Texture and Mineralogy of Sediments from the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River System in the Bengal Basin, Bangladesh and Their Environmental Implications (1997)

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The Bengal basin, Bangladesh, represents one of the most densely populated recent floodplains of the world. The sediment flux through the basin is one of the highest on a global scale. A significant portion of this sediment load find its sink in the basin itself because of its lower elevation and frequent flooding. The textural, mineralogical and chemical nature of the sediments thus have an important bearing on the environmental quality of the basin as well as for the Bay of Bengal. The sediment load of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river system consists exclusively of fine sand, silt and clay at their lower reaches within the Bengal basin, Bangladesh, and is deposited under uniformly fluctuating, unidirectional energy conditions. The sediments have a close simitarity in grain size with the sediments of the surrounding floodplain. The mineral assemblage is dominated by quartz and feldspars. Illite and kaolinite are the major clay minerals, and occur in almost equal proportion in bed sediments. The heavy mineral assemblage is dominated by unstable minerals which are mostly derived from high-rank metamorphic rocks. The characteristic smaller grain-size, i.e. having large surface-to-mass ratios, and the mineralogy of sediments suggests that they are susceptible to large chemical adsorptive reactions and thus could serve as a potential trap for contaminants. However, the sediments of the GBM river system in the Bengal basin, Bangladesh, shows lower concentration of Pb, Hg and As, and a marginally higher value for Cd as compared to that of standard shale. Considering population density and extensive agricultural practice in the basin, the sediments can in the long run become contaminated.
Year: 1997
Language: English
In: Environmental Geology, 30 (3-4): 181-188 p.

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 Record created 2014-02-05, last modified 2014-02-05