Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 115, Issue 1–3, pp 307–319 | Cite as

Variation of Metals in Bed Sediments of Qaraaoun Reservoir, Lebanon

  • Samira Ibrahim Korfali
  • Mey Jurdi
  • Brian E. Davies


The Qaraaoun Reservoir (impoundment of the River Litani) is the only artificial surface water body in the country, Lebanon. Earlier study on the water quality of the Qaraaoun Reservoir identified three water quality zoning with a central distinct zone suitable for multipurpose water usage. The objective of this study was to extend the earlier work by considering the total metal content of reservoir bed sediments and hence to evaluate factors that control metal deposition or capture. Water samples were collected from 15 sampling sites and sediment samples were simultaneously collected from 9 sites. Water parameters analyzed were pH, Eh, DO and temperature. Sediment samples were dried and sieved and sediment < 75 μ m was retained for analysis. Sediments were subjected to a stepwise heating process with aqua regia to extract the metals, and their content in sediments determined by ICP-MS. The sediment data revealed higher metal contents where the river entered the reservoir which matched higher concentrations of water parameters at the influx site. Regression analysis of total metals in sediments with distance from the river Litani influx point to the dam revealed a log trend for Fe, Cr and Ni, whereas, the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb were better described by a polynomial regression. Three sediment zones were identified: entrance, oxidation (central) and reducing (near dam) zones. Sediment contents of Zn, Cu and Pb correlated with organic content, whereas sediment Cr and Ni were associated with iron. It was concluded that sediments act as a sink for metals and the deposition of metals is primarily related to sediment organic content and the level of dissolved oxygen in water.


metals sediment Qaraaoun reservoir Lebanon 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samira Ibrahim Korfali
    • 1
  • Mey Jurdi
    • 2
  • Brian E. Davies
    • 3
  1. 1.Natural Science DivisionLebanese American UniversityBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health SciencesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.School of the EnvironmentClemson UniversityClemsonU.S.A.

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