Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2014, Article ID 870187, 12 pages
Research Article

Distribution of Major and Trace Elements in a Tropical Hydroelectric Reservoir in Sarawak, Malaysia

Faculty of Resource Science & Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Received 8 April 2014; Revised 8 June 2014; Accepted 8 June 2014; Published 21 September 2014

Academic Editor: Khalid Z. Elwakeel

Copyright © 2014 Siong Fong Sim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reports the metals content in water, sediment, macroalgae, aquatic plant, and fish of Batang Ai Hydroelectric Reservoir in Sarawak, Malaysia. The samples were acid digested and subjected to atomic absorption spectrometry analysis for Na, K, Mn, Cr, Ni, Zn, Mg, Fe, Sn, Al, Ca, As, Se, and Hg. The total Hg content was analysed on the mercury analyser. Results showed that metals in water, sediment, macroalgae, aquatic plant, and fish are distinguishable, with sediment and biota samples more susceptible to metal accumulation. The distributions of heavy metals in water specifically Se, Sn, and As could have associated with the input of fish feed, boating, and construction activities. The accumulation of heavy metals in sediment, macroalgae, and aquatic plant on the other hand might be largely influenced by the redox conditions in the aquatic environment. According to the contamination factor and the geoaccumulation index, sediment in Batang Ai Reservoir possesses low risk of contamination. The average metal contents in sediment and river water are consistently lower than the literature values reported and well below the limit of various guidelines. For fishes, trace element Hg was detected; however, the concentration was below the permissible level suggested by the Food and Agriculture Organization.