The study was piloted to assess the ecological risk of heavy metals in sediments collected from the Padma River in Bangladesh during April to July 2022. The sediment samples were collected from five sampling sites and analyzed in the laboratory of the Soils Science, Dept. of Soil Science, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University using ICP-MS. The mean concentration of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn in summer season were 0.59, 0.83, 7.10, 16.23, 5.53 and 44.60 mg/kg, respectively. In winter, the mean concentration of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn are 1.59, 1.22, 10.37, 24.43, 8.07 and 66.97mg/kg, respectively. Metals concentrations were found below the recommended value set by different sediment quality guidelines except for Cd. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the vast majority of the metals in agricultural sediments may originate from both anthropogenic and lithogenic activities. The contamination factor (CF), geo-accumulation index (Igeo) and potential ecological risk (PER) revealed that most of the soil samples were contaminated by Cd. The geo-accumulation index values showed that most of the samples were poorly contaminated by heavy metals. Sediment sampling sites showed low to moderate potential ecological risk (PER) in the context of PER. The results also described that the pollution load index (PLI) for all investigated samples were lower than the standard level but the growing number of industries may cause advanced
declinations of sediments. However, regular monitoring is needed for the documentation of any alternation in the quality of sediments and minimizes the damage to the benthic ecosystem.
Key words: Heavy metal, Sediments, Spatial distribution, Ecological Risk, Padma River