Spatial distribution and risk assessment of heavy metals in bottom sediments of two small dam reservoirs (south-east Poland)

Open access


Sediments of two dam reservoirs in SE Poland, Zalew Zemborzycki (ZZ) and Brody Iłżeckie (BI) were studied. The sediments from both reservoirs were sampled in the transects perpendicular to the shoreline, at the river inflow and the frontal dam. The total concentration of Mn, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cu, Cr and Ni was determined by ICP-EAS method after the sample digestion in the mixture of concentrated HNO3 and HClO4 acids. The statistical analyses: value intervals, mean values, variation coefficient, the median and the skewed distribution were performed. To estimate differences between the means for transects, Tukey’s test was applied with least significant difference (LSD) determination. The maps of the metal spatial distribution were drawn and sediment quality according to the geochemical and ecotoxicological criteria evaluated. Differences between the reservoirs in terms of heavy metals concentration in bottom sediments, and regularities in their spatial distribution were found. In the ZZ sediments the concentration was at the level of geochemical background (Zn, Cr), slightly (Cd, Cu, Ni) or moderately (Pb) contaminated sediments. The metal concentration in the sediments of the BI was up to eight times higher as compared to the ZZ. Moreover, sediments from the BI reservoir showed a greater variability of metal concentration than those from ZZ, which resulted from the dredging operation performed in the part of the reservoir. Metal concentration in sediments of the dredged part was ca. 2–5 times lower than in the undredged one, which indicates that after the dredging operation, accumulation of these metals was slight. The concentrations of Zn, Pb and Cd from the undredged part of BI were at the level of contaminated sediments and exceeded the probable effects level (PEL). In the ZZ, the greatest accumulation of metals occurred in the upper part of the reservoir and at the frontal dam, and the lowest in the middle part of the reservoir. In BI, the lower outflow of water in this reservoir caused a lower metal concentration in the sediments at the frontal dam, as compared with the other sediments in the undredged part of the reservoir. The results indicate that in small and shallow reservoirs, areas of accumulation of heavy metals depend on such factors as a parent river current, reservoir depth, water waving, reservoir shape (narrowing, coves/bays), and type of water outflow.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Akhurst D.J. Clark M.W. Reichelt-Brushett J. & Jones G.B. (2012). Elemental speciation and distribution in sediments of a eutrophied subtropical freshwater reservoir using postextraction normalization Water Air and Soil Pollution 223 pp. 4589–4604.

  • Aleksander-Kwaterczuk U. & Helios-Rybicka E. (2009). Contaminated sediments as a potential source of Zn Pb and Cd for a river system in the historical metalliferous ore mining and smelting industry area of South Poland Journal of Soils and Sediments 9 pp. 13–22.

  • Arnason J.G. & Fletcher B.A. (2003). A 40+ year record of Cd Hg Pb and U deposition in sediments of Patroon Reservoir Albany County NY USA Environmental Pollution 123 pp. 383–391.

  • Bojakowska I. & Gliwicz T. (2005). Chlorinated pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in river sediments of Poland Przegląd Geologiczny 53 pp. 649–655. (in Polish)

  • Bojakowska I. & Sokołowska G. (1998). Geochemical classes of water sediments quality Przegląd Geologiczny 46 pp. 49–54. (in Polish)

  • Campbell J.A. Whitelaw K. Riley J.P. Head P.C. & Jones P.D. (1988). Contrasting behaviour of dissolved and particulate nickel and zinc in a polluted estuary Science of the Total Environment 71 pp. 141–155.

  • Çevik F. Göksu M.Z.L. Derici O.B. & Findik Ö. (2009). An assessment of metal pollution in surface sediments of Seyhan dam by using enrichment factor geoaccumulation index and statistical analyses Evironmental Monitoring and Assessment 152 pp. 309–317.

  • Ciszewski D. Kubsik U. & Aleksander-Kwaterczuk U. (2012). Long-term dispersal of heavy metals in a catchment affected by historic lead and zinc mining Journal of Soils and Sediments 12 pp. 1445–1462.

  • Dang T.C. & Jeffrey P.O. (2006). Metal speciation in coastal marine from Singapore using a modified BCR sequential extraction procedure Applied Geochemistry 21 pp. 1335–1346.

  • Darmody R.G. & Marlin J.C. (2002). Sediments and sediment-derived soils in Illinois: pedological and agronomic assessment Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 77 pp. 209–227.

  • Demirak A. Yilmaz F. Tuna A.L. Tuna A.L. & Ozdemir N. (2006). Heavy metals in water sediment and tissues of Leuciscus cephalus from a stream in southwestern Turkey Chemosphere 63 pp. 1451–1458.

  • Dmitruk U. Jancewicz A. & Tomczuk U. (2013). Hazardous organic and trace element occurrence in bottom sediments of dam reservoirs Ochrona Środowiska 3 pp. 63–68. (in Polish)

  • Findik Ö. & Turan M.A. (2012). Metal concentrations in surface sediments of Beyler reservoir (Turkey) Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 88 pp. 193–197.

  • Gierszewski P. (2008). Concentration of heavy metals in sediments of Włocławski reservoir as an index for hydrodynamic conditions of deposition Landform Analyses 9 pp. 79–82. (in Polish)

  • Hu B. Li G. Li J. Bi J. Zhao J. & Bu R. (2013). Spatial distribution and ecotoxicological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of the southern Bohai Bay China Environmental Science and Pollution Research 20 pp. 4099–4110.

  • Huang J. Ge X. & Wang D. (2012). Distribution of heavy metals in water column suspended particulate matters and the sediment under hydrodynamic conditions using an annular flume Journal of Environmental Sciences 24 pp. 2051–2059.

  • Ibragimow A. Walna B. & Siepak M. (2013). Physico-chemical parameters determining the variability of actually and potentially available fractions of heavy metals in fluvial sediments of the middle Odra river Archives of Environmental Protection 39 2 pp. 3–16.

  • Jabłońska M. Kostecki M. Szopa S. Łyko A. & Michalski R. (2012). Speciation of inorganic arsenic and chromium forms in selected water reservoirs of Upper Silesia Ochrona Środowiska 3 pp. 25–32. (in Polish)

  • Jabłońska-Czapla M. Szopa S. Grygoyć K. Łyko A. & Michalski R. (2014). Development and validation of HPLC-ICP-MS method for the determination inorganic Cr As and Sb speciation forms and its application for Pławniowice reservoir (Poland) water and bottom sediments variability study Talanta 120 pp. 475–483.

  • Jabłońska-Czapla M. Szopa S. & Rosik-Dulewska Cz. (2014). Impact of mining dump on the accumulation and mobility of metals in the Bytomka river sediments Archives of Environmental Protection 40 2 pp. 3–19.

  • Kajak Z. (1998). Hydrobiology-limnology Ecosystems of inland waters Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN Warszawa 1998. (in Polish)

  • Kajak Z. Kacprzak K. & Polkowski R. (1965). Tubular bottom sampler. Ekologia PolskaSer B 11 pp. 159–165. (in Polish)

  • Karbassi A.R. Torabi F. Ghazban F. & Ardestani M. (2011). Association of trace metals with various sedimentary phases in dam reservoirs International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 8 pp. 841–852.

  • Korfali S.I. Jurdi M. & Davies B.E. (2006). Variation of metals in bed sediments of Qaraaoun reservoir Lebanon Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 115 pp. 307–319.

  • Kostecki M. (2007). Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in selected elements of trophic chain of anthropogenic reservoirs in the aspect of environmental protection and economical function Institute of Environmental Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences Works & Studies 71 pp. 87. (in Polish)

  • Kostecki M. & Kowalski E. (2007). Spatial arrangement of heavy metals in the dam-reservoir sediments in the conditions of anthropomixion Archives of Environmental Protection 3 pp. 67–81.

  • Leńczowska-Baranek J. (1996). The Łączany Weir as a geochemical barrier in the migration of heavy metals Applied Geochemistry 11 pp. 223–238.

  • Li F. Zhang H. Meng X. Chen L. & Yin D. (2012). Contamination by persistent toxic substances in surface sediment of urban rivers in Chaohu City China Journal of Environmental Sciences 24 pp. 1934–1941.

  • Ligęza S. & Smal H. (2002). Differentiation of pH and texture in bottom sediments of Zemborzycki dam reservoir Acta Agrophysica 70 pp. 235–245. (in Polish)

  • Ligęza S. Smal H. & Bielińska E.J. (2004). Total content of Cd Cr Pb Zn and their horizontal differentiation in bottom sediments of dam reservoir “Zalew Zemborzycki” near Lublin SE Poland Chemia i Inżynieria Ekologiczna 11 pp. 621–627.

  • Loska K. & Wiechuła D. (2003). Application of principal component analysis for the estimation of source of heavy metal contamination in surface sediments from the Rybnik reservoir Chemosphere 51 pp. 723–733.

  • MacDonald D.D. Ingersoll C.G. & Berger T.A. (2000). Development and Evaluation of consensus-based sediment quality guidelines for freshwater ecosystems Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 39 pp. 20–31.

  • Maciejczak B. & Czerwik-Marcinkowska J. (2010). Macrophytes cyanobacteria and algae of the “Brodzkie Lake” in the Małopolska Upland – Southern Poland – preliminary study Roczniki Akademii Rolniczej w Poznaniu CCCLXXXIX 14 pp. 67–76. (in Polish)

  • Manasreh W. Hailat I. & El-Hasan T.M. (2010). Heavy metal and anionic contamination in the water and sediments in Al-Mujib reservoir central Jordan Environmental Earth Sciences 60 pp. 613–621.

  • Marszałek M. & Banasiuk R. (2011). Water legal study for the special use of the Bystrzyca River water for the Zalew Zemborzycki reservoir in the range of water damming and retention Warsaw 2011 pp. 1–103.

  • Misztal M. & Smal H. (1980). Some chemical and physical properties submerged soils of the Zemborzyce dam reservoir Soil Science Annual 3 pp. 253–262.

  • RZGW (Regional Water Management Authority in Warsaw). (http// (02.04.2014))

  • Rosińska A. & Dąbrowska L. (2011). PCBs and heavy metals in water and bottom sediments of the Kozłowa Góra dam reservoir Archives of Environmental Protection 37 pp. 61–73.

  • Salomons W. & Förstner U. (1984). Metals in the Hydrocycle Springer-Verlag Berlin Heildelberg New York Tokyo 1984.

  • Sarà G. (2009). Variation of suspended and sedimentary organic matter with depth in shallow coastal waters Wetlands 29 pp. 1234–1242.

  • Smal H. Ligęza S. Baran S. & Wójcikowska-Kapusta A. (2015). Quantity and quality of organic carbon in bottom sediments of two upland dam reservoirs in Poland Environment Protection Engieneering 41 pp. 95–110.

  • Smal H. Ligęza S. Baran S. Wójcikowska-Kapusta A. & Obroślak R. (2013). Nitrogen and phosphorus in bottom sediments of two small dam reservoirs Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 32 pp. 1479–1489.

  • Smith S.L. MacDonald D.D. Keenleyside K.A. Ingersoll G.G. & Field J. (1996). A preliminary evaluation of sediment quality assessment values for freshwater ecosystems Journal of Great Lakes Research 22 pp. 624–638.

  • Sojka M. Siepak M. & Gnojska E. (2013). Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentration i Bottom Sediments of Stare Miasto Pre-dam Reservoir on the Powa River Annual Set The Environment Protection 15 pp. 1916–1928. (in Polish)

  • Thornton J. Steel A. & Rast W. (1996). Chapter 8 – Reservoirs in: Water quality assessments – a guide to use of biota sediments and water in environmental monitoring (2nd Ed) Chapman D. (Ed.) Spon Press Taylor & Francis Group 1996.

  • Wang C. Liu S. Zhao Q. Deng L. & Dong S. (2012). Spatial variation and contamination assessment of heavy metals in sediments in the Manwan Reservoir Lancang River Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 82 pp. 32–39.

  • Wang G. A Y. Jiang H. Fu Q. & Zheng B. (2015). Modeling the source contribution of heavy metals in surficial sediment and analysis of their historical changes in the vertical sediments of a drinking water reservoir Journal of Hydrology 520 pp. 37–51.

  • Zhang R. Zhang F. Ding Y. Gao J. Chen J. & Zhou L. (2013). Historical trends in the anthropogenic heavy metal levels in the tidalflat sediments of Lianyungang China Journal of Environmental Sciences 25 pp. 1458–1468.

  • Zhao Q. Liu S. Deng L. Dong S. & Wang C. (2013). Longitudinal distribution of heavy metals in sediments of a canyon reservoir in Southwest China due to dam construction Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 185 pp. 6101–6110.

  • Zhu X Ji H. Chen Y. Ciao M. & Tang L. (2013). Assessment and sources of heavy metals in surface sediments of Miyun Reservoir Beijing Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 185 pp. 6049–6062.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.708
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.835

CiteScore 2018: 1.71

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.489
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.011

Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 373 231 9
PDF Downloads 175 112 3