Aquatic environment

Spatial distribution and pollution assessment of mercury in sediments of Lake Taihu, China

Chunxiao Chen , Binghui Zheng , Xia Jiang , Zheng Zhao , Yuzhu Zhan , Fengjiao Yi , Jiaying Ren


Received April 01, 2012,Revised July 04, 2012, Accepted , Available online February 02, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 316-325

Spatial distribution patterns of total mercury (THg) in 36 surficial sediment samples representing five regions of Lake Taihu were assessed using the ArcGis geostatistical analyst module. The pollution levels of THg were also evaluated from the same five lake regions. Concentrations of THg were in a ranged of 23-168 ng/g (mean 55 ng/g) in surfical sediments, which was significantly higher than those established baseline levels of the lake. Results of THg indicated that the northern region exhibited notably higher values, the bay regions showed elevated values relative to open areas, and the lakeside regions were higher than those observed in the central area. Lake Taihu suffered moderate to high Hg pollution, and expressed clear Hg enrichment status according to monomial pollution index Igeo and human activity factors. The concentrations of THg in the surficial sediments of Lake Taihu showed moderate-strong variation (coefficient of variation 52%). Geostatistical analysis indicated a weak spatial self-correlation, suggesting the contamination of Hg in Lake Taihu is primarily the result of anthropogenic activities.

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