Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 26, pp 26527–26538 | Cite as

Responses of magnetic properties to heavy metal pollution recorded by lacustrine sediments from the Lugu Lake, Southwest China

  • Longsheng WangEmail author
  • Shouyun HuEmail author
  • Mingming Ma
  • Xiaohui Wang
  • Qing Wang
  • Zhenhua Zhang
  • Ji Shen
Research Article


Environmental magnetism, which is rapid, sensitive, economical, and non-destructive, has been used to assess heavy metal pollution in lake sediments based on the relationships between magnetic properties and heavy metal concentrations. We conducted a systematic environmental magnetic and heavy metal study of the sediments of the core LGS from Lugu Lake in Southwest China. The results show that the concentration-related magnetic parameters (χ, χARM, and SIRM) in the core LGS showed an increasing trend from bottom to top. The results of rock magnetism indicated that the dominant magnetic particles were magnetite. Two sources of magnetic minerals can be distinguished by the correlations of χ vs. χfd% and χ vs. χARM/χ: the surrounding catchment and anthropogenic activities. In addition, Pearson correlation analysis and principal component analysis showed that the concentration-dependent magnetic parameters have significant correlations with heavy metal (Al, Ti, Fe, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Cd) concentrations as well as the Tomlinson pollution load index (PLI), indicating that there are essential linkages of sources, deposition, and migration between magnetic particles and heavy metals. Based on previously reported 137Cs and 210Pb data, the historical trends of heavy metal pollution in Lugu Lake were successfully reconstructed, and the causes of heavy metal pollution were mainly agricultural practices and atmospheric metal depositions from anthropogenic sources. The significant correlations between magnetic parameters, heavy metals, and the PLI indicate that magnetic parameters can potentially be used as an index of heavy metal pollution in lacustrine deposits.


Magnetic properties Heavy metals Lacustrine sediment Lugu Lake Southwest China 



We thank Prof. Erwin Appel (University of Tübingen) for instructive comments and providing facilities for magnetic measurements in Tübingen. Special thanks to the editors and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions.

Funding information

This research was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41702185, 41572152, 41272378, U1706220), the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (Grant No. ZR2017PD008), the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (Grant No. GZ675), the Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists (Grant No. 2012T1Z0004), and the Talent Foundation of Ludong University (Grant No. LB2017017).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coast Institute of Ludong UniversityYantaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina

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