The 8th International Conference on Sustainable Water Environment

Historical trends in the anthropogenic heavy metal levels in the tidal flat sediments of Lianyungang, China

Rui Zhang , Fan Zhang , Yingjun Ding , Jinrong Gao , Jing Chen , Li Zhou


Received ,Revised , Accepted , Available online July 10, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 1458-1468

The sedimentation of metals can preserve the historical record of contaminant input from local and regional sources and provide information on the historical changes in regional water and sediment quality. We report the 210Pb activities and the heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn) depth profiles from sediment cores retrieved in 2010. The mean sedimentation rates of 0.85-1.5 cm/yr are determined by 210Pb dating. The sediments in the tidal flat have recorded heavy metal deposition and thus allow the establishment of a connection between the temporal evolution of the heavy metal pollution and the historical changes in the economic development of Lianyungang. The enrichment factors (EF) are calculated to estimate the level of contamination stored in these sediments. The results show that in the studied sites, Cr and Cu display low EF values and are mainly from lithogenic origin. For the other studied trace metals, a great variability in the sedimentary record is observed. Significant anthropogenic enrichment over the last 50 years is revealed at the tidal flat that receives fluvial inputs. Zinc is the element with the highest EF values, followed by the order of Pb > Cd > Mn > Cu and Cr. The temporal variations of the heavy metals peak during the late 1980s to the early 2000s and show a decreasing trend afterward. The pollution intensity of the tidal flat is determined by using EF and the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), which show that, based on the Igeo scale, the tidal flat of Haizhou Bay is unpolluted to moderately polluted.

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