Assessment of trace metal contamination in a historical freshwater canal (Buckingham Canal), Chennai, India
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The present study was done to assess the sources and the major processes controlling the trace metal distribution in sediments of Buckingham Canal. Based on the observed geochemical variations, the sediments are grouped as South Buckingham Canal and North Buckingham Canal sediments (SBC and NBC, respectively). SBC sediments show enrichment in Fe, Ti, Mn, Cr, V, Mo, and As concentrations, while NBC sediments show enrichment in Sn, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, and Hg. The calculated Chemical Index of Alteration and Chemical Index of Weathering values for all the sediments are relatively higher than the North American Shale Composite and Upper Continental Crust but similar to Post-Archaean Average Shale, and suggest a source area with moderate weathering. Overall, SBC sediments are highly enriched in Mo, Zn, Cu, and Hg (geoaccumulation index (Igeo) class 4– 6), whereas NBC sediments are enriched in Sn, Cu,Zn, and Hg (Igeo class 4–6). Cu, Ni, and Cr show higher than Effects-Range Median values and hence the biological adverse effect of these metals is 20%; Zn, which accounts for 50%, in the NBC sediments, has a more biological adverse effect than other metalsfound in these sediments. The calculated Igeo, Enrichment Factor, and Contamination Factor values indicate that Mo, Hg, Sn, Cu, and Zn are highly enriched in the Buckingham Canal sediments, suggesting the rapid urban and industrial development of Chennai MetropolitanCity have negatively influenced on the surrounding aquatic ecosystem.
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