Downstream changes in the transport and storage of sediment-associated contaminants (P, Cr and PCBs) in agricultural and industrialized drainage basins

P N Owens, D E Walling, J Carton, A A Meharg, J Wright, G J Leeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Samples of suspended, floodplain and channel bed sediment have been used to examine downstream changes in ediment-associated contaminant transport and storage in contrasting rivers in Yorkshire, UK. The concentrations of hosphorus, chromium and selected PCBs associated with sediment in the River Aire and its main tributary, the River Calder, which drain an urbanized and industrialized catchment, are considerably higher than those in the relatively unpolluted River Swale, which drains an agricultural catchment. Concentrations of sediment-associated contaminants in the Aire/Calder system increase downstream, reflecting the location of urban and industrial areas in the middle and lower reaches, and the location of point source inputs, such as sewage treatment works. The ontaminant concentrations associated with floodplain and channel bed sediment in the Rivers Aire and Calder are high, particularly in the lower reaches. This, combined with measurements of sediment storage on the floodplain and channel bed, indicate that significant storage of sediment-associated contaminants occurs in the Rivers Aire and Calder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-86
Number of pages10
JournalThe Science of the total environment
Volume266
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 05 Feb 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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