Environmental Science

https://sites.google.com/a/gauhati.ac.in/research/environ/#hps08052019 Heavy metals in freshwater wetlands

Heavy metals in freshwater wetlands

Hari Prasad Sarma and coworkers investigate the heavy metal pollution in freshwater wetlands such as Deepor Beel (near Guwahati, Assam, India, Location : 26.1196, 91.6475). This research work is published in the journal Environmental Pollution.

Suravi Kalita1, Hari Prasad Sarma, and Arundhuti Devi1
from other institutions

The sediment characterisation of wetlands belonging to the Northeastern Region of India particularly regarding the assessment of sediment carbon stock is very scanty. The presently available literature on the wetlands cannot be employed as a common model for managing the wetlands of the Northeastern Region of India as wetlands are a sensitive ecosystem with a different origin or endogenous interventions. Thereby, this research was conducted on Deepor Beel for investigating the spatial and seasonal variation of sediment parameters, the relationship between the parameters and pollution status of the wetland. Results revealed that the study area is of an acidic nature with a sandy clay loam type texture. Organic carbon, total nitrogen and available nitrogen were higher in sediments in the monsoon period. The mean stock of the sediment carbon pool of Deepor Beel is estimated to be 2.5 ± 0.7 kg m−2. The average non-residual fraction percentage (63.2%) of Pb was higher than the residual fraction. Zn content ~490 mg kg−1 exceeding its effect range medium (ERM) was determined to suggest frequent biological adverse effects. Highest metal enrichment factor (EF) values were shown by Zn and Pb, which ranged between 78 and 255. Risk assessment code (RAC) values of Pb between 21 and 29% indicated its high bio-accessibility risk. Pearson's coefficient matrix revealed a low degree of positive correlation between organic carbon content and metal concentration. Principal component analysis revealed that the first component comprising of EC, basic cations and metals accounted for 62.3% of variance while the second component (OM, OC, TN, AN, AP) and the third component (pH) accounted for 21.8% and 7.0% of the variance, respectively. The present study revealed the adverse impact of human inputs on the Deepor Beel quality status.