Distribution of cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and zinc in marine sediments in Hong Kong waters

S. C. Choi, Wing Hong Onyx Wai, Wai Hung Lo, Xiangdong Li, C. W. Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Partitioning of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn) in marine sediments collected from various sites in Hong Kong waters were determined using sequential extraction method. Sediments from Kellette Bank, located in Victoria Harbour, had higher metal concentrations especially Cu and Zn than most other sites. Slightly over 20% of total Cu and Cr existed as readily available forms in Peng Chau and Kellette Bank. At most sampling sites, over 15% of the Cu existed as the exchangeable form indicating that Cu could be readily released into the aqueous phase from sediments. A significantly higher percentage of Pb and Zn was associated with the three non-residual fractions. Hence, there is a greater environmental concern for remobilization of Pb and Zn compared with Cr. The high amount of residual Cd (>50%) and the relatively lower Cd content indicate that little environmental concern is warranted for the remobilization of Cd. Distribution of metals in sediments collected from different depth at Kellette Bank shows that metal concentrations decreased with profile depth. The levels of Pb and Zn associated with the two readily available fractions increased sharply in the surface sediment. These metals represented the pollutants, which were introduced into the area in the mid-eighties through early nineties as a result of rapid economic and industrial development in the territory. As significant portions of these metals were bound to the readily available phases in the surface sediments, metal remobilization could be a concern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006


  • Dredging
  • Metal pollution
  • Metal speciation
  • Sequential extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Soil Science

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