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Dissolved heavy metals in the Tigris River (Turkey): spatial and temporal variations.


Multivariate statistical techniques, such as analysis of variance, cluster analysis (CA), correlation analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), and factor analysis (FA), were applied to determine the spatial and temporal variations of dissolved heavy metals in the Tigris River at 7 different sites spread over the river stretch of about 500 km during the period of February 2008 to January 2009. The results indicated that Fe, Cr, and Ni were the most abundant elements in the river water, whereas Cd and As were the less abundant. Cu, Fe, Ni, and Zn showed significant spatial variations, reflecting the influence of anthropogenic activities. The lowest total concentration of heavy metals was found at site 2 downstream of the Dicle Dam due to clean water from the dam. The concentrations of most metals were found lower when compared with results of previous studies due to reduction of the activity of the copper mine plant and the construction of two dams on the river. The lowest total concentrations were determined in February due to high precipitation and snow melts. Hierarchical agglomerative CA classified all the sampling sites into three main groups of spatial similarities. Clusters 1 (Maden and Bismil), 2 (Cizre), and 3 (Eğil, Diyarbakır, Batman, and Hasankeyf) corresponded to moderate polluted and relatively low polluted regions, respectively. PCA/FA, CA, and correlation analysis suggest that Cu, Ni, and Zn are controlled by anthropogenic sources.