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Spatial trends and pollution assessment for mercury in the surface soils of the Nansi Lake catchment, China


Surface soil samples collected from Nansi Lake catchment were analyzed for mercury (Hg) to determine its spatial trends and environmental impacts. Results showed that the average soil Hg contents were 0.043 mg kg−1. A positive correlation was shown between TOC and soil Hg contents. The main type of soil with higher TOC contents and lower pH values showed higher soil Hg contents. Soil TOC contents and CV values were both higher in the eastern catchment. The eastern part of the catchment, where the industry is developed, had relatively high soil Hg contents and a banding distribution of high Hg contents was corresponded with the southwest-northeast economic belt. Urban soils had higher Hg contents than rural soils. The urbanization pattern that soil Hg contents presented a decreasing trend from city center to suburb was shown clearly especially in the three cities. Soil Hg contents in Jining City showed a good consistency with the urban land expansion. The spatial trends of soil Hg contents in the catchment indicated that the type and the intensity of human activities have a strong influence on the distribution of Hg in soils. Calculated risk indices showed that the western part of the catchment presented moderately polluted condition and the eastern part of the catchment showed moderate to strong pollution level. The area with high ecological risk appeared mainly along the economic belt.

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This research was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2016DM10), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41472216), and the major water conservancy scientific research and technology promotion project in Shandong Province (SDSLKY201406).

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Correspondence to Li-Yuan Yang.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Ren, M., Yang, L., Wang, L. et al. Spatial trends and pollution assessment for mercury in the surface soils of the Nansi Lake catchment, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 2417–2424 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0554-5

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  • Mercury
  • Spatial trend
  • Anthropogenic disturbance
  • Environmental impact
  • Surface soils
  • Nansi Lake catchment