Urban sediment particle size and pollutants in Southern Brazil

C. Poleto, E.C. Bortoluzzi, Sue M. Charlesworth, G.H. Merten

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    32 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background, aim and scope: Studies of particulate-associated pollutants, or PAPs, in urban areas have become necessary due to their potentially deleterious effects on the environment. However, it is not just the sediments themselves which are problematic but also their particle size composition, which has a great influence on their capacity to adsorb and transport pollutants. This paper presents the particle size distributions and concentrations of five metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) of urban sediments collected from paved streets and gully pots from 20 cities in southern Brazil. The cities have different characteristics and hence sources of PAPs associated with differing geologies, soil types and type of urbanisation. Studies of this nature enable elucidation of the relationship between diffuse sources such as streets and gully pots and the likelihood of PAPs to subsequently pollute the urban aquatic environment. Materials and methods: Sediment samples were taken at random from paved streets and gully pots in 20 cities in Rio Grande do Sul state, southern Brazil by means of a portable vacuum cleaner to avoid loss of finer particles. The particle sizes of the samples were measured using a Cilas® 1180 laser particle analyzer, and the concentrations of five metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) were determined by wet acid digestion (HCl–HF–HClO4–HNO3) followed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy on the
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)317-327
    JournalJournal of Soils and Sediments
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Bibliographical note

    The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com.


    • metals
    • particle size
    • sustainable drainage (SUDS)
    • urban sediments
    • urban watershed


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