing control for the study were also collected from a stream not influenced by the landfill. All samples were sieved and the <0.0625-mm and <0.25-mm to >0.149-mm size fractions from each sample were used in this study. The concentrations of acid-extractable Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cr for all samples were determined by atomic absorption techniques. Mean concentrations, coefficient of variation values, at test, and the variation of metal concentrations along the stream were used to analyze the data. Results indicated that Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cr concentrations were enriched in both size sediment fractions from the stream whose channel originated at the base of the landfill. Copper, Zn, and Pb concentrations were enriched in the <0.0625-mm size sediments of the stream whose channel did not intersect the landfill. Copper, Zn, Pb, and Cr concentrations appear enriched in both size sediment fractions of the third stream, which formed from the confluence of the other two streams. The extent of metal enrichment was greater in the <0.0625-mm size sediments. A decreasing trend of metal concentrations in a downstream direction was not present in the enriched sediments. This was true for each metal in both size sediment fractions.


Geography, Geology, and Planning

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Environmental Geology