University of Oulu

Saber Aradpour, Roohollah Noori, Qiuhong Tang, Rabin Bhattarai, Farhad Hooshyaripor, Majid Hosseinzadeh, Ali Torabi Haghighi, Björn Klöve; Metal contamination assessment in water column and surface sediments of a warm monomictic man-made lake: Sabalan Dam Reservoir, Iran. Hydrology Research 1 August 2020; 51 (4): 799–814. doi:

Metal contamination assessment in water column and surface sediments of a warm monomictic man-made lake : Sabalan Dam Reservoir, Iran

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Author: Aradpour, Saber1; Noori, Roohollah2; Tang, Qiuhong3;
Organizations: 1Department of Civil Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran 1477893855, Iran
2School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran 1417853111, Iran
3Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
4Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
5School of Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran 1684613114, Iran
6Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu 90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: IWA Publishing, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-30


In this study, metal concentrations in the water column and surface sediment of the Sabalan Dam Reservoir (SDR) were determined. Moreover, heavy metal pollution index (HPI), contamination index (CI), heavy metal evaluation index (HEI), enrichment factor (EF), geo-accumulation index (Igeo), sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), consensus-based SQGs (C-BSQGs), and mean probable effect concentration quotients (mPECQs) were evaluated for water and sediments of SDR. It was observed that metal concentrations in river entry sediment were lower, but those in river entry water were higher than corresponding values in the vicinity of the dam structure. The HPI values of water samples taken from 10 m depth in the center of SDR exceeded the critical limit, due to high concentrations of arsenic. However, according to CI, the reservoir water was not contaminated. The HEI values indicated contamination of SDR water with metals at 10 m depth. A comparison of water quality indices revealed that HEI was the most reliable index in water quality assessment, while CI and HPI were not sufficiently accurate. For SQGs, As and Cu concentrations in sediments were high, but mPECQ, Igeo, and EF revealed some degree of sediment pollution in SDR. The calculated EF values suggested minor anthropogenic enrichment of sediment with Fe, Co, V, and Ni; moderate anthropogenic enrichment with As and Mn; and moderate to severe anthropogenic enrichment with Cu. A comparison of SQG values revealed that the threshold effect and probable effect levels were the most reliable metrics in the assessment of sediment toxicity. Statistical analysis indicated similarities between metal concentrations in the center of the reservoir and near to the dam structure, as a result of similar sediment deposition behavior at these points, while higher flow velocity at the river entry point limited deposition of fine particles and associated metals.

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Series: Hydrology research
ISSN: 1998-9563
ISSN-E: 2224-7955
ISSN-L: 1998-9563
Volume: 51
Issue: 4
Pages: 799 - 814
DOI: 10.2166/nh.2020.160
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This research was supported by the Ardabil Regional Water Authority Major Project: Reduced-Order Modeling of Eutrophication and Water Quality of the Most Important Dams in Ardabil Province (Case Study: Sabalan Dam) (No. ARE-93037). It was also partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41790424) and the International Partnership Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (131A11KYSB20170113). R.N. was supported by the International Fellowship Initiative, IFI-IGSNRR. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support from Iran Water Resources Management Company in data preparation.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the CreativeCommons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying,adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited(