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E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management

E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management Vol. 4 (3) pp. 0197-0208, April 2013; © E3 Journals; ISSN 2141-7466

Geochemical distribution of arsenic, antimony and mercury in surface waters and bed sediments from Aq-Darreh river, Takab, northwest Iran

Yousef Rahimsouri 1 * , Abdolmajid Yaghubpur 2 , Soroush Modabberi 3
1 Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Urmia, Urmia 57153- 165, Iran
2 Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Tarbiat Moalem, 49 Mofateh Street, Tehran 15614 , Iran.
3 School of Geology, University College of Sciences, Tehran University, Enqlab Street, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding Author E-mail:
Accepted 25 February 2013


Aq-Darreh mining district is located in the Aq-Darreh river watershed, NW, Iran. The water and river-bed sediments of this area are very polluted due to the severe weathering and erosion of waste piles of Aq-Darreh Bala abandoned Sb mine and Aq-Darreh Au deposit. The concentration of As and Sb in water of Aq-Darreh river ranges from 3.2 to159 μg/l and 1.32 to 54.00 μg/l respectively. Also the amount of As, Sb and Hg in the Aq-Darreh river-bed sediments ranges from 38.6 to 1087.4 mg/kg (As), 1.87 to 93 mg/kg (Sb) and 0.096 to 23.7 mg/kg (Hg). Detailed chemical analyses of water and bed sediments samples of Aq-Darreh river and its distributaries indicate that geochemical background of this area, and also mining activities are responsible for these high concentrations of toxic elements. According to the analytical results (As, Sb and Hg concentrations) and their comparison to world river average values it is concluded that Aq-Darreh river is amongst the heavily polluted water bodies of the world.

Keywords: Environmental geochemistry, water pollution, river-bed sediment contamination, Aq-Darreh mining district, Takab, NW Iran.

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