DBPapers

SOURCE TO SINK RIVER POLLUTION ASSESSMENT IN NORTHERN BULGARIA: PRELIMINARY RESULTS ON CONTAMINANT DELIVERY IN THE LOWER DANUBE BASIN

AUTHOR/S: BREWER, P., NIKOLOVA, M.,BIRD,G.,KOTSEV,T., MACKLIN, M., MOLLOV, M., SWAIN, C.
Sunday 1 August 2010 by Libadmin2005

5th International Scientific Conference - SGEM2005, www.sgem.org, SGEM2005 Conference Proceedings/ ISBN: 954-918181-2, June 13-17, 2005, 387- 396pp

ABSTRACT

Bulgaria occupies a unique position in south-east Europe in terms of river basin
management and control because contamination from metal extraction and processing
industries not only has a potential significant trans-border impact but also affects both the
Mediterranean and Black Seas. However, to date, no whole basin source to sink study of
metal contamination has yet been conducted in the country. This paper begins to address this
issue by presenting preliminary results from a survey conducted in August 2004 of water and
sediment quality in the river basins that drain into the Danube River in northern Bulgaria. A
total of 294 surface water, channel sediment, floodplain sediment and mine waste samples
were collected from 103 sites in northern Bulgaria and concentrations of heavy metals and
arsenic (As) were determined using ICP-MS. Comparison of metal and As levels with EU
(water) and Dutch (sediment) threshold values shows that waters and sediments in the Ogosta
and Iskǎr catchments are the most seriously polluted; other rivers in the Danubian Region
generally have very low metal and As concentrations. Metal and As concentrations in the
Danube River itself generally comply with EU and Dutch threshold values suggesting that, at
present, the Ogosta and Iskǎr Rivers are not significantly degrading the environmental health
of the Danube. Finally, an assessment is made of the potential impact that climate and land use related changes in flood frequency and magnitude might have on the dispersal and
remobilisation of sediment-associated contaminant metals in the Danube Basin.