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Special Issue "Sources, Migration and Transformation Processes of Pollutants in the Terrestrial Environment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2022 | Viewed by 6044

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jian Hu
E-Mail Website
Leading Guest Editor
The State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Interests: environment geochemistry; isotope geochemistry; environmental pollution; organic pollution; heavy metal pollution; source tracing; ecological risk assessment
Prof. Dr. Guilin Han
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Institute of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Interests: hydrology; hydrogeochmeistry; water chemistry; water quality; aquatic geochemistry; isotopic geochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As an important ecological system, the terrestrial environment is the most important living environment of human beings on Earth, supporting social and economic development in most parts of the world. In recent years, the terrestrial environment has posed many challenges for protection and management around the world. Accurate assessment of transformation and migration of heavy metals, organic pollutants, and other pollutants in different environmental media in a terrestrial environment is a critical challenge due to the different strength of influence of anthropogenic and natural processes. However, the occurrence of pollutants, as well as their distribution, process, fate, and environmental influences, are still not clear enough. Determining how to identify environmental quality and contamination (including pollution levels, sources of pollutants, distribution, and influencing factors) is of utmost importance to alleviate pressure on the terrestrial environment and achieve efficient environmental management and ecological environment protection. The proposed Special Issue aims to publish submissions covering studies on environmental pollutants in the terrestrial environment. This may involve the environmental behavior and processes of pollutants, source emission and apportionment, migration and transformation processes, and environmental health risk assessment. Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • The terrestrial environmental quality impacted by both anthropogenic and natural processes; environmental pollutants (heavy metal, organic pollutants, etc.);
  • The migration and transformation processes of pollutants driven by human activities and environmental factors in terrestrial environment;
  • The identification and quantification of sources of pollutants in a terrestrial environment;
  • The assessment of ecological risk and human health risk of pollutants in a terrestrial environment of different environmental media.

Dr. Jian Hu
Leading Guest Editor

Prof. Dr. Guilin Han
Co-Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • terrestrial environment
  • heavy metal
  • organic pollutant
  • environmental pollution
  • source
  • migration and transformation
  • water environment
  • soil environment
  • sediment
  • risk assessment

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Role of Atmospheric Temperature and Seismic Activity in Spring Water Hydrogeochemistry in Urumqi, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912004 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Springs offer insight into the sources and mechanisms of groundwater recharge and can be used to characterize fluid migration during earthquakes. However, few reports provide sufficient annual hydrochemical and isotopic data to compare the variation characteristics and mechanisms with both atmospheric temperature and [...] Read more.
Springs offer insight into the sources and mechanisms of groundwater recharge and can be used to characterize fluid migration during earthquakes. However, few reports provide sufficient annual hydrochemical and isotopic data to compare the variation characteristics and mechanisms with both atmospheric temperature and seismic effects. In this study, we used continuous δ2H, δ18O, and major ion data from four springs over 1 year to understand the groundwater origin, recharge sources, circulation characteristics, and coupling relationships with atmospheric temperature and earthquakes. We found that (1) atmospheric temperatures above and below 0 °C can cause significant changes in ion concentrations and water circulation depth, resulting in the mixing of fresh and old water in the aquifer, but it cannot cause changes in δ2H and δ18O. (2) Earthquakes of magnitude ≥ 4.8 within a 66 km epicentral distance can alter fault zone characteristics (e.g., permeability) and aggravate water–rock reactions, resulting in significant changes in δ2H, δ18O, and hydrochemical ion concentrations. (3) Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes are the most sensitive precursory seismic indicators. The results of this study offer a reference for the establishment of long-term hydrochemical and isotopic monitoring, with the potential for use in earthquake forecasting. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Rainfall on Aquatic Nitrogen and Phosphorus in a Semi-Humid Area Catchment, Northern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10962; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710962 - 02 Sep 2022
Viewed by 314
Abstract
The impact of rainfall on water quality may be more important in semi-arid regions, where rainfall is concentrated over a couple of months. To explore the impact of rainfall changes on water quality, e.g., nitrogen (TN) and phosphorous (TP), the diversion from Luan [...] Read more.
The impact of rainfall on water quality may be more important in semi-arid regions, where rainfall is concentrated over a couple of months. To explore the impact of rainfall changes on water quality, e.g., nitrogen (TN) and phosphorous (TP), the diversion from Luan River to Tianjin Watershed in the northern semi-humid area was selected as the study area. TN and TP concentrations in rivers and the Yuqiao Reservoir during the three-year high-flow season (2019–2021) were analyzed. The response relationship and influencing factors among the watershed’s biogeochemical process, rainfall, and water quality were clarified. The results showed that rainfall in the high flow season mainly controlled the river flow. The concentration of TN and TP in the inflow rivers is regulated by rainfall/flow, while the concentration of TN and TP in the water diversion river has different variation characteristics in the water diversion period and other periods. The lowest annual concentrations of TN and TP were observed in the normal year, while the highest annual concentration was observed in the wet year, indicating that the hydrological process drove the nutrient transport in the watershed. For the tributaries, the Li River catchment contributed a large amount of N and P to the aquatic environment. For the reservoir, the extreme TN concentrations were the same as the tributaries, while the extremes of TP concentrations decreased from the dry year to wet year, which was in contrast to the tributaries. The spatial variation of TN and TP concentrations in the reservoir showed that the concentration decreased following the flow direction from the river estuary to the reservoir outlet. Considering climate change, with the increase of rainfall in North China in the future, the TN and TP transport fluxes in the watershed may continue to increase, leading to the nitrogen and phosphorus load of the downstream reservoir. To ensure the impact of the increase of potential N and P output fluxes in the watershed on the water quality of the reservoir area, it is necessary to strengthen the effective prevention and control of non-point source pollution in the watershed. Full article
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Article
The Impacts of Nitrogen Pollution and Urbanization on the Carbon Dioxide Emission from Sewage-Draining River Networks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10296; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610296 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 394
Abstract
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from river water have sparked worldwide concerns due to supersaturate CO2 levels in the majority of global rivers, while the knowledge on the associations among nitrogen pollution, urbanization, and CO2 emissions is still limited. In [...] Read more.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from river water have sparked worldwide concerns due to supersaturate CO2 levels in the majority of global rivers, while the knowledge on the associations among nitrogen pollution, urbanization, and CO2 emissions is still limited. In this study, the CO2 partial pressure (pCO2), carbon and nitrogen species, and water parameters in sewage-draining river networks were investigated. Extremely high pCO2 levels were observed in sewage and drainage river waters, such as Longfeng River, Beijing-drainage River, and Beitang-drainage River, which were approximately 4 times higher than the averaged pCO2 in worldwide rivers. Correlations of carbon/nitrogen species and pCO2 indicated that carbon dioxide in rural rivers and sewage waters primarily originated from soil aeration zones and biological processes of organic carbon/nitrogen input from drainage waters, while that in urban rivers and lakes was mainly dominated by organic matter degradation and biological respiration. Enhanced internal primary productivity played critical roles in absorbing CO2 by photosynthesis in some unsaturated pCO2 sampling sites. Additionally, higher pCO2 levels have been observed with higher NH4+-N and lower DO. CO2 fluxes in sewage waters exhibited extremely high levels compared with those of natural rivers. The results could provide implications for assessing CO2 emissions in diverse waters and fulfilling water management polices when considering water contamination under intense anthropogenic activities. Full article
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Article
Source Identification and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Soil: A Case Study of Lintancang Plain, Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610259 - 18 Aug 2022
Viewed by 382
Abstract
To investigate the concentration, source, and potential health risk of soil heavy metals (V, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, Hg), this study determined the concentration of these seven metals in 37 soil samples from Linyi City, southeast of Shandong Province, China. The mean [...] Read more.
To investigate the concentration, source, and potential health risk of soil heavy metals (V, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb, Hg), this study determined the concentration of these seven metals in 37 soil samples from Linyi City, southeast of Shandong Province, China. The mean concentrations of the investigated heavy metals followed the sequence: Cr (76.2 mg/kg) > V (70.5 mg/kg) > Zn (70.1 mg/kg) > Ni (34.0 mg/kg) > Pb (31.4 mg/kg) > Cu (23.2 mg/kg) > Hg (1.7 mg/kg). The enrichment factor (EF) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) indicated an extreme enrichment of Hg (EF > 10, Igeo > 4) within the study area, while a slight enrichment of other metals. According to the toxic risk index (TRI), Hg accounted for the strongest soil toxicity (TRI = 8.07, 64.3%). The risk assessment with hazard index (HI) suggested that the health risks of all metals were acceptable, and the HI of adults was generally lower compared with that of the children. In addition, two principal components (PC) calculated by principal component analysis (PCA) were used to identify the sources of these heavy metals, which were 57.73% for PC 1 (Pb, Cr, Zn, Ni, Hg, Cu and V) and 21.63% for PC 2 (Hg, Cu and V), respectively. Moreover, PC 1 was mainly controlled by anthropogenic inputs, while PC 2 was contributed to by natural sources. Combined with the correlation matrix, it was concluded that there were three different sources for all seven heavy metals. Full article
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Article
Spectroscopic Characteristics and Speciation Distribution of Fe(III) Binding to Molecular Weight-Dependent Standard Pahokee Peat Fulvic Acid
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7838; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137838 - 26 Jun 2022
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Peat-derived organic matter, as powerful chelators, is of great significance for the transport of Fe to the ocean and the enhancement of dissolved Fe. However, the iron binding capacity of molecular weight (MW)-fractionated dissolved organic matter is variable, due to its structure and [...] Read more.
Peat-derived organic matter, as powerful chelators, is of great significance for the transport of Fe to the ocean and the enhancement of dissolved Fe. However, the iron binding capacity of molecular weight (MW)-fractionated dissolved organic matter is variable, due to its structure and composition heterogeneity. In this work, we used the standard Pahokee Peat fulvic acid (PPFA) as an example, and investigated the spectroscopy properties and Fe(III) binding ability of PPFA and different molecular weight fractions by UV–Vis absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy and the Donnan Membrane Technique (DMT). The results showed binding sites for Fe(III) at the 263 nm and >320 nm regions in differential absorbance spectra. Upon increasing the iron concentration to 18.00 μmol·L−1, the critical binding capacity was exceeded, which resulted in a decrease in absorbance. Fe(III) was found to prefer to bind to humic-like components, and ultraviolet humic-like fluorophores displayed stronger binding strength. High molecular weight PPFA fractions (>10 kDa) possessed more aromatic and hydrophobic components, displayed a higher degree of humification, and exhibited higher metal binding potential. Furthermore, the speciation analysis and stability constant (cK) were calculated using Donnan membrane equilibrium. The correlation between cK values and PPFA spectral properties demonstrated that aromaticity, hydrophobicity, molecular weight and humification degree were crucial indices of PPFA–Fe(III) affinity. Significantly, the humification degree, represented by HIX, showed the strongest correlation (r = 0.929, p = 0.003), which could be used to estimate the binding strength. This study provides further understanding of the complexation mechanism of iron and DOM in the peat environment and identifies the considerable effect of molecular weight. Full article
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Article
Changes in the Dissolved Organic Matter Characteristics Released from Sediment According to Precipitation in the Namhan River with Weirs: A Laboratory Experiment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 4958; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19094958 - 19 Apr 2022
Viewed by 578
Abstract
In this study, changes in the properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) released from sediments into water layers were investigated. To analyze the spatial and temporal variation in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), sediment and bottom water samples were collected upstream of the Gangcheon, [...] Read more.
In this study, changes in the properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) released from sediments into water layers were investigated. To analyze the spatial and temporal variation in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), sediment and bottom water samples were collected upstream of the Gangcheon, Yeoju, and Ipo weirs of the Namhan River during the rainy and non-rainy seasons. The initial DOC was correlated with precipitation (R2 = 0.295, p = 0.034) and residence time (R2 = 0.275, p = 0.040). The change in the bottom water DOC concentration resulted from the DOC released from the sediments, which may cause water quality issues in the bottom water. The fluorescence analysis revealed that the DOM contained higher levels of hydrophilic and low-molecular-weight (LMW) organic matter in the non-rainy season and higher levels of hydrophobic and high-molecular-weight (HMW) organic matter in the rainy season. Since the Namhan River is the main resource of drinking water for the Seoul metropolitan area, our results can help to optimize the drinking water treatment process by reflecting the DOM characteristics that vary with the seasons. Furthermore, the statistical analysis confirmed that the nutrient content of pore-water and sediment can be used to estimate the DOM release rate from the sediment to the water layer. The results of this study provide a better understanding of DOM movement in aquatic ecosystems and the influences of rainfall on the water quality of the surface waterbody. Full article
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Article
Suspended Sediments Quality Assessment in a Coastal River: Identification of Potentially Toxic Elements
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074293 - 03 Apr 2022
Viewed by 661
Abstract
In coastal rivers with various human and damming activities (reservoir), the cycle and biogeochemistry of environmental pollutants in river systems has been modified. A total of 42 suspended particulate matter (SPM) samples were obtained in Jiulongjiang River, southeast China to investigate the concentration, [...] Read more.
In coastal rivers with various human and damming activities (reservoir), the cycle and biogeochemistry of environmental pollutants in river systems has been modified. A total of 42 suspended particulate matter (SPM) samples were obtained in Jiulongjiang River, southeast China to investigate the concentration, sources, behavior, and risks of nine potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in SPM. The results of metals concentration showed relatively large variation, major for Mn and minor for Co; Mn > Zn > V > Pb > Cr > Ni > Cu > Cd > Co. Multi-index evaluation reflected that most of the PTEs are minor enrichment/moderately polluted. The Cd is defined as extremely severe enrichment/polluted level, and the Pb and Zn as minor enrichment/moderately polluted levels. Among the selected PTEs, Cd and Zn are identified as the main toxic factors of SPM with a contribution of 57 ± 18% and 14 ± 7% to the total toxic risk. The sources identification suggested that human inputs may be the primary potential source of Cd, Zn, Pb, and Co, whereas natural sources (e.g., rock weathering) are likely to be responsible for Cu, Cr, V, and Ni. In contrast, the data suggested that Mn may be attributed to both natural and anthropogenic inputs. The PTEs among dissolved, suspended, and sediment phases reflected the transportation behavior and different potential risk levels. Overall, the PTE geochemistry of river SPM can act as a good indicator of the driving mechanism of PTEs’ accumulation and provide a powerful support for controlling riverine PTEs-related pollution in coastal regions. Full article
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Article
Heavy Metal Pollution and Soil Quality Assessment under Different Land Uses in the Red Soil Region, Southern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074125 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
The influences of different land uses associated with human activities on soil quality and the redistribution of heavy metal in soil have been widely concerned. Surface soil samples were obtained to assess comprehensive soil quality in a typical red soil region of southern [...] Read more.
The influences of different land uses associated with human activities on soil quality and the redistribution of heavy metal in soil have been widely concerned. Surface soil samples were obtained to assess comprehensive soil quality in a typical red soil region of southern China, combining the heavy metal pollution evaluation with fertility evaluation. It can be learned from the results that the overall level of soil fertility was at medium and lower level, and soil heavy metal pollution risk in the study area in a few regions had reached warning line and slight pollution line, and there was a risk of potential pollution. TOPSIS evaluation results showed that the comprehensive soil quality was mainly good quality and moderate quality, accounting for 31.7% and 29.0% of the total land area, respectively. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) model results showed that transportation source contributes a lot in terms of Cd and Pb. As for Cr, natural source contributes 53.8%. In terms of Cu and Zn, agriculture source contributes 50.7% and 38.7%, respectively. In a word, the comprehensive soil quality assessment in red soil region of southern China provides an important basis for the scientific management and sustainable utilization of soil resources. Full article
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Article
Geochemical and Statistical Analyses of Trace Elements in Lake Sediments from Qaidam Basin, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau: Distribution Characteristics and Source Apportionment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042341 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 706
Abstract
The safety of lake ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) has attracted increasing attention, owing to its unique location and ecological vulnerability. Previous studies have shown that the aquatic systems on the QTP have been polluted to varying degrees by trace elements. However, [...] Read more.
The safety of lake ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) has attracted increasing attention, owing to its unique location and ecological vulnerability. Previous studies have shown that the aquatic systems on the QTP have been polluted to varying degrees by trace elements. However, little is known of the distribution and sources of trace elements in lakes in the northeast QTP. Here, 57 sediment samples were collected from six lakes (Dasugan Lake, Xiaoqaidam Lake, Kreuk Lake, Toson Lake, Gahai Lake and Xiligou Lake) in the Qaidam Basin, northeast QTP, and the trace elements (V, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Ba, Tl, Cd, Pb, and U) were analyzed. The results indicated that Ba, Zn, V, and Cr had a higher content and a wider distribution relative to the other tested elements. Correlation coefficient matrix results showed that the trace elements in the study area were strongly correlated, revealing their source of similarity. Self-organizing maps (SOM, an artificial neural network algorithm) results indicated that the degree of pollution in Xiaoqaidam Lake was the highest, and that of Dasugan Lake was the lowest. Furthermore, all sampling points were clustered into four categories through K-means clustering. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) results indicated that atmospheric deposition and anthropogenic inputs were the main trace elements sources in these lakes, followed by traffic emission and geological sources. Collectively, trace elements of six lakes in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau presented high-content and pollution characteristics. This research provides a scientific basis for better water environment management and ecological protection on the QTP. Full article
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