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The size-fractionated recent sediments of the Danube river, from Batina, were assayed for the total concentrations of 15 elements: Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sr, Ti, V, Y, Zn and Zr. It was found that trace metals increased with decreasing particle size, whereas the highest levels of organic matter from loss on ignition tests were found in the 0.5–1 mm fraction. The exchangeable phase accounted for a very minor proportion of the total heavy metal concentrations. Seasonal patterns of exchangeable Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Mn and Fe were more irregular than those of total metal levels, both generally reflecting a decrease in concentrations during spring. Rubidium normalization of the Pb, Cu, Zn, Ni, Cr, Mn and Fe concentrations was applied on the <0.063 mm fraction. A certain amount of the Cu and Ni concentrations may be related to anthropogenic rather than natural processes upstream of the study area and around one of the localities.
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