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2019 | 131 | 15-36
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Heavy metal concentration and distribution in stream sediments of Ndongo River, Buea, Cameroon - environmental impact

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Thirty two active stream sediment samples were collected, panned and sieved from a 16km (500m spacing) section along Ndongo River, Buea. Sixteen of them were subjected to magnetic separation for the determination of heavy minerals under a microscope (KARL ZEISS IENA) and analyzed by XRF and AAS for As, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, Mo, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sb, Sc, Sn, Sr V, Zn, and Zr. The average element concentrations are 0.014, 64.45, 76.93, 94.52, 87.65, 147.79, 0.00, 77.00, 98.99, 40.37, 7.99, 24.70, 52.42, 1053.37, 285.46, 579.70 and 404.41ppm respectively. As (0.014 ppm) and Mo (0.001 ppm) are below l average concentrations in basalts while dispersed Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sc, Sn, V, Zn values are mostly above tolerance limit in settlement areas and farmlands. Olivine with angular grains (1.5mm) and sub-hedral shape representing 10 vol. % is light green colored. Together with pyroxene (elongated, black colored with angular grains up to 0.7mm) are the most abundant minerals. Minor rutile with shiny luster is also present. R-mode factor analysis reveals Ni-Rb-V, Co–Cr–Pb–Zn, and Cu–Sr-Zr associations representing three geochemical entities related to agricultural (fertilizers) and settlement (domestic waste) areas. Correlation coefficients (r) vary from -0.84 (V, Sb) to 0.728 (Ni, Rb) and may indicate different sources of metal contamination. The calculated PLI (3.10 to 4.92) and Igeo (-7.37 to 9.18) of As, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, Mo, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sb, indicate metal pollution of River Ndongo sediments. The obtained classification is defined as low (As, Co, Cu, Cr, Mo, Ni, Sc, and V), partially (Co, Zn), moderately (Pb, Be) and highly to very highly (Sb, Sr, Cd) polluted. Natural and anthropogenic metal input assessment reveals that the dominantly basaltic lithologies in the area (pyroxene and olivine), the domestic and agricultural activities as well as urbanization processes of Buea are the main source of metal contamination.
Physical description
  • Economic Geology Unit, Department of Geology, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Republic of Cameroon
  • Economic Geology Unit, Department of Geology, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Republic of Cameroon
  • Sedimentology and Petroleum Geology Unit, Department of Geology, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, Republic of Cameroon
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