Document details for 'Geochemical analysis of sediment samples for forensic purposes: characterisation of two river beaches from the Douro River, Portugal'

Authors Carvalho, A., Ribeiro, H., Newman, G., Brewer, M.J., Guedes, A., Abreu, I., Noronha, F. and Dawson, L.A.
Publication details Australian Journal of Forensic Science.
Keywords Metals, Elemental composition, Beach sediments, ICP, Environmental forensics

This study employed elemental chemical analysis and multivariate statistical analysis to assess the variation in concentration of metals (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Mn and Zn) in sediment samples from two river beaches, Oliveira do Douro and Avintes, located at the left bank of the Douro River estuary in the north of Portugal. During 2009-2010, a total of seventy-seven samples were collected along profiles perpendicular to the river and analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP).

The results showed that overall there were similar metal concentrations in the beach sediments from the two river beaches and no significant differences in their concentrations between seasons. Nevertheless, through cluster analysis, it was possible to distinguish between the samples from the Oliveira do Douro beach and the samples from the Avintes beach. Furthermore, in both beaches, samples collected from the furthest points away from the river margin presented similar features to each other and were able to be distinguished from the other samples along the two profiles. These beach sediments are anomalous in their chromium levels. The data are being incorporated into a database, which also contains data from other analytical methodologies, for future criminal and environmental forensic application.

Last updated 2018-10-22

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