Matoug, Ibrahim Omar Madi
Analysis of suspended solids in river water to assess their role in metal transport.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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The contamination by metals present in surface water causes problems to human health. The ultimate aim of this work is to determine the role of fine suspended sediment to the transport of metals in rivers. During the work, the ability of fine suspended sediment to carry a range of metals in the river water in different seasons was measured in different samples.
Suspended sediment carries a substantial proportion of the metals in river water. The distribution of suspended particles is an important factor in controlling the availability of metals in the river water. Dissolved form, and adsorbed to the surface coating of suspended particulate matter are two ways to transport metals in rivers. Firstly, the work was carried out in the laboratory, using suspended sediment components, to assess metal uptake by different components, while later studies utilized natural suspended sediment to study metal transport in real situations. The water samples were taken for this research from tributaries of the River Kelvin; Craigton Burn, Allander Water, Craigmaddie, Glazert Water, Bothlin Burn, Luggie Burn, and Cameron Burn. The research tries to evaluate the concentrations of Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, and Zn in suspended particles in these tributaries. The technique used two filters 1.2 µm and 0.2 µm to collect the suspended sediment from water samples. Some representative samples of kaolinite, bentonite, humic acid and iron oxides were used in the laboratory based studies to improve understanding the distribution of the heavy metals Cu, Pb and Zn between metals sorbed on the solid phase and metal `in the solution phase. The adsorption of the heavy metals Cu, Pb and Zn shows different response between these materials. In addition, the experiments were carried out to measure the distribution of copper, lead, and zinc between an aqueous phase and solid phase of mixed materials (composite) sediment.
The results demonstrate that the fluvial system is one of the major modes of dispersing and transporting metals from soil and parent rocks. The overall results indicated that the large and fine particle sizes carry significant metals concentrations in the river system. The investigation of the suspended sediment phases offers additional information and understanding of the movement and behavior of metals within river water. The concentration of the particles > 1.2 µm is higher than that in the fine particles 1.2 and 0.2 µm diameter.
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