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Geochemistry of the sediments of the El-Kabir River and Akkar watershed in Syria and Lebanon

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Abstract:

Abstract

A total of 39 sediment samples were collected from the El-Kabir River and its major tributaries during the low-flow period of August/September 2001. Of these samples, six were selected for a scan for pesticide residues, polychlorinated biphenyls and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). An additional seven samples were analysed for major elements and trace elements. Despite the limited number of samples analysed, it can be concluded that major elements reflect the distribution and chemistry of major rock types in the watershed, the sodium oxide concentrations indicate an early onset of salinization in the coastal plain, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane is currently in use in the watershed despite being a banned substance, the PAH contamination is directly linked to an old, disused railway track, and chromium and nickel are the two trace elements showing anthropogenic enrichment, being attributed to leather tanning and metal plating by small-scale industries in the watershed.

Keywords: El-Kabir River; Lebanon; Syria; major elements; organic pollutants; sediment; trace elements

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1770.2005.00267.x

Affiliations: 1: National Centre for Remote Sensing, Beirut, Lebanon, 2: General Organization for Remote Sensing, Damascus, Syria, and 3: National Council for Scientific Research/Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission, Beirut, Lebanon

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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