Geochemical behaviour and risk assessment of trace elements in a tropical river, Northwest Borneo
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd By convention, dissolved trace elements in the river water are considered to be the fraction that passes through a 0.45 μm filter. However, several researchers have considered filtration cut-off other than 0.45 μm for the separation of dissolved trace elements from particulate fraction. Recent research indicated that trace elements could exist in particulate form as colloids and natural nanoparticles. Moreover, the trace elements in the continental dust (aerosols) constitute a significant component in their geochemical cycling. Due to their high mobility, the trace elements in the micron and sub-micron scale have biogeochemical significance in the coastal zone. In this context, this study focuses on the highly mobile fraction of trace elements in particulates (<11 μm) and dissolved form in the Lower Baram River. A factor model utilizing trace elements in the dissolved and mobile phase in the particulates (<11 μm) along with water column characteristics and the partition coefficient (Kd) of the trace elements indicated a more significant role for manganese oxyhydroxides in trace element transport. Perhaps, iron oxyhydroxides play a secondary role. The factor model further illustrated the dissolution of aluminium and authigenic clay formation. Except for Fe and Al, the contamination risk of mobile trace elements in particulates (<11 μm) together with dissolved form are within the permissible limits of the Malaysian water quality standards during monsoon (MON) and postmonsoon (POM) seasons.
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