Chemical fractionation of seven heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) was studied using a modified three-step sequential procedure to assess their impacts in the sediments of the Seyhan River, Turkey. Samples were collected from six representative stations in two campaigns in October 2009 and June 2010, which correspond to the wet and dry seasons, respectively. The total metal concentrations in the sediments demonstrated different distribution patterns at the various stations. Cadmium was the only metal that was below detection at all stations during both sampling periods. Metal fractionation showed that, except for Mn and Pb, the majority of metals were found in the residual fraction regardless of sampling time, indicating that these metals were strongly bound to the sediments. The potential mobility of the metals (non-residual fractions) is reflected in the following ranking: Pb > Mn > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cr in October 2009 and Mn > Pb > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cr in June 2010. The second highest proportion of metals was bound to organic matter/sulfides, originating primarily from anthropogenic activities. Non-residual metal fractions for all stations were highest in June 2010, which may be linked to higher organic matter concentrations in the sediment samples with 1.40% and 15.1% in October 2009 and June 2010, respectively. Potential sediment toxicity was evaluated using the Risk Assessment Code (RAC). Based on RAC classification, Cd and Cr pose no risk, Cu and Ni pose low risk, Pb and Zn were classified as medium risk metals, while the environmental risk from Mn was high. In addition, based on the sediment quality guidelines (SQG), the Seyhan River can be classified as a river with no, to moderate, toxicological risks, based on total metal concentrations. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.