J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 691 - 694

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 691
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030397

Morpho-tectonic depression and early holocene land-ocean interaction vis-à-vis trace metals adsorption in sediment and groundwater contamination - a case study from the Bengal delta, Bangladesh

A.A. Khan1, M.A. Hoque1, M. Ali2 and M.A. Hasan1

1  Department of Geology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
2  Chemistry Division, Atomic Energy Center, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh

The query mires the geoenvironmental status of the Bengal delta, especially the physico-chemical status of the Holocene sedimentation. Fluvio-deltaic Holocene sediments have developed potential groundwater aquifer system in the Bengal delta. Groundwater contamination by arsenic bas emerged as one of the most serious health hazard. The occurrence and distribution of high arsenic as well as other trace metals viz., Co, Cu, Cr, Ti, Mo, Ni, Zn etc are restricted within the morphotectonic depressions and occur in the shallow aquifer (~70m) of transgressive system tract. Moreover, arsenic hot spots are found to be related with the Holocene land-ocean interface lobes. These interface lobes are also susceptible to other trace metals enrichment and subsequent sediment-water contamination. The sedimentary structures and types of deposition bear the signatures of transgressive phase those are intrinsically associated with the trace metals enrichment. The Bengal delta, the mighty gateway to the sea in the world carries the largest load of the suspended matters those adsorbed and/or redeposited in the land-ocean interface through flocculation and accumulation processes. The adsorbed elements are released from the sediments in reducing environment through iron and manganese desolution.

© EDP Sciences 2003