An Assessment of the Distribution of Potentially Harmful Trace Elements in Bedrocks and Stream Sediments of Okemesi-Ijero Area, Southwestern, Nigeria

Co-Authors

Asowata Timothy Iyobosa, Adeoti Blessing

Citation

Ayodele Olusiji Samuel, An Assessment of the Distribution of Potentially Harmful Trace Elements in Bedrocks and Stream Sediments of Okemesi-Ijero Area, Southwestern, Nigeria(2018)SDRP Journal of Earth Sciences & Environmental Studies 3(1)

Abstract

Bedrocks and Stream sediments are important component of the ecosystems. However, geogenic and anthropogenic effect increases potentially harmful trace elements (PTEs), causing contamination of stream sediments in catchment areas underlain by their characteristic bedrocks. Assessment of the concentration of PTEs is necessary in order to protect and sustain the ecosystems and human consumption of the products from it. The concentrations of thirteen PTEs were determined in the stream sediments and bedrocks using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Multivariate statistics and principal component analyses were used to identify and characterize trace elemental associations in the system. Trace elements ranged from 0.01 mg/kg in Cd to 1591.00 mg/kg in Mn. Spatial variations in sediment geochemistry were observed from one sample location to the other. The geochemistry of the rock samples such as granite, quartzite and banded gneiss were far lower in metal concentration compare to that of the stream sediments. The concentrations of U (0.40 – 14.40 mg/kg), Mn (51.00 - 1591 mg/kg) and La (7.10 – 364.90 mg/kg) were of great concern to the ecosystem because of their relatively higher values in the stream sediments compared with the average earth crust background limits. The results of enrichment factor and ecological risk index showed that Cu, Pb, As and Cd did not raise any eco-toxicological concern. Most of the other elements did not show much contamination load as compared with the average earth crust background limits. Metals such as Pb, Zn, Cu, Cr, Mn, Ni, As, Cd, La, Th and V were positively correlated with each other (r = 0.51-0.95), which indicated analogous sources of geochemical characteristics. However, this study showed that anthropogenic activities greatly contributed to enrichment of harmful trace elements in the drainage system of the catchment areas.

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