Potentially toxic elements contents and the associated potential ecological risk in the bottom sediments of Hrazdan river under the impact of Yerevan city (Armenia)

Tepanosyan G.,

Harutyunyan N.,

Maghakyan N.,

Sahakyan L




This research aims to assess the ecological status of the Hrazdan river (Armenia) section that flows through Yerevan. The distribution of potentially toxic elements (PTE) (Cr, V, As, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, Pb, Ti, Mo, Fe, and Ba), the bottom sediments pollution level, and the ecological risk were assessed employing the single pollution index (SPI), the enrichment factor (EF), the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the potential ecological risk index (RI). On sampling sites, water quality parameters (turbidity, DO, electrical conductivity (EC), salinity, TDS, pH, temperature °C) were measured as well. The correlation analysis revealed a significant correlation between Zn—Cu, Pb; Cu—Pb, Mo; Co—Fe, Ti pointing out similar sources and origination of these elements. The results indicated that the content of the studied elements in the Hrazdan bottom sediments exceeded the background content in urban soils, which was due to a set of geological and anthropogenic factors. High contents of elements were determined on the sampling sites spatially confined to the residential and industrial areas. According to EF and Igeo data, the priority bottom sediment contaminants are As, Pb, Mo, Zn, V, and Cu. The RI value varies from 196 to 316 with the mean of 246 which corresponds to the moderate-level ecological risk. On the whole, a moderate (77.8%) and a considerable (22.2%) ecological risk was revealed. The major source of Pb, Cu, Zn, and Mo contents was identified as the surface runoffs in the urban environment. This was verified by the cluster analysis results.