Contamination and risk assessment of heavy metals in bottom sediments from Lake Valencia, Venezuela
1 Centro de Química Analítica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas 1041-A, Venezuela
2 Instituto de Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas 1041-A, Venezuela
The contamination and risk assessment of heavy metals in the bottom sediments of the Lake Valencia, Venezuela, was performed by determining the Enrichment Factor (EF), the Geoaccumulation Factor (Igeo), the availability of metals and the Risk Index Code (RAC). The sediments were anthropogenic ally enriched with Pb, Zn, Cu and Cr and classified as uncontaminated to moderately contaminated, with a medium risk of Zn, Co, Ni and Cr, and low risk of Cu, Pb and Cd. Analysis of correlations and PCA showed temporal variations in the concentration of metals in the sediments during the rainy season, and spatial variations, where the depth and anthropogenic inputs are the main variables. The contamination of sediments was located on the axis connecting the mouths of the river Guayos, which crosses the city of Valencia, and the river Güey which crosses the city of Maracay, both highly industrialized. Although the concentration of dissolved heavy metals into the waters was within the regulations, important concentrations of Pb and Hg and the bioaccumulation of Hg and Cr, determined by the Bioconcentration Factor (BCF), were found in the fish tissues which indicate that the metal enrichment of the lake sediments is affecting the biota.
Key words: Heavy metals / available fraction / risk assessment / sediments / contamination / Lake of Valencia
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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