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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 6725-6744; doi:10.3390/ijerph120606725

Characterization of the Particle Size Fraction associated with Heavy Metals in Suspended Sediments of the Yellow River

Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
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Academic Editor: William A. Toscano
Received: 24 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 June 2015 / Published: 15 June 2015
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Abstract

Variations in the concentrations of particulate heavy metals and fluxes into the sea in the Yellow River were examined based on observational and measured data from January 2009 to December 2010. A custom-built water elutriation apparatus was used to separate suspended sediments into five size fractions. Clay and very fine silt is the dominant fraction in most of the suspended sediments, accounting for >40% of the samples. Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr, Fe and Mn are slightly affected by anthropogenic activities, while Cd is moderate affected. The concentrations of heavy metals increased with decrease in particle size. For suspended sediments in the Yellow River, on average 78%–82% of the total heavy metal loading accumulated in the <16 μm fraction. About 43% and 53% of heavy metal in 2009 and 2010 respectively, were readily transported to the Bohai Sea with “truly suspended” particles, which have potentially harmful effects on marine organisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: Yellow River; heavy metals; particle size; fluxes Yellow River; heavy metals; particle size; fluxes
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Yao, Q.; Wang, X.; Jian, H.; Chen, H.; Yu, Z. Characterization of the Particle Size Fraction associated with Heavy Metals in Suspended Sediments of the Yellow River. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 6725-6744.

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