Aquatic Toxicity of Lanthanum

Within this project, we intend to assess the environmental impact of lanthanum containing industrial effluents into rivers, especially into the river Rhine.

For this, the current knowledge on ecotoxicity of lanthanum will be reviewed and environmental quality criteria for water and sediment suggested if enough data are available.  (update 2016: Review click here for open access paper)

In a second step, data on environmental exposure via sediment and water will be gathered and used to calibrate an industrial plume simulation model that will be set up using Cormix.

Cormix has been developed by the US EPA and the university of Karlsruhe. Its scientific basis and validation has been documented in various publications  (Ragas & Leuven 1999; Doneker & Jirka 2001; Doneker et al. 2009), also exemplarily for the Rhine river (Bleninger et al. 2006). The model allows the simulation of near-surface as well as near-bottom effluents, which will be necessary to cover different discharge situations.

In a final step, results from the CORMIX model will be used for speciation modelling of lanthanum in the Rhine river.

Results will be discussed with respect to the European Mixing Zone Guidance


Bleninger T., Marenda D. & Jirka G.H. (2006). Durchmischungsprozesse für die Einleitung von Abwasser in den Rhein. . Dresdner Wasserbauliche Mitteilungen, Heft 32, 219-228.

Doneker R.L. & Jirka G.H. (2001). CORMIX-GI systems for mixing zone analysis of brine wastewater disposal. Desalination, 139, 263-274.

Doneker R.L., Sanders T., Ramachandran A., Thompson K. & Opila F. (2009). Integrated modeling and remote sensing systems for mixing zone water quality management. In: Proceedings of the 33rd IAHR congress, Vancouver, Canada.

Ragas A.M.J. & Leuven R.S.E.W. (1999). Modelling of water quality-based emission limits for industrial discharges in rivers. Wat. Sci. Tech., 39, 185-192.

Project information:

Funded by: GRACE Europe
Project duration: 2014-2017
Coordinated by: HAW-Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Susanne Heise
Team Members: Henning Herrmann


Herrmann, H., Nolde, J., Berger, S., and Heise, S. (2016). Aquatic ecotoxicity of lanthanum – A review and an attempt to derive water and sediment quality criteria. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 124, 213-238.