• Chiara Ferronato Department of Agricultural Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, Universiy of Bologna, Bologna
  • Livia Vittori Antisari Department of Agricultural Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, Universiy of Bologna, Bologna
  • Monica Marianna Modesto Department of Agricultural Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, Universiy of Bologna, Bologna
  • Gilmo Vianello Department of Agricultural Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, Universiy of Bologna, Bologna




heavy metal, bioavailability, coefficient of partition, sediment sorption, toxicity


The objective of the study was to understand the equilibrium relationship between the heavy metals concentrations in superficial water and pore water. At  water-sediment interface, the equilibrium rapidly changed and it is influenced by chemico-physical parameters of aquatic ecosystems. The hydraulic safety of Bologna plain (North Italy) depends on network of artificial canals and they are related with natural rivers of Reno basin (Reno river and its tributaries). The natural and artificial water courses flowed in agricultural, urban and industrial land. The heavy metals concentration in water and sediment discriminated the human pressure on the land and their spatial distribution in sediment could predict the hazard of pollution in aquatic ecosystems. We compared the heavy metals concentrations in pore water and superficial water determined in natural rivers and artificial canals, and more pollution in artificial canals than natural rivers was found. Furthermore, the coefficient of partition (log Kd) between water and sediments was calculated to evaluate the bioavailability of heavy metals adsorbed on the sediments. The heavy metals extracted in deionised water at equilibrium after 16 h showed higher concentrations than those determined directly on water samples.


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How to Cite

Ferronato, C., Vittori Antisari, L., Modesto, M. M., & Vianello, G. (2013). SPECIATION OF HEAVY METALS AT WATER-SEDIMENT INTERFACE. EQA - International Journal of Environmental Quality, 10(10), 51–64. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2281-4485/3932