Distribution study of the rare earth elements

in Bouregreg river sediments

by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis


H. Bounouira 1,3,5*, A. Choukri1, R. Cherkaoui2, A. Gaudry3,  M. Treuil3,

O.k. Hakam1, S.  Chakiri4, M. Bounakhla5, K. Embarch5

1 Equipe de Physique et Techniques Nucléaires, Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière et Rayonnement,

Université Ibn Tofail, Faculté des Sciences, B.P. 133, 14 000, Kénitra, Morocco.

2 Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, Faculté des Sciences,

4 Avenue Ibn Battouta B.P. 1014 RP, Rabat Morocco

3 Laboratoire Pierre Süe CEA – CNRS / UMR 9956 Centre de Saclay, Bât. 637 91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex France 

4 Equipe de Géomatériaux et Environnement, Laboratoire des Géosciences Appliquée,

Université Ibn Tofail,  Faculté des Sciences, B.P. 133, 14 000, Kénitra, Morocco.

5Centre National de l'Énergie, des Sciences et des Techniques Nucléaires (CNESTEN), B.P. 1382, R.P,  10001- Rabat-Morocco

* Corresponding author. E-mail: bounouira2000@yahoo.fr

Received: 13 December 2006; revised version accepted: 03 March 2008



Rare earth elements (REE), define a group of fifteen chemical elements from lanthanum to lutetium (atomic numbers 57-71) characterized by similar chemical properties.

To study their distribution in sediment samples of the Bouregreg river and its tributaries, 10 sampling sites have been chosen. The collected sediment samples were analysed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) using the Orphée and Osiris reactors of CEA Saclay (France).

The chondritic normalisation curves show enrichment in light rare earth elements (LREE), a negative Eu anomaly in several samples, and a progressive depletion of heavy rare earth elements (HREE).

Two hypotheses are discussed: the nature of parent rocks of these sediments and the physico-chemical conditions of sedimentation especially complexation and oxydo-reduction phenomenons.


Keywords: Rare earth elements; Instrumental Neutron activation analysis (NAA); Sediments; Bouregreg river.

© 2015