Evaluation of the ecological and geochemical state of surface water in Donbas

  • Ye. O. Yakovliev
  • А. О. Splodytel
  • S. М. Chumachenko
Keywords: ecological and geochemical conditions, surface water, bottom sediments, heavy metals, industrial discharges


The article covers evaluation of the ecological and geochemical state of surface water and bottom sediments in Donbas, as well as their pollution resulting from spatio-temporal changes of natural and anthropogenic factors. It was established that chemogenic pollution occurs due to penetration of polluting elements into surface water as a result of filtration leaks from sedimentation tanks and water discharges made by enterprises of coal, chemical, metallurgical, coke-chemical and petrochemical industries. Increased concentrations of biogenic elements (mineral forms of nitrogen and iron) were recorded in the water of the Siverskyi Donets and the Luhan Rivers. The most significant deterioration of groundwater quality because of high content of sulfates and chlorides is observed within the watersheds of the Luhan River's valley.

Measurement results of the metals content indicated an increased content of copper and manganese. Some values even exceed the average annual concentrations specified by the existing normative values. In general, the results of the pollutants content analysis in the river basins under study did not reveal significant changes in the content of heavy metals during the period of military actions as compared to the results of government monitoring by 2014. The obtained experimental data indicate that vanadium, chromium and copper dominate in bottom sediments of all the studied objects. The greatest accumulation of heavy metals is observed in the Bakhmutka River and the Kryvyi Torets River. The research established that copper and plumbum in the bottom sediment samples taken from the Kryvyi Torets exceed the background values by 4-5 times. Zinc and vanadium exceed the background content values by 10 and 4 times, respectively. The same indicators are slightly lower in the Volyntsevske Reservoir and this fact is associated with more intense processes of water exchange and certain peculiarities of bottom sediments granulometric composition. Concentration of zinc is 3 times as much as the background level, vanadium and manganese – twice as much.

Heavy metals in the bottom sediments of the studied water bodies are characterized by uneven distribution. Vanadium and copper dominate in the content of bottom sediments. Concentrations of zinc, vanadium and nickel at certain objects also exceed their regional background content values. Titanium was detected in minimum quantities.


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How to Cite
Yakovliev, Y. O., SplodytelА. О., & ChumachenkoS. М. (2021). Evaluation of the ecological and geochemical state of surface water in Donbas. Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Journal, (28), 129-137. https://doi.org/10.31481/uhmj.28.2021.12
Environmental Aspects of Nature Management