Heavy Metals in Salt and Water Samples from Maharloo Lake and their Comparison with Metal Concentrations in Samples from Sirjan, Lar, and Firoozabad Salt Mines

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc, Standard Bureau, Fars Province, Shiraz

2 Assoc. Prof. of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Public Health, Shahrekord University of medical sciences, Shahrekord

3 MSc Student of Natural Resources Engineering, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran

4 MSc, Institute of Shrimp, Tehran, Iran


Maharloo Lake is one of the most important water ecosystems in Iran, which is nowadays exposed to multiple risks and threats due to poor water management, salt extraction, and heavy metal pollution. In this study, the concentrations of such heavy metals as chromium, copper, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, and lead in both water and salt samples collected from areas in the north and south of the lake were determined by atomic absorption (AA-670G) after the samples had been digested. Results showed that metal concentrations in the salt samples taken from both the northern and southern areas had identical mean values in the order of Cr> Cu> As> Cd> Pb. An almost similar pattern was detected in metal concentrations in water samples taken from the same areas but with a slight difference in the way they were ordered (Cr> Cu> As> Pb> Cd). It was found that both water and salt samples collected from the northern areas had higher metal concentrations, except for that of Pb which was slightly lower. Comparison of the mean values of metal concentrations in the Salt Lake and those of Sirjan, Lar, and Firoozabad salt mines revealed that copper, cadmium, and lead had their highest concentrations in the Salt Lake while arsenic and chromium recorded their highest values in samples taken from Lar and Firoozabad salt mines, respectively. Based on these findings, it may be concluded that the increased metal concentrations observed in samples from both northern and southern areas of the lake are due to the sewage and effluents from urban, industrial, and hospital sources in Shiraz disposed into the lake as well as such other human activities as farming in the areas around the lake, especially in the northern stretches. These observations call for preventive measures to avoid further water quality degradation in the area.


Main Subjects

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