Geochemical Fractionation and Assessment of Probabilistic Ecological Risk of Potential Toxic Elements in Sediments Using Monte Carlo Simulations
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The need for further research into potentially toxic elements in Serbian rivers led to an investigation of distributions, sources, and ecological risks in a sample base of sediments from 15 rivers. The analyses were carried out through both experimental and theoretical methods. Geochemical fractionation of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, As, V, and Zn in sediments was studied using a sequential extraction procedure. Both a Håkanson risk index (RI) and a Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) were used in order to estimate ecological risk, applying the probability distribution of RI values instead of single-point calculations. In order to both further the development of the used method and include additional processes, software for the simulations was developed instead of using proprietary solutions. Metal fractionation showed high percentage recoveries of Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Ni, and V in residual fractions. The high content of Pb, Mn, and Zn in mobile fractions might cause serious envi...ronmental concerns. In some localities, Cu and Cd could be problematic elements, since their mobility was high. An environmental assessment based on the described criteria provided risk levels varying from low to median (mainly contributed by Cd and Cu).
Keywords:geochemical fractionation / probabilistic ecological risk / Monte Carlo simulation / toxic elements / sediments / hierarchical clustering
Source:Molecules, 2019, 24, 11, 2145-