Trace metal distribution in sediments of the Pearl River Estuary and the surrounding coastal area, South China

Carman C M Ip, Xiangdong Li, Gan Zhang, Wing Hong Onyx Wai, Yok Sheung Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

371 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Surface sediments and sediment cores collected at the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) and its surrounding coastal area were analysed for total metal concentrations, chemical partitioning, and Pb isotopic compositions. The distribution of Cu, Cr, Pb, and Zn demonstrated a typical diffusion pattern from the land to the direction of the sea. Two hotspots of trace metal contamination were located at the mixed zone between freshwater and marine waters. The enrichment of metals in the sediments could be attributed to the deposition of the dissolved and particulate trace metals in the water column at the estuarine area. The similar Pb isotopic signatures of the sediments at the PRE and its surrounding coastal area offered strong evidence that the PRE was a major source of trace metals to the adjacent coastal area. Slightly lower206Pb/207Pb ratios in the coastal sediments may indicate other inputs of Pb in addition to the PRE sources, including the inputs from Hong Kong and other parts of the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-323
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume147
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007

Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Pb isotopes
  • Pearl River Estuary (PRE)
  • Sediment
  • South China Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution

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