Ecological risk evaluation of sediment core samples, Lake Tortum (Erzurum, NE Turkey) using environmental indices

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KAYA H., Erginal G., Çakır Ç., GAZİOĞLU C., Erginal A. E.

International Journal of Environment and Geoinformatics (IJEGEO), vol.4, no.3, pp.227-239, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Environment and Geoinformatics (IJEGEO)
  • Journal Indexes: Index Copernicus
  • Page Numbers: pp.227-239


This study aimed to determine the vertical distribution of heavy metals in a 72 cm-long core sample from Lake Tortum in order to shed light on the implications of potential ecological risks. Analysis was based on the use of environmental indices such as the Integrated Pollution Load Index (PLI) and Potential Ecological Risk Index (PER). Results reveal that, except for Pb, Mn and Hg, the lowest concentrations of heavy metals occur at a core depth of between 2 cm and 20 cm for Cu, Zn, Ni, Fe, As, Cd, Cr and Al. The highest concentration was found at sampling intervals of 36 cm and 50 cm, with the exception of Pb, Mn, Hg and Ni. The PLI values from bottom to top are less than 1 while the level with the nearest value to the background value lies at a depth between 24 cm and 26 cm. The PER index results suggest a low ecological risk level for Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Mn, Fe, As, Cr, and Al; however, Cd and Hg constitute an ecological threat to the lake ecosystem.