Publication details

Annual dynamics of persistent organic pollutants in various aquatic matrices: a case study in the Morava River in Zlin district, Czech Republic

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Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Soils and Sediments
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Water pollution and control
Keywords Contaminant transport; Persistent organic pollutants; Sediment; Water; Water Framework Directive
Description A multi-compartment monitoring study was performed to characterize the effect of environmental variables, such as temperature and water flow as well as sediment characteristics, on the distribution and transport of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in a dynamic river system during 1 year in an industrial region in central Europe. Waterborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were assessed over a period of 1 year at five sampling sites in the Morava River in the Czech Republic. Contaminants were measured monthly in riverbed sediments, freshly deposited sediments, water samples and passive samplers. Sediments are the main carrier of POPs in the river. Distinguishable patterns of PAHs, OCPs and PCBs in sediment indicate that their origin is from distinct sources and different transport pathways. The PAHs were identified as the dominant contaminant group of compounds with a mean concentration in sediment of 5,900 mu g kg(-1). Such concentrations are up to 10 times higher than in the Danube River, into which Morava drains. In contrast, mean concentrations of PCBs, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its breakdown products (DDTs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) of 6.0, 0.4, 4.2 and 6.0 mu g kg(1), respectively, are similar to those in the Danube. With some exceptions, no significant difference in composition of surficial riverbed sediments and those collected using sediment traps was observed. Despite the presence of potential local pollutant sources, the differences in contaminant concentrations between sites in the region were in most cases not significant. Variations in POP concentrations in sediments are mainly induced by high flow events, whereas seasonal variability was not observed. The changes in contaminant concentrations in Morava River sediments are induced by episodic high flow events that cause erosion of contaminant-containing particles and their deposition at suitable downstream sites.
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