Geografie 1995, 100, 268-275

Toxic Elements in River Sediments: Case Study Elbe and Its Tributaries

Zdeněk Borovec

Ministerstvo životního prostředí ČR, Vršovická 65, 100 10 Praha 10, Czechia

Concentrations of 34 chemical elements in river sediments of Elbe and its tributaries were determined with help of instrumental neutron activation analysis, atomic absorption spectrophotometric method and some other specialized methods. Only particles smaller than 0.063 mm were examined. The results were compared with the local geochemical background. River sediments showed significantly high share of silver, gold, cadmium, copper, mercury, zinc, lead, arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, antimony, and tin. Sediments of Vltava, Jizera, Bílina, and Ploučnice rivers are the most polluted ones; on the other hand, Cidlina, Doubrava, and Chrudimka rank among the cleanest rivers. The degree of urbanization and industrialization play an important role, as well as the use of agricultural fertilizers. The influence of increased denudation as a result of acid pollutants has been recorded on some places, too.