Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 11360–11370 | Cite as

Spatial distribution, ecological risk assessment, and potential sources of heavy metal(loid)s in surface sediments from the Huai River within the Bengbu section, China

  • Yan Yang
  • Qiang JinEmail author
  • Jimin Fang
  • Fuqiang Liu
  • Aimin Li
  • Puja Tandon
  • Aidang Shan
Research Article


The Huai River is one of the major drinking water resources in Bengbu City of China’s eastern Anhui Province. The study focused on extracting information for spatial distributions of heavy metal(loid)s (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) based on the contents of pollutants in 20 surface sediments. Geoaccumulation index and Hakanson potential ecological index were used to calculate the ecological risk of sediment environment in this paper. The I geo results indicated that the sediments were moderately contaminated by Hg and Pb. The potential ecological risk sequence of the metals was Hg > Cd > Pb > Cu > Ni > Cr > Zn > As. Among the metal(loid)s, Hg was the main source of pollution that contributed ∼76% towards the potential ecological risk, followed by Cd. Finally, multivariate statistical analysis methods were conducted to identify the potential causes of pollution and provide basis for environment treatment in Bengbu Reach. The results depicted that Pb may be mainly derived from the traffic emission and manufacturing industry, while Hg may be originated from agricultural emissions.


Heavy metal(loid)s Spatial distribution Ecological risk assessment Potential ecological risk index Source identification Principal component analysis 



This research was supported by the National Water Pollution Control and Treatment Project of China (2014ZX07204-008).


  1. Bai J-H, Xiao R, Cui B-S, Zhang K-J, Wang Q-G, Liu X-H, Gao H-F, Huang L-B (2011) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in wetland soils from the young and old reclaimed regions in the Pearl River Estuary, South China. Environ Pollut 159:817–824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bermejo JCS, Beltrán R, Ariza JLG (2003) Spatial variations of heavy metals contamination in sediments from Odiel river (Southwest Spain). Environ Int 29:69–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Branco R, Chung AP, Veríssimo A, Morais PV (2005) Impact of chromium-contaminated wastewaters on the microbial community of a river. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 54:35–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bureau of Statistics of Anhui (2015) Anhui Statistical Yearbook—2015. Accessed 7 November 2016
  5. Caeiro S, Costa MH, Ramos TB, Fernandesb F, Silveirad N, Coimbrad A, Medeirosd G, Painho M (2005) Assessing heavy metal contamination in Sado Estuary sediment: an index analysis approach. Ecol Indic 5:151–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Camargo JB, Cruz AC, Campos BG, Fonseca TG, Abessa DM (2014) Use, development and improvements in the protocol of whole-sediment toxicity identification evaluation using benthic copepods. Mar Pollut Bull 91:511–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen T-B, Zheng Y-M, Lei M, Huang Z-C, Wu H-T, Chen H, Fan K-K, Yu K, Wu X, Tian Q-Z (2005) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in surface soils of urban parks in Beijing, China. Chemosphere 60:542–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chinese Environmental Protection Administration (CEPA) (1990) Elemental background values of soils in China, 1rd edn. Chinese Environmental Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese), pp 94–145Google Scholar
  9. Chinese Environmental Protection Administration (CEPA) (1995) Environmental quality standard for soils (GB15618–1995)Google Scholar
  10. Du P, Xie Y-F, Wang S-J, Zhao H-H, Zhang Z, Wu B, Li F-S (2015) Potential sources of and ecological risks from heavy metals in agricultural soils, Daye City, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:3498–3507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Filgueiras AV, Lavilla I, Bendicho C (2004) Evaluation of distribution, mobility and binding behaviour of heavy metals in surficial sediments of Louro River (Galicia, Spain) using chemometric analysis: a case study. Sci Total Environ 330:115–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control. A sedimentological approach. Water Res 14:975–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hua Z-S, Bian Y-W, Liang L (2007) Eco-efficiency analysis of paper mills along the Huai River: an extended DEA approach. Omega 35:578–587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jiang B-F, Sun W-L (2014) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in sediments from Xiangjiang River (China) using sequential extraction and lead isotope analysis. J Cent South Univ 21:2349–2358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee CS, Li X, Shi W, Cheung SC, Thornton I (2006) Metal contamination in urban, suburban, and country park soils of Hong Kong: a study based on GIS and multivariate statistics. Sci Total Environ 356:45–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Liang Q, Xue Z-J, Wang F, Sun Z-M, Yang Z-X, Liu S-Q (2015) Contamination and health risks from heavy metals in cultivated soil in Zhangjiakou City of Hebei Province, China. Environ Monit Assess 187:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu J, Wang H-W, Chen W (2012) A case study on Bengbu city: land use division and spatial controls during municipal land use planning. Resour Ind 14:122–127 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  18. Liu Q, Guo Y, Giesy JP (2015) Spatio-temporal effects of fertilization in Anhui Province, China. Environ Dev Sustain 17:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Loska K, Wiechuła D (2003) Application of principal component analysis for the estimation of source of heavy metal contamination in surface sediments from the Rybnik Reservoir. Chemosphere 51:723–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Luo B, Liu L, Zhang J-L, Tan F-Z, Meng W, Zheng B-H, Zhao X-G, Zhang Y-S (2010) Levels and distribution characteristics of heavy metals in sediments in main stream of Huaihe River. J Environ Health 27:1122–1127Google Scholar
  21. Madiseh SD, Savary A, Parham H, Sabzalizadeh S (2009) Determination of the level of contamination in Khuzestan coastal waters (Northern Persian Gulf) by using an ecological risk index. Environ Monit Assess 159:521–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Micó C, Recatalá L, Peris M, Sánchez J (2006) Assessing heavy metal sources in agricultural soils of an European Mediterranean area by multivariate analysis. Chemosphere 65:863–872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ministry of Environmental Protection of China (MEP) (2004) The technical specification for soil environmental monitoring (HJ/T166-2004). China Environmental Science Press, Beijing, pp 14–26 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  24. Muller G (1969) Index of geoaccumulation in sediments of the Rhine River. GeoJournal 2:109–118Google Scholar
  25. Nikolaidis C, Zafiriadis I, Mathioudakis V, Constantinidis T (2010) Heavy metal pollution associated with an abandoned lead–zinc mine in the Kirki Region, NE Greece. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 85:307–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Suresh G, Ramasamy V, Meenakshisundaram V, Venkatachalapathy R, Ponnusamy V (2011) Influence of mineralogical and heavy metal composition on natural radionuclide concentrations in the river sediments. Appl Radiat Isot 69:1466–1474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Uluturhan E, Kucuksezgin F (2007) Heavy metal contaminants in red Pandora (Pagellus erythrinus) tissues from the eastern Aegean Sea, Turkey. Water Res 41:1185–1192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang Z-S, Wang Y-S, Chen L-Q, Yan C-Z, Yan Y-J, Chi Q-Q (2015) Assessment of metal contamination in coastal sediments of the Maluan Bay (China) using geochemical indices and multivariate statistical approaches. Mar Pollut Bull 99:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang J, Liu G-J, Zhang J-M, Liu H-Q, Lam PKS (2016) A 59-year sedimentary record of metal pollution in the sediment core from the Huaihe River, Huainan, Anhui, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 23:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wei F-S (1991) Study on the background contents on 61 elements of soils in China. Environ Sci 12:12–20 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  31. Wei B-G, Yang L-S (2010) A review of heavy metal contaminations in urban soils, urban road dusts and agricultural soils from China. Microchem J 94:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wu S, Xia X, Lin C, Chen X, Zhou C (2010) Levels of arsenic and heavy metals in the rural soils of Beijing and their changes over the last two decades (1985–2008). J Hazard Mater 179:860–868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Xia J, Zhang Y-Y, Zhan C-S, Ye A-Z (2011) Water quality management in China: the case of the Huai River basin. Int J Water Resour Dev 27:167–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yang L-H, Song X-F, Zhang Y-H, Yuan R-Q, Ma Y, Han D-M, Bu H-M (2012) A hydrochemical framework and water quality assessment of river water in the upper reaches of the Huai River basin, China. Environ Earth Sci 67:2141–2153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yi Y, Yang Z, Zhang S (2011) Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediment and human health risk assessment of heavy metals in fishes in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin. Environ Pollut 159:2575–2585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yin H-B, Gao Y-N, Fan C-X (2011) Distribution, sources and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments from Lake Taihu, China. Environ Res Lett 6:67–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhang M-K, Zheng S-A (2007) Competitive adsorption of Cd, Cu, Hg and Pb by agricultural soils of the Changjiang and Zhujiang deltas in China. J Zhejiang Univ Sci A 8:1808–1815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhang Y-Y, Xia J, Liang T, Shao Q-X (2010) Impact of water projects on river flow regimes and water quality in Huai River basin. Water Resour Manag 24:889–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhu D-D, Zhao C-P, Zhang Y, Zhang J, Hong C, Fu J, Zhu H-L, An S-Q (2013) Pollution character and estimation of source of heavy metals in surface sediments of the Jialu River. Environ Monit Forewarning 5:41–45 (in Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiang Jin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jimin Fang
    • 2
  • Fuqiang Liu
    • 3
  • Aimin Li
    • 3
  • Puja Tandon
    • 1
  • Aidang Shan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Resources and Environmental EngineeringWuhan University of TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations