Distribution and provenance of heavy metals in sand sediments of the rivers flowing in surrounding of the Dashkasan gold mine, northeast of the Qorveh city


Department of Geology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


In this research, the role of lithology and mineralization in the abundance of naturally occurring heavy metals in sand sediments of the rivers flowing surrounding the Dashkasan gold mine located in the northeast of the Qorveh city was evaluated. For this purpose, 30 samples were taken from 20 cm deep underground surface. The concentration of Fe, Ba, Zn, Cr, Pb, Cu, Co, As, Sb and Cd was measured in the medium sand size sediments and surface/groundwater samples. Thin/polish sections were prepared from the heavy mineral content of the sediments. According to results of the study, the amount of opaque heavy minerals is positively correlated with the concentration of Ba, Pb, Zn, As, Sb, Fe and Cd. Feldspar shows significant positive correlation with As and Ba. The volcanic rock fragments are correlated with Pb, Zn, Sb, Ba, As and Fe. There is positive correlation between the metamorphic rock fragment content of the sediments and Cr concenttration. Hornblende and biotite show relatively low positive correlation with Co, Cd and Ba. Sb, As, Pb and Ba have extremely high enrichment in the sediments, Cd is slightly enriched and other elements are depleted. According to the Point Load Index (PLI), most samples are classified as polluted. Based on the Igeo index, As and Sb fall into highly to extremely polluted classes and Cu, Co, Cr, Zn, Fe, Pb, Cd and Ba place between the unpolluted to slightly polluted classes.


Alloway, B.J., 2013. Heavy Metals in Soils: Trace Metals and Metalloids in Soils and their Bioavailability. Environmental Pollution 22, 11-22, 516-520.
Amjadi, K., 2012. Investigation of the geological distribution of potentially toxic elements emited by natural minerlization and mining in the soil and plant of the Dashkasn mine. M.Sc. Thesis. Shiraz University, Iran.
Anderson, T.W., 1958. An Introduction to Multivariate Statistical Analysis, Wiley.
Azima, M.R., 2019. Study on distribution of heavy metals and their retention in the alluvial fine grained sediments, surrounding the Dashkasan gold mine, Kordestan. M.Sc. Thesis. Isfahan University, Iran.
Bakhtiari Nejad, M., 2009. Evaluation of heavy metals pollution in soils of the Dasksen gold mine, Qorveh, Kurdistan, M.Sc. Thesis. Bu-Ali Sina University, Iran.
Barbieri, M., 2016. The importance of enrichment factor (EF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo) to evaluate the soil contamination. Journal Geology and Geophysics, 5(237), 1-4.
Besser, J.M., Brumbaugh, W.G., Allert, A.L., Poulton, B.C., Schmitt, C.J., Ingersoll, C.G., 2009. Ecological impacts of lead mining on Ozark streams: toxicity of sediment and pore water. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 72, 516-526.
Blaxland, A.B., 1971. Occurrence of zinc in granitic biotites. Mineralium Deposita 6, 313-220.
Bourliva, A., Kantiranis, N., Papadopoulou, L., Aidona, E., Christophoridis, C., Kollias, P., Fytianos, K., 2018. Seasonal and spatial variations of magnetic susceptibility and potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in road dusts of Thessaloniki city, Greece: A one-year monitoring period. Science of the Total Environment 639, 417-427.
Bradl, H.B., 2005. Sources and Origins of Heavy Metals in the Environment. Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam/Boston.
Caredda, A.M., Cristini, A., Ferrara, C., Lobina, M.F., Baroli, M., 1999. Distribution of heavy metals in the Piscinas beach sediments (SW Sardinia, Italy). Environmental Geology 38, 91-100.
Cooke, J.A., Johnson, M.S., 2002. Ecological restoration of land with particular reference to the mining of metals and industrial minerals: A review of theory and practice. Environmental Reviews 10(1), 41-71.
De Vos, W., Tarvainen, T., Salminen, R., Reeder, S., De Vivo, B., Demetriades, A., Oconnor, P.J., 2006. Geochemical Atlas of Europe. Part 2. Interpretation of geochemical maps, additional tables, figures, maps and related publications. Geological Survey of Finland. Espoo, 53-425.
Donkor, A.K., Bonzongo, J.C.J., Nartey, K.V., Adotey, D.K., 2005. Heavy metals in sediments of the gold mining impacted Pra River basin, Ghana, West Africa. Soil and Sediment Contamination 14(6), 479–503.
Hosseini, M., Musouri, F., Kariminia, M., Soheili, M., Masoumi, R., Ghomeishi, A., 1999. 1:100000 map of Qorveh, Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran, 2009. Drinking water -Physical and chemical specifications (Fifth Review). Water Standard No. 1053.
Khan Nazar, N.H., Jalali, A., Saeedi, A., Helmi, F., Mohtat, T., Bahreh, M., Ghaemi. J., Zohrab, Y., Hadadan, M., 2014. 1: 100,000 Geological map of Kohin, Geological Survey of Iran, Map No. 5660, Tehran, Iran.
Mora, A., Jumbo-Flores, D., González-Merizalde, M., Bermeo-Flores, S.A., Alvarez-Figueroa, P., Mahlknecht, J., Hernández-Antonio, A., 2019. Heavy Metal Enrichment Factors in Fluvial Sediments of an Amazonian Basin Impacted by Gold Mining. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 102(2), 210-217.
Muller, G., 1969. Index of Geo-Accumulation in Sediments of the Rhine River. Geological Journal 2, 108-118.
Neyestani, M.R., Bastami, K.D., Esmaeilzadeh, M., Shemirani, F., Khazaali, A., Molamohyeddin, N., Afkham, M., Nourbakhsh, S., Dehghani, M., Aghaei, S Firouzbakht, M., 2016. Geochemical speciation and ecological risk assessment of selected metals in the surface sediments of the northern Persian Gulf. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 109(1), 603-611.
Nkoumbou, C., Villieras, F., Barbey, P., Ngoune, C., Joussement Y., Diot, F., Njopwouo, R., Yvon, J., 2009. Ni-Co sulphide segregation in the Mmb Pyroxenite intrusion, Cameroon. Comptes Rendus Geoscience 314 (7), 517-525.
Rastad, A. Niroumand, Sh. Emami, M., Rashidnejad Omran, N., 2000. Origin of antimony, arsenic and gold deposits in volcano-plutonic assembladge of Dashkasan (east of Qorveh, north of Kurdistan), Geosciences 37-38, 2-23.
Richards, J.P., Wilkinson, D., Ullrich, T., 2006. Geology of the Sari Gunay Epithermal Gold Deposit, Northwest Iran. Economic Geology 101, 1455–1496.
Ritchie, V.J., Ilgen, A.G., Mueller, S.H., 2013. Mobility and chemical fate of antimony and arsenic in historic mining environments of the Kantishna Hills district, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Chemical Geology 335, 172–188.
Salomons, W., Förstner, U., 1984. Metals in the Hydrocycle. Springer-Verlag, New York.
Serelis, K.G., Kafkala, I.G., Parpodis, K., Lazaris, S., 2010. Anthropogenic and geogenic contamination due to heavy metals in the vast area of Vari, Attica. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Congress, Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece.
Shehu, A., Lazo, P., 2010. Heavy metals speciation in some Albanian coastal sediments. Journal of International Environmental Application and Science 5(2), 175-180.
Smedley, P.L., Kinniburgh, D.G., 2017. Molybdenum in natural waters: A review of occurrence, distributions and controls. Applied Geochemistry 84, 387-432.
Song, J., Liu, Q., Sheng, Y., 2019. Distribution and risk assessment of trace metals in riverine surface sediments in gold mining area. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 191(3), 191.
Suthar, S., Arvind, K.N., Chabukdhara, M., Gupta, S.K., 2009. Assessment of metals in water and sediments of Hindon River, India: impact of industrial and urban discharges. Journal of Hazardous Materials 178, 1088-1095.
Taylor, S.R., McLennan, S.M., 1995. The geochemical evolution of the continental crust. Reviews Geophysics 33(2), 241-265.
The Iranian Department of Environment, 2013. Water quality standard of Iran (according to article no. 5 of the regulations for prevention of water pollution and article no. 188 of the fifth plan law), Deputy of Human Environment, Soil and Water Office.
Toaorvi, Z., Poli, P., Djordjevi, D., and Antonijevi, S., 2001. Lead distribution in water and its association with sediment constituents of the Barje lake (Leskovac, Yugoslavia). Journal of Serbian Chemical Society Active Member 66(10), 697–708.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2018. 2018 Edition of the Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories Tables. EPA 822-F-18-001. Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC
Vidinha, J.M., Rocha, F., Patinha, C., Silva, E., Andrade, C., 2006. Heavy metals contents on beach and dune sediments from Espinho to Mondego Cape (Portugal) dinfluence of human activities. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 88, 404-407.
von der Heyden, B.P., Roychoudhury, A.N., 2015. Application, Chemical Interaction and Fate of Iron Minerals in Polluted Sediment and Soils. Current Pollution Report 1, 265–279.
Wilcox, Rand R., 2012. Introduction to robust estimation and hypothesis testing (3rd ed.). Academic Press.
Xiao, R., Wang, S., Li, R., Wang, J.J., and Zhang, Z., 2017. Soil heavy metal contamination and health risks associated with artisanal gold mining in Tongguan, Shaanxi, China. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 141, 17-24.
Yamani, M., Gorabi Gh., A., Mohammadkhan, Sh., Ganjaeian, H., 2017. The Evaluation of the Land Capabilities of the Shor River's Basin (Qorveh City) for the Development of the Urban Areas Using Fuzzy and ANP Models, Hydrogeomorphology 12, 1-23.