Assessment of pollutions and identification of sources of heavy metals in sediments from west coast of Shenzhen, China

Fengwen Huang, Yang Xu, Zhenhao Tan, Zhibing Wu, Hong Xu, Liangliang Shen, Xu Xu, Qingguo Han, Hai Guo, Zhangli Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The sediment samples were collected from eight sites located in the Pearl River Estuary and the Shenzhen Bay of the west coast of Shenzhen. The distributions of the seven elements Zn, Cr, Hg, Cu, Cd, Pb and As have been analyzed, and their pollution degrees, corresponding potential ecological risks and source identifications have been studied using geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and integrated multivariate statistical methods, respectively. Based on the calculated geo-accumulation indices, the contamination levels of all elements in the Pearl River Estuary are similar to those in the Shenzhen Bay, reflecting that these elements in the study areas have similar sources because of the adequate seawater exchange. The calculated potential ecological risk indices suggest that Cd and Hg are at considerable and moderate risk, respectively. Multivariate statistical analyses further reveal that Zn, Hg, Cd and Pb originated from industrial wastewater, while Cr and Cu are mainly from both industrial wastewater and agricultural sources, and As is mainly from natural source. These research results provide baseline information for both the coastal environment management and the worldwide heavy metal distribution and assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3647-3656
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Heavy metal
  • Pollution
  • Sediment
  • Source identification
  • Statistical analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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