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Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9096-9113; doi:10.3390/su6129096

Speciation of Metals and Assessment of Contamination in Surface Sediments from Daya Bay, South China Sea

1
School of Earth Sciences and Engineering Geology, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resource Exploration, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
2
South China Sea Marine Environment Monitoring Center, State Oceanic Administration People's Republic of China, Guangzhou 510915, China
3
South China Sea Marine Engineering and Environment Institute, State Oceanic Administration People's Republic of China, Guangzhou 510300, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2014 / Revised: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

The contents, speciation, source factors and potential ecological risks of the selected metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and As) were analyzed in surface sediments from Daya Bay (DYB). The results show that, with the exception of Pb, metal concentrations have decreased at all sites over the past decade. The distribution features of these concentrations represent a ring shape that descends from shore to bay by varying degrees. Speciation analysis showed that Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and As exist mainly in the residual fraction and, thus, are of low bioavailability, while Cd and Pb were found to be abundant in the non-residual fraction and, thus, have high potential mobility. The ratio of heavy metals in non-residual form in descending order is Pb (78.83%), Cd (78.65%), Cu (48.54%), Zn (48.10%), Ni (38.31%), Cr (28.43%) and As (27.76%). The ratio of Pb content is the highest, meaning the highest mobility of Pb. The metals’ potential ecological risks to the environment were also assessed using the methods of the mean effect range-median quotient and the criteria of risk assessment code. The results showed that Cd presents the highest risk, and Pb and Cu are generally considered to be medium risks in the sub-basins of Daya Bay. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that natural coastal weathering and erosion of rock caused the highest input, followed by mariculture and industrial wastewater and, finally, domestic sewage discharge. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metal; speciation; source analysis; risk assessment; environmental conservation; Daya Bay heavy metal; speciation; source analysis; risk assessment; environmental conservation; Daya Bay
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, J.; Cao, L.; Wang, J.; Liu, C.; Huang, C.; Cai, W.; Fang, H.; Peng, X. Speciation of Metals and Assessment of Contamination in Surface Sediments from Daya Bay, South China Sea. Sustainability 2014, 6, 9096-9113.

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