In the Adayar riverbed and its estuary 5 undisturbed sediment cores were drilled using a petrol-driven hammer. Cores of a depth of 4–5 m were sampled in 0.5 m steps. The distribution of heavy metals (Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) in the top layers of fluvial and estuarine sediments indicates recent anthropogenic input: Revealing that the river acts as a sink for drainage from the residential and industrial zones. In this study, the mobilization of heavy metals into greater depths and their probable effects on the groundwater body are discussed. The high concentra-tion of heavy metals and the influent character of the river Adayar allow the mobilization of metal ions and their transport into the deeper layers of the sediment. A changing environment due to effects such as saltwater intrusion and monsoon floods is the driving force for this phenomenon.
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