Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 20, pp 12050–12061 | Cite as

Effect of water current on the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and benthic diatom community in sediments of Haihe estuary, China

  • Jinxia Yan
  • Jingling LiuEmail author
  • Yi Li
  • Sisi Lang
Research Article


The pollution loads continuously increased in Haihe estuary, of Tianjin, China, due to intensive human activities, especially the construction of the Haihe Gate and Lingang Industrial Area. In 2011, hydrological variability in Haihe estuary was investigated and sediments were collected. Total organic carbon (TOC), particle size, total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ΣPAHs), heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn), and benthic diatom community were analyzed. The highest concentrations of ΣPAHs and heavy metals were found near the Haihe Gate. The Shannon diversity index and the relative abundance of Coscinodiscus perforatus (RC) indicated a decreasing trend seaward. Results of Pearson correlation analysis illustrated significant relations between water current velocity and ΣPAHs (p < 0.01), Cr (p < 0.05), and RC (p < 0.05). Path analysis further indicated that water current played an important role in the distribution of PAH, Cr, and RC.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Heavy metals Benthic diatom Haihe estuary Water current 



This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41271496) and the National Water Pollution Control Important Specialized Science and Technology of China (No. 2011ZX07203-006). We acknowledge C. Lin from Water Conservancy Committee of Haihe River and Y. Wang and X. L. Han from North China Company of Water Resources and Electric Power for their help in sampling. We also thank C. H. Feng from Beijing Normal University for his help in writing the manuscript.


  1. Achten C, Hofmann T (2009) Native polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in coals—a hardly recognized source of environmental contamination. Sci Total Environ 407:2461–2473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Battarbee RW (1986) Diatom analysis. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene Palaeoecology and Palaeohydrology. John Wiley, New York, pp 527–570Google Scholar
  3. Cao ZG, Liu JL, Wang XM, Xu J (2010) Pollution characteristics, ecological risk assessment and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface water from the Zhangweinan River. Acta Sci Circumst 30:254–260Google Scholar
  4. Cerniglia CE (1992) Biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Biodegradation 3:351–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen C (2013) Distribution of diatoms in surface sediment in Chinese inshore waters and their environmental significance. Doctor dissertation. Ocean University of China, Qingdao, pp 93–119Google Scholar
  6. Chen CW, Chen CF (2011) Distribution, origin, and potential toxicological significance of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. Mar Pollut Bull 63:417–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cristale J, Silva FS, Zocolo GJ, Rodrigues Marchi MR (2012) Influence of sugarcane burning on indoor/outdoor PAH air pollution in Brazil. Environ Pollut 169:210–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dunbar JC, Chen LL, Vergucht L, Wong J, Durant JL (2001) Estimating the contributions of mobile sources of PAH to urban air using real-time PAH monitoring. Sci Total Environ 279:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Engle VD, Kurtz JC, Smith LM, Chancy C, Bourgeois P (2007) A classification of U.S. estuaries based on physical and hydrologic attributes. Environ Monit Assess 129:397–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Falco G, Llobet JM, Bocio A, Domingo JL (2006) Daily intake of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead by consumption of edible marine species. J Agric Food Chem 54:6106–6112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Feng H, Jiang HY, Gao WS, Weinstein Michael P (2011) Metal contamination in sediments of the western Bohai Bay and adjacent estuaries, China. J Environ Manag 92:1185–1197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Feng CH, Zhao S, Wang DX, Niu JF, Shen ZY (2014) Sedimentary records of metal speciation in the Yangtze Estuary: role of hydrological events. Chemosphere. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.01.034 Google Scholar
  13. Fernandes MB, Sicre MA, Boireau A, Tronczynski J (1997) Polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) distributions in the Seine River and its estuary. Mar Pollut Bull 34:857–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gagnon C, Fisher NS (1997) Bioavailability of sediment-bound methyl and inorganic mercury to a marine bivalve. Environ Sci Technol 31:993–998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gao XL, Zhou F, Chen CTA (2014) Pollution status of the Bohai Sea: an overview of the environmental quality assessment related trace metals. Environ Int 62:12–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gaudette HE, Flight WR, Toner L, Folger DW (1974) Titration method for the determination of organic carbon in marine sediments. J Sediment Petrol 44:249–253Google Scholar
  17. Gilde K, Pinckney JL (2012) Sublethal effects of crude oil on the community structure of estuarine phytoplankton. Estuar Coasts 35:853–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guo YJ, Qian SB (2003) The marine algae bibliography of China. Science, Beijing, pp 5–493Google Scholar
  19. Harris PT, Heap D (2003) Environmental management of clastic coastal depositional environments: inferences from an Australian geomorphic database. Ocean Coast Manag 46:457–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Henry V (2014) Heavy metal concentrations in sediment cores from the northern Baltic Sea: declines over the last two decades. Mar Pollut Bull 79:359–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hou H, Zhao L, Zhang J, Xu YF, Yan ZG, Bai LP (2013) Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in soils surrounding the Tanggu Chemical Industrial District of Tianjin, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20:3366–3380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hu HJ, Wei YX (2006) The freshwater algae of China: systematics, taxonomy and ecology. Science, Beijing, pp 1–530Google Scholar
  23. Hu NJ, Huang P, Liu JH, Shi XF (2013) Source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments of the Bohai Sea, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20:1031–1040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jiang B, Zheng HL, Huang GQ, Ding H (2007) Characterization and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in sediments of Haihe River, Tianjin, China. J Environ Sci 19:306–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jiao WT, Wang TY, Khim JS, Luo W (2013) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils along the coastal and estuarine areas of the northern Bohai and Yellow Seas, China. Environ Monit Assess 185:8185–8195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jin DX, Cheng ZD, Lin JM (1982) The marine benthic diatom in China. Marine, Beijing, pp 1–323Google Scholar
  27. Jin DX, Cheng ZD, Liu SC (1992) The marine benthic diatom in China. Marine, Beijing, pp 1–437Google Scholar
  28. Kadi MW (2009) Soil pollution hazardous to environment: a case study on the chemical composition and correlation to automobile traffic of the roadside soil of Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia. J Hazard Mater 168:1280–1283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Klimmek S, Stan HJ (2001) Comparative analysis of the biosorption of cadmium, lead, nickel, and zinc by algae. Environ Sci Technol 35:4283–4288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kostel J, Wang H, Amend Annl ST, Gray K (1999) Use of a novel laboratory stream system to study the ecological impact of PCB exposure in a periphytic biolayer. Water Res 33:3735–3748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Li YS, Xiao XH (1985) Preliminary analysis of water current and sediment movement characteristics in Haihe River estuary. Haihe River Water Conservancy 4:47–55Google Scholar
  32. Liang Y, Tse MF, Young L, Wong MH (2007) Distribution patterns of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the sediments and fish at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Hong Kong. Water Res 41:1303–1311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lu Y, Ji R, Zuo L (2009) Morphodynamic responses to the deep water harbor development in the Caofeidian sea area, China’s Bohai Bay. Coast Eng 56:831–843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Luo XX, Yang SL, Zhang J (2012) The impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the downstream distribution and texture of sediments along the middle and lower Yangtze River (Changjiang) and its estuary, and subsequent sediment dispersal in the East China Sea. Geomorphology 179:126–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Margalef R (1991) Teoría de los sistemas ecológicos. Publicacions de la Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, pp 92–93Google Scholar
  36. Monzer B, Sepetdjian E, Saliba N, Shihadeh A (2008) Charcoal emissions as a source of CO and carcinogenic PAH in mainstream narghile waterpipe smoke. Food Chem Toxicol 46:2991–2995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pei YD, Wang YS, Fan CF, Wang F (2009) The surface sediment types and distribution of Tianjin intertidal zone, China. Geol Bull China 28:915–922Google Scholar
  38. Peletier H (1996) Long-term changes in intertidal estuarine diatom assemblages related to reduced input of organic waste. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 137:265–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Peterson MS (2003) A conceptual view of environment-habitat-production linkages in tidal river estuaries. Rev Fish Sci 11:291–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Poff NL, Zimmerman JKH (2010) Ecological responses to altered flow regimes: a literature review to inform the science and management of environmental flows. Freshwater Biol 55:194–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ricciardi F, Bonnineau C, Faggiano L, Geiszinger A, Guasch H (2009) Is chemical contamination linked to the diversity of biological communities in rivers? Trends Anal Chem 28:592–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rovira L, Trobajo R, Ibáñez C (2012a) The use of diatom assemblages as ecological indicators in highly stratified estuaries and evaluation of existing diatom indices. Mar Pollut Bull 64:500–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rovira L, Trobajo R, Leira M, Ibáñez C (2012b) The effects of hydrological dynamics on benthic diatom community structure in a highly stratified estuary: the case of the Ebro Estuary (Catalonia, Spain). Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 101:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sajad A, Zeinab R, Iraj F, Ahmad S (2013) Contamination levels and spatial distributions of heavy metals and PAHs in surface sediment of Imam Khomeini Port, Persian Gulf, Iran. Mar Pollut Bull 71:336–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schrader H, Gersonde R (1978) Diatoms and silicoflagellates: microplaeontological counting methods and techniques-an excercise on an eight metres section of the lower Pliocene of Capo Rossello. Utrecht Micropal Bull 17:129–176Google Scholar
  46. Shang ZW, Wang H, Che JY, Tian LZ (2006) Diatom surface sediment assemblages in Bohai Bay. Mar Geol Quat Geol 26:21–26Google Scholar
  47. Smol JP, Stoermer EF (2010) The diatoms: applications for the environmental and earth sciences, 2nd edn. University Press, Cambridge, p 667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Souza Pereira M, Heitmann D, Reifenhäuser W, Ornellas Meire R, Silva Santos L, João PM, Torres MO, Körner W (2007) Persistent organic pollutants in atmospheric deposition and biomonitoring with Tillandsia usneoides (L.) in an industrialized area in Rio de Janeiro state, southeast Brazil – Part II: PCB and PAH. Chemosphere 67:1736–1745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. ter Braak C, Smilauer P (1998) CANOCO reference manual and user’s guide to Canoco for Windows: software for canonical community ordination, version 4. IthacaGoogle Scholar
  50. Underwood GJC (1994) Seasonal and spatial variation in epipelic diatom assemblages in the Severn estuary. Diatom Res 9:451–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Underwood GJC, Paterson DM (1993) Seasonal changes in diatom biomass, sediment stability and biogenic stabilization in the Severn Estuary. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 73:871–887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vander O, Beyer J, Vermeulen NPE (2003) Fish bioaccumulation and biomarkers in environmental risk assessment: a review. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 13:57–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wang CY, Wang XL (2007) Spatial distribution of dissolved Pb, Hg, Cd, Cu and As in the Bohai sea. J Environ Sci 19:1061–1066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wang DX, Feng CH, Huang LX, Niu JF, Shen ZY (2013) Historical deposition behaviors of PAHs in the Yangtze River Estuary: role of the sources and water currents. Chemosphere 90:2020–2026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wiklund JA, Bozinovski N, Hall RI, Wolfe BB (2010) Epiphytic diatoms as flood indicators. J Paleolimnol 44:25–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yang Z, Wang H, Saito Y, Milliman JD, Xu K, Qiao S, Shi G (2006) Dam impacts on the Changjiang (Yangtze) River sediment discharge to the sea: the past 55 years and after the Three Gorges Dam. Water Resour Res 42:w4407Google Scholar
  57. Yunker MB, Macdonald RW, Vingarzan R, Mitchell RH, Goyette D, Sylvestre S (2002) PAHs in the Fraser River basin: a critical appraisal of PAH ratios as indicators of PAH source and composition. Org Geochem 33:489–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhang HY (2008) Analysis on sediment transport under tidal dynamics and tidal action in Haihe River Estuary. Master dissertation. Tianjing University, Tianjin, pp 1-52Google Scholar
  59. Zhao Z, Zhuang YX, Gu JD (2012) Abundance, composition and vertical distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments of the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay of Hong Kong. Ecotoxicology 21:1734–1742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zhao L, Xu YF, Hou H, Shangguan YX, Li FS (2014) Source identification and health risk assessment of metals in urban soils around the Tanggu chemical industrial district, Tianjin, China. Sci Total Environ 468–469:654–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zheng BH, Zhao XR, Liu LS, Li ZC (2011) Effects of hydrodynamics on the distribution of trace persistent organic pollutants and macrobenthic communities in Bohai Bay. Chemosphere 84:336–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control and School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Municipal EngineeringNorth China University of Water Resources and Electric PowerZhengzhouChina

Personalised recommendations