Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 2697–2708 | Cite as

Characteristics of particle size distribution and related contaminants of highway-deposited sediment, Maanshan City, China

  • Siping Niu
  • Yihua ChenEmail author
  • Jianghua Yu
  • Zhu Rao
  • Nan Zhan
Original Paper


Road-deposited sediment (RDS) has been identified as both the source and sink of various pollutants. In this study, the highway-deposited sediment (HDS) in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter was characterized. On average, the mass proportions of particles with the size of 830–4750 μm, 500–830 μm, 250–500 μm, 150–250 μm, 63–150 μm and < 63 μm were 23.6 ± 8.6%, 16.9 ± 3.4%, 28.4 ± 3.5%, 10.0 ± 4.3%, 15.7 ± 5.8% and 5.3 ± 2.0%, respectively, wherein the HDS of 63–830 μm accounted for 71% of the total mass load. It was observed that the particle size distribution of HDS could be described using the gamma distribution function based on gravimetric and cumulative basis (R2 (determination coefficient) = 0.9960–0.9995). The bulk pollutant contents of HDS showed seasonal variation with the mean of COD (chemical oxygen demand), nitrogen, phosphorus, Zn (zinc), Pb (lead) and Cd (cadmium) as 57 g/kg, 839 mg/kg, 97 mg/kg, 627 mg/kg, 110 mg/kg and 1.00 mg/kg and the highest COD of 83 g/kg in Autumn, nitrogen 1164 mg/kg Autumn, phosphorus 133 mg/kg Winter, Zn 801 mg/kg Summer, Pb 133 mg/kg Spring and the highest Cd of 1.36 mg/kg in Summer, respectively. The contents of Zn, Pb and Cd in HDS were significantly above their local soil background values. Moreover, the size fractional pollutant contents overall increased as particles’ size increased. Averagely, 40–52% pollutant loads were associated with the particles < 250 μm, which can be moved easily by runoff. This study suggests that the behaviors of HDS different from city RDS should be considered as nonpoint source pollution control is performed.


Heavy metals Highway-deposited sediment Nutrients Particle size distribution Season 



This study were provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41701553), the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (Grant No. 1808085QD109), the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars of Anhui Province, and the Open Project of Key Laboratory for Eco-geochemistry of Ministry of Natural Resources of the people’s Republic of China.


  1. Ali, M. U., Liu, G., Yousaf, B., Abbas, Q., Ullah, H., Munir, M. A. M., et al. (2017). Pollution characteristics and human health risks of potentially (eco) toxic elements (PTEs) in road dust from metropolitan area of Hefei, China. Chemosphere,181, 111–121.Google Scholar
  2. APHA, AWWA, & WEF. (2005). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater (21st ed.). Washington, DC: American Public Health Association/American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation.Google Scholar
  3. Aryal, R., Beecham, S., Sarkar, B., Chong, M. N., Kinsela, A., Kandasamy, J., et al. (2017). Readily wash-off road dust and associated heavy metals on motorways. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution,228(1), 1.Google Scholar
  4. Aryal, R. K., Furumai, H., Nakajima, F., & Boller, M. (2005). Dynamic behavior of fractional suspended solids and particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in highway runoff. Water Research,39, 5126–5134.Google Scholar
  5. Banerjee, A. D. K. (2003). Trace metals levels and solid phase speciation in street dusts of Delhi, India. Environmental Pollution,1239, 95–105.Google Scholar
  6. Bian, B., & Zhu, W. (2009). Particle size distribution and pollutants in road-deposited sediments in different areas of Zhenjiang, China. Environmental Geochemistry and Health,31(4), 511–520.Google Scholar
  7. Blaszczak, J. R., Steele, M. K., Badgley, B. D., Heffernan, J. B., Hobbie, S. E., Morse, J. L., et al. (2018). Sediment chemistry of urban stormwater ponds and controls on denitrification. Ecosphere,9(6), e02318.Google Scholar
  8. Cederkvist, K., Jensen, M. B., & Holm, P. E. (2017). Method for assessment of stormwater treatment facilities—Synthetic road runoff addition including micro-pollutants and tracer. Journal of Environmental Management,198, 107–117.Google Scholar
  9. Christoforidis, A., & Stamatis, N. (2009). Heavy metal contamination in street dust and roadside soil along the major national road in Kavala’s region, Greece. Geoderma,151, 257–263.Google Scholar
  10. de Miguel, E., Llamas, J. F., Chacón, E., Berg, T., Larssen, S., Røyset, O., et al. (1997). Origin and patterns of distribution of trace elements in street dust: Unleaded petrol and urban lead. Atmospheric Environment,31(17), 2733–2740.Google Scholar
  11. Devi, U., Taki, K., Shukla, T., Sarma, K. P., Hoque, R. R., & Kumar, M. (2018). Microzonation, ecological risk and attributes of metals in highway road dust traversing through the Kaziranga National Park, Northeast India: Implication for confining metal pollution in the national forest. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. Scholar
  12. Duong, T. T., & Lee, B. K. (2011). Determining contamination level of heavy metals in road dust from busy traffic areas with different characteristics. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(3), 554–562.Google Scholar
  13. Faiz, Y., Tufail, M., Javed, M. T., Chaudhry, M. M., & Siddique, N. (2009). Road dust pollution of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn along Islamabad expressway, Pakistan. Microchemical Journal,92, 186–192.Google Scholar
  14. Gunawardana, C., Goonetilleke, A., Egodawatta, P., Dawes, L., & Kokot, S. (2012). Role of solids in heavy metals buildup on urban road surfaces. Journal of Environmental Engineering,138, 490–498.Google Scholar
  15. Guney, M., Onay, T. T., & Copty, N. K. (2010). Impact of overland traffic on heavy metal levels in highway dust and soils of Istanbul, Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment,164, 101–110.Google Scholar
  16. Herngren, L., Goonetilleke, A., & Ayoko, G. A. (2005). Understanding heavy metal and suspended solids relationships in urban stormwater using simulated rainfall. Journal of Environmental Management,76, 149–158.Google Scholar
  17. Herngren, L., Goonetilleke, A., & Ayoko, G. A. (2006). Analysis of heavy metals in road-deposited sediments. Analytica Chimica Acta,571(2), 270–278.Google Scholar
  18. Hong, N., Zhu, P., & Liu, A. (2017). Modelling heavy metals build-up on urban road surfaces for effective stormwater reuse strategy implementation. Environmental Pollution,231, 821–828.Google Scholar
  19. Jayarathne, A., Egodawatta, P., Ayoko, G. A., & Goonetilleke, A. (2017). Geochemical phase and particle size relationships of metals in urban road dust. Environmental Pollution,230, 218–226.Google Scholar
  20. Kim, J. Y., & Sansalone, J. J. (2008). Event-based size distributions of particulate matter transported during urban rainfall-runoff events. Water Research,42(10–11), 2756–2768.Google Scholar
  21. Kumar, M., Furumai, H., Kurisu, F., & Kasuga, I. (2010). A comparative evaluation of mobile heavy metal pool in the soakaway sediment, road dust and soil through sequential extraction and isotopic dilution techniques. Water Science and Technology,62(4), 920–928.Google Scholar
  22. Kumar, M., Furumai, H., Kurisu, F., & Kasuga, I. (2013a). Tracing source and distribution of heavy metals in road dust, soil and soakaway sediment through speciation and isotope fingerprinting. Geoderma,211–212, 8–17.Google Scholar
  23. Kumar, M., Furumai, H., Kurisu, F., & Kasuga, I. (2013b). Understanding the partitioning processes of mobile lead in soakaway sediments using sequential extraction and isotope analysis. Water Science and Technology,60(8), 2085–2091.Google Scholar
  24. Lee, P. K., Youm, S. J., & Jo, H. Y. (2013). Heavy metal concentrations and contamination levels from Asian dust and identification of sources: A case-study. Chemosphere,91(7), 1018–1025.Google Scholar
  25. Li, X., Poon, C. S., & Liu, P. S. (2001). Heavy metal contamination of urban soils and street dusts in Hong Kong. Applied Geochemistry,16(11), 1361–1368.Google Scholar
  26. Li, H., Shi, A., & Zhang, X. (2015). Particle size distribution and characteristics of heavy metals in road-deposited sediments from Beijing Olympic Park. Journal of Environmental Sciences,32, 228–237.Google Scholar
  27. Lin, Y., Fang, F., Wang, F., & Xu, M. (2015). Pollution distribution and health risk assessment of heavy metals in indoor dust in Anhui rural, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment,187(9), 565.Google Scholar
  28. Lin, M., Gui, H., Wang, Y., & Peng, W. (2017). Pollution characteristics, source apportionment, and health risk of heavy metals in street dust of Suzhou, China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research,24(2), 1987–1998.Google Scholar
  29. Lin, H., Ying, G., & Sansalone, J. (2009). Granulometry of non-colloidal particulate matter transported by urban runoff. Water, Air, and Soil pollution,198(1–4), 269–284.Google Scholar
  30. Lisiewicz, M., Heimburger, R., & Golimowski, J. (2000). Granulometry and the content of toxic and potentially toxic elements in vacuum-cleaner collected, indoor dusts of the city of Warsaw. Science of the Total Environment,263(1–3), 69–78.Google Scholar
  31. Liu, H. (2012). Research on assessment of heavy metal pollution in the soil in Maanshan key mining area (Doctoral dissertation, Hefei University of Technology).Google Scholar
  32. Lu, X., Wang, L., Li, L. Y., Lei, K., Huang, L., & Kang, D. (2010). Multivariate statistical analysis of heavy metals in street dust of Baoji, NW China. Journal of Hazardous Materials,173(1–3), 744–749.Google Scholar
  33. Lu, X., Wu, X., Wang, Y., Chen, H., Gao, P., & Fu, Y. (2014). Risk assessment of toxic metals in street dust from a medium-sized industrial city of china. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety,106(106), 154.Google Scholar
  34. Murakami, M., Nakajima, F., & Furumai, H. (2005). Size- and density-distributions and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban road dust. Chemosphere,61, 783–791.Google Scholar
  35. Muthusamy, M., Tait, S., Schellart, A., Beg, M. N. A., Carvalho, R. F., & de Lima, J. L. (2018). Improving understanding of the underlying physical process of sediment wash-off from urban road surfaces. Journal of Hydrology,557, 426–433.Google Scholar
  36. Ordonez, A., Loredo, J., De Miguel, E., & Charlesworth, S. (2003). Distribution of heavy metals in the street dusts and soils of an industrial city in Northern Spain. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 44(2), 0160–0170.Google Scholar
  37. Piro, P., Carbone, M., Garofalo, G., & Sansalone, J. (2010). Size distribution of wet weather and dry weather particulate matter entrained in combined flows from an urbanizing sewershed. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution,206(1–4), 83–94.Google Scholar
  38. Shi, G., Chen, Z., Xu, S., Zhang, J., Wang, L., Bi, C., et al. (2008). Potentially toxic metal contamination of urban soils and roadside dust in Shanghai, China. Environmental Pollution,156, 251–260.Google Scholar
  39. Shi, X., & Wang, J. (2013). Comparison of different methods for assessing heavy metal contamination in street dust of Xianyang City, NW China. Environmental Earth Sciences,68, 2409–2415.Google Scholar
  40. Soylak, M. D., Elice, L., & Dogan, M. (2003). Trace metals in street dust samples from Yazgat City Center, Turkey. Journal of Trace and Microprobe Techniques,21, 351–361.Google Scholar
  41. Sutherland, R. A. (2003). Lead in grain size fractions of road-deposited sediment. Environmental Pollution,121(2), 229–237.Google Scholar
  42. Tang, Z., Chai, M., Cheng, J., Jin, J., Yang, Y., Nie, Z., et al. (2017). Contamination and health risks of heavy metals in street dust from a coal-mining city in eastern China. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety,138, 83–91.Google Scholar
  43. Tanner, P. A., Ma, H. L., & Yu, P. K. (2008). Fingerprinting metals in urban street dust of Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Environmental Science and Technology,42(19), 7111–7117.Google Scholar
  44. Yang, L., Zhu, G., Pan, H., Shi, P., Li, J., Liu, Y., et al. (2017). Surface dust heavy metals in the major cities, China. Environmental Earth Sciences,76(22), 757.Google Scholar
  45. Yongming, H., Pexiuan, D., Junji, C., & Posmentier, E. (2006). Multivariate analysis of heavy metal concentration in urban dust in Xian, Central China. Science of the Total Environment,355, 176–186.Google Scholar
  46. Yuan, D. H., Guo, X. J., Xiong, Y., Cui, J., Yin, X. A., & Li, Y. Z. (2017). Pollutant-removal performance and variability of DOM quantity and composition with traditional ecological concrete (TEC) and improved multi-aggregate eco-concrete (IMAEC) revetment treatments. Ecological Engineering,105, 141–149.Google Scholar
  47. Zhang, M., & Wang, H. (2009). Concentrations and chemical forms of potentially toxic metals in road-deposited sediments from different zones of Hangzhou, China. Journal of Environmental Sciences,21(5), 625–631.Google Scholar
  48. Zhao, H., Jiang, Q., Xie, W., Li, X., & Yin, C. (2018). Role of urban surface roughness in road-deposited sediment build-up and wash-off. Journal of Hydrology,560, 75–85.Google Scholar
  49. Zhao, H., & Li, X. (2013). Risk assessment of metals in road-deposited sediment along an urban-rural gradient. Environmental Pollution,174(5), 297–304.Google Scholar
  50. Zhao, H. T., Li, X. Y., & Wang, X. M. (2011). Heavy metal contents of road-deposited sediment along the urban–rural gradient around Beijing and its potential contribution to runoff pollution. Environmental Science and Technology,45(17), 7120–7127.Google Scholar
  51. Zhao, H., Li, X., Wang, X., & Di, T. (2010). Grain size distribution of road-deposited sediment and its contribution to heavy metal pollution in urban runoff in Beijing, China. Journal of Hazardous Materials,183(1), 203–210.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siping Niu
    • 1
  • Yihua Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jianghua Yu
    • 2
  • Zhu Rao
    • 3
  • Nan Zhan
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Energy and EnvironmentAnhui University of TechnologyMaanshanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.National Research Center for GeoanalysisBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations