Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 23, pp 23630–23637 | Cite as

Heavy metal speciation, risk, and bioavailability in the sediments of rivers with different pollution sources and intensity

  • Wenzhong Tang
  • Baoqing Shan
  • Hong Zhang
  • Xiaolei Zhu
  • Shanshan Li
Research Article


A comprehensive analysis of heavy metal speciation, risk, and bioavailability in the sediments of three rivers in northern China (Shaocun River (SR), Wangyang River (WR), and Xiao River (XR)) was conducted. The results showed that higher pollution input resulting from urbanization and industrialization caused higher heavy metal contents and bioavailable proportion in the studied sediments. Total contents of all studied metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the sediments of SR, WR, and XR were 270.31, 902.62, and 2367.46 mg/kg, respectively. The average percentages of bioavailable fractions were 31.16, 61.73, and 81.69 %, respectively. Cr, Ni, and Pb were all mainly observed in the B4 (residual) fraction in the studied sediments, with an average percentage of 42.03, 48.19, and 55.08 %, respectively. Cu was mainly observed in the B2 (reducible) fraction (40.53 %). Zn was mainly observed in the B1 (exchangeable/acid soluble/carbonate) fraction (36.01 %), resulting in medium or high risk associated with Zn in the sediments of SR, WR, and XR. Sedimentary heavy metal risk and bioavailability associated with regional urbanization and industrialization should be taken into consideration with respect to the health of aquatic ecosystems.


Heavy metals Speciation Bioavailability Pollution sources Sediments 



This research was supported by the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (No. 2012ZX07203-003) and the special fund from the State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control (Project No. 15L01ESPC), and we also acknowledge the support received by Dr. Wenzhong Tang from the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC Grant 201604910224).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina

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