Wet and dry deposition fluxes of heavy metals in Pearl River Delta Region (China): Characteristics, ecological risk assessment, and source apportionment

Lyumeng Ye , Minjuan Huang , Buqing Zhong , Xuemei Wang , Qiulan Tu , Haoran Sun , Chao Wang , Luolin Wu , Ming Chang


Received September 04, 2017,Revised , Accepted November 17, 2017, Available online December 01, 2017

Volume 30,2018,Pages 106-123

The atmospheric deposition of heavy metals poses serious risks to the ecological system and human health. To advance our knowledge of atmospheric dry/wet heavy metal deposition in the PRD region, monthly fluxes were examined based on soluble/insoluble fractions of five heavy metal elements (Cu, Pb, Cd, Cr and Zn) in samples collected from January 2014 to December 2015 at Guangzhou (urban) and Dinghushan (suburban) sites. The ratios of wet/dry deposition fluxes indicated that heavy metal deposition was governed by wet deposition rather than dry deposition in the PRD region. Affected by the shifting of the Asian monsoon, wet deposition fluxes exhibited significant seasonal variation between summer monsoon seasons (April to September) and winter monsoon seasons (October to February) in this region. Cd was classified as an extremely strong potential ecological risk based on solubility and the Hakanson ecological risk index. Source contributions to wet deposition were calculated by PMF, suggesting that dust, biomass burning, industries, vehicles, long-range transport and marine aerosol sources in Guangzhou, and Zn fertilizers, marine aerosol sources, agriculture, incense burning, biomass burning, vehicles and the ceramics industry in Dinghushan, were the potential sources of heavy metals.

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