Dispersal of Contaminant Metals in the Mining-Affected Danube and Maritsa Drainage Basins, Bulgaria, Eastern Europe

Graham Bird, Paul A. Brewer, Mark G. Macklin, Mariyana Nikolova, Tsvetan Kotsev, Mihail Mollov, Catherine Swain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Metal dispersal in the Danube and Maritsa drainage basins resulting from metal mining activities in Bulgaria has been assessed through the collection of 611 samples of river water, river channel and floodplain sediment, and mine waste
from over 218 sites. Concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in river water were found to be highest in close proximity to locations of Cu and Pb–Zn mining regions in the Maritsa catchment. Downstream dispersal of solute metals in these catchments, and into the River Danube, was found to be limited by physical dilution and a well-buffered pH environment. Dispersal of contaminant metals in channel and floodplain sediment was found to be extensive. Contamination was particularly severe in the Rivers Timok and Iskar (Danube catchment) and the Topolnitsa, Chepelarska, and Arda Rivers (Maritsa catchment) and creates the potential of transboundary dispersal of contaminant metals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-127
Number of pages23
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Volume206
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2009

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