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DOI:

Received April 01, 1996,Revised , Accepted , Available online

Volume 9,1997,Pages 265-277

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The Grand Canal (Hangzhou section), People's Republic of China, has been highly contaminated by heavy metals from both industrial and municipal sources since 1950s. This study investigated the distribution of heavy metals including As, Cr, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn. The results showed that these metals are largely accumulated in the top 0 3 meter layer of the river sediment.Despite the contamination, heavy metal concentrations in solution are increased in some locations only. The only exception is Zn whose concentrations are extremely high both in solution and in the top layer sediment. The top layer sediment appears to have reached almost its sorption capacity with respect to aqueous Zn. The extent of contamination is in the sequence of Zn>Cu>Pb>As>Cd. It is speculated that Cu distribution has been significantly affected by its binding to organic matter in the top layer sediment. Based on Pb distribution in both water and sediment, it is suggested that Pb transport in the canal is associated with colloids or particles suspended in water. The study showed that the top layer sediment in the Grand Canal serves as a sink to anthropogenic contaminants consisting of heavy metals as well as organic compounds.

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