Aquatic environment

Heavy metal pollution in intertidal sediments from Quanzhou Bay, China

YU Ruilian , YUAN Xing , ZHAO Yuanhui , HU Gongren , TU Xianglin


Received July 31, 2007,Revised December 10, 2007, Accepted , Available online

Volume 20,2008,Pages 664-669

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The concentrations of eight heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, Hg, and As) in the intertidal surface sediments from Quanzhou Bay were determined to evaluate their levels and spatial distribution due to urbanization and economic development of Quanzhou region, southeast China. The ranges of the measured concentrations in the sediments are as follows: 24.8–119.7 mg/kg for Cu, 105.5–241.9 mg/kg for Zn, 34.3–100.9 mg/kg for Pb, 0.28–0.89 mg/kg for Cd, 51.1–121.7 mg/kg for Cr, 16.1–45.7 mg/kg for Ni, 0.17–0.74 mg/kg for Hg, and 17.7–30.2 mg/kg for As. The overall average concentrations of above metals exceed the primary standard criteria but meet the secondary standard criteria of the Chinese National Standard of Marine Sediment Quality. Several contents of Cu and Hg exceed the secondary standard criteria at some stations. The results of geoaccumulation index (Igeo) show that Cd causes strong pollution in most of the study area. There are no significant correlations among most of these heavy metals, indicating they have di erent anthropogenic and natural sources. Some locations present severe pollution by heavy metals depending on the sources, of which sewage outlets, aquatic breeding, and commercial ports are the main sources of contaminants to the area.

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