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Speciation and Degrees of Contamination of Metals in Sediments from Upstream and Downstream Reaches along the Catchment of the Southern Bohai Sea, China

by Li Xu 1,2 and Jing Li 3,*
1
Beijing Research Center for Agricultural Standards and Testing, Beijing Academy Agriculture & Forestry Sciences, Beijing 100095, China
2
Risk Assessment Lab for agro-products (Beijing), Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100095, China
3
Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 7959-7973; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120707959
Received: 24 May 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
Environmental processes and biological community structures change along fluvial gradients within coastal river basins; the accumulation and associated risk of metal contamination would also be expected to change from upstream to downstream reaches. Speciation and degrees of contamination of metals in sediments from the upstream and downstream of river catchments of the southern Bohai Sea were investigated. The mean concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, Cd and Pb from upstream reaches were 82.6, 157, 63.6, 26.6, 0.18 and 24.9 mg/kg, respectively. The mean concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, Cd and Pb from downstream reaches were 38.0, 66.0, 38.9, 18.1, 0.16 and 24.0 mg/kg, respectively. Most of the Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni and Pb in sediments from both the upstream and downstream reaches was mainly associated with the residual fraction. However, Cd was preferentially bound to the exchangeable phase. A cluster analysis was used to study the degree of association between sites, and three distinct clusters were identified in both upstream and downstream sediments. A correlation analysis was conducted to determine the extent of association among metals and showed that metals in sediments from the upstream reaches have more affinity than those in the downstream area. Sediment quality guidelines were used to evaluate potential risks. The risks from Zn, Cr and Ni in the upstream reaches were higher than those from downstream reaches; however, the other three metals (Cu, Pb and Cd) showed opposite results. View Full-Text
Keywords: Community Bureau of Reference (BCR); sediment quality guidelines; salinity; cluster analysis; correlation analysis Community Bureau of Reference (BCR); sediment quality guidelines; salinity; cluster analysis; correlation analysis
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Xu, L.; Li, J. Speciation and Degrees of Contamination of Metals in Sediments from Upstream and Downstream Reaches along the Catchment of the Southern Bohai Sea, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 7959-7973.

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