Document Type: Case Study

Author

Department of Physics, Geology, Geophysics, Faculty of Science, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Abakaliki Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Abstract

In this work, the concentrations of the potentially toxic elements in stream sediments in SE Nigeria were assessed for pollution monitoring in mining, quarrying, and farming areas. The levels of iron, molybdenum, vanadium, copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, manganese, chromium, barium, and beryllium were determined. The concentrations of the elements were in the order of Fe > Ba > Mn > Cr > Zn > Pb > Cu > Co > Ni > As > Mo. There were significant positive correlations at P < 0.01 between Mo and Cu (r = 0.734), Mo and Pb (r = 0.811), and Cu and Pb (r = 0.836). The others were between Cu and V (r = 0.748), Pb and V (r = 0.793), Fe and V (r = 0.905), Fe and Be (r = 0.703), V and Be (r = 0.830), Cu and Pb (r = 0.778), and Fe and V (r = 0.905). The geoaccumulation index values were classified as polluted (0-1) to moderately polluted (1-2). The enrichment factors fell into moderate, significant, and very high enrichment. Pb, Co, and Ba attained significant enrichment factors. The potential ecological risk showed a strong risk level "C" in only three locations. Arsenic was a strong factor carrying risk. The potential ecological risk (EiR) trend was EiR (AS) > EiR (Pb)> EiR (Cu) > EiR (Co) > EiR (Cr) > EiR (V) > EiR (Ni) > EiR (Zn).  Ba, Pb, and As should be monitored further to determine their source and recommend possible remedial measures. The result of this work could be used to improve water management efficiency and serve as a benchmark of vulnerability assessment of the studied area. This could also be useful for future impact assessment and adequate planning of mining and farming areas. In addition, the result obtained could assist the scientists to make appropriate environmental management strategies to reduce the influence of metal contamination triggered from the mining sites and farming areas both in Nigeria and globally.

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