We determined the composition of particles from several rivers entering the Black Sea as part of a broader study of the composition of suspended matter and sediments in the Black Sea. Suspended matter and surface sediment samples were collected from the Danube River draining from Europe and from four Turkish rivers (Sakarya, Yenice (Filyos), Kizilirmak and Yesilirmak Rivers) in Anatolia. All samples were digested and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and atomic absorption spectrometry (flame and graphite furnace) instruments. The elements analyzed included Al, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Mo, Ag, Cd, Ba, Pb and U. The concentrations were compared as solid phase concentrations (ppm) and as Metal to Al (Me/Al) ratios. The compositions of the particulate matter data from Turkish rivers and surface sediment from the Danube River were very similar to each other and the average for the world's rivers. Both had slightly higher concentrations than global average crust. A suspended matter sample from the Danube River had elevated concentrations for some elements (Ag, Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu and Mn) that were probably due to anthropogenic contamination suggesting that some hot spots may exist in the Danube that need to be studied more thoroughly. We recommend that the best choice for subtracting the terrigenous component from Black Sea particulate and sediment samples is the average of the Turkish rivers suspended matter and Danube River sediment samples. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.