The spatial and temporal variations of mercury (Hg) in sediments of the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and the surrounding coastal area (South China Sea) were studied. In surface sediments, the concentrations of Hg ranged from 1.5 to 201 ng/g, with an average of 54.4 ng/g, displaying a decreasing trend with the distance from the estuary to the open sea. This pattern indicates that the anthropogenic emissions from the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region are probably the main sources of Hg in this coastal region. Using the210Pb dating technique, the historical changes in the concentrations and influxes of Hg in the last 100 years were also investigated. The variations in Hg influxes in sediment cores obviously correlate with the economic development and urbanization that has occurred the PRD region, especially in the last three decades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis