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Polluted fluvial systems – sediments of river floodplains, channels, and dam reservoirs

Contact person: Tomáš Matys Grygar

The development of technologies, in particular ore mining, metallurgy, and modern industry, was associated with pollution of riverine environments. Industrialization has also included river engineering and later their damming. Those steps have been recorded in changes of fluvial sediment composition. For their study it is essential to understand their internal structure, learn on their geochemistry, and utilise models of topography and historical maps, i.e., understand floodplains as a whole. The results of such works are material archives of the past, indispensable because written archives of the beginning of industrialization are missing. We found in several Czech river systems hotspots of pollution by risk elements such as Cd, Hg, Pb, and U. Future studies should reveal real dangers of those hotspots, e.g., their impact on the food web.


Faměra, M., Kotková, K., Tůmová, Š., Elznicová, J., Matys Grygar, T. (2018). Pollution distribution in floodplain structure visualised by electrical resistivity imaging in the floodplain of the Litavka River, the Czech Republic. Catena, 165, pp. 157-172.

Matys Grygar, T., Hošek, M., Pacina, J., Štojdl, J., Bábek, O., Sedláček, J., Hron, K., Tolaszová, J. (2018). Changes in the geochemistry of fluvial sediments after dam construction (the Chrudimka River, the Czech Republic). Applied Geochemistry, 98, 94-108.

Matys Grygar, T., Elznicová, J., Kiss, T., Smith, H.G. (2016). Using sedimentary archives to reconstruct pollution history and sediment provenance: The Ohře River, Czech Republic. Catena, 144, 109-129.

Matys Grygar, T., Elznicová, J., Tůmová, Š., Faměra, M., Balogh, M., Kiss, T. (2016). Floodplain architecture of an actively meandering river (the Ploučnice River, the Czech Republic) as revealed by the distribution of pollution and electrical resistivity tomography. Geomorphology, 254, 41-56.