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Heavy metal content of flood sediments and plants near the River Tisza
Published December 31, 2008

The River Tisza is Hungary’s especially important river. It is significant not only because of the
source of energy and the value insured by water (hydraulical power, shipping route, stock of fish,
aquatic environment etc.) but the active floodplain between levees as well. Ploughlands, orchards,
pastures, forests and oxbow lakes can found here. They play a significant role in the life of the
people living near the river and depend considerably on the quality of the sediments settled by the
river. Several sources of pollution can be found in the catchment area of the River Tisza and some of
them significantly contribute to the pollution of the river and its active floodplain. In this paper we
study the concentration of zinc, copper, nickel and cobalt in sediments settled in the active floodplain
and the ratio of these metals taken up by plants. Furthermore, our aim was to study the vertical
distribution of these elements by the examination of soil profiles. The metal content of the studied
area does not exceed the critical contamination level, except in the case of nickel, and the ratio of
metals taken up by plants does not endanger the living organisms. The vertical distribution of metals
in the soil is heterogeneous, depending on the ratio of pollution coming from abroad and the quality
of flood.

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