Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 3019–3032 | Cite as

Using magnetic susceptibility to evaluate pollution status of the sediment for a typical reservoir in northwestern China

  • Huiyun Pan
  • Xinwei LuEmail author
  • Kai Lei
  • Dongqi Shi
  • Chunhui Ren
  • Linna Yang
  • Lijun Wang
Research Article


Intensive anthropogenic activities may add to pollution risks to lakes and rivers, which can be revealed by the magnetic characteristics of sediments. The present study aims to assess the pollution status of the sediment of a typical reservoir in northwestern China by application of magnetic susceptibility. The values of magnetic susceptibility exhibited significant positive correlations with trace metals (Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, and V) and natural radionuclides (232Th and 40K). Multivariate statistical analysis indicated common sources and similar deposition characteristics of magnetic particles and trace metals. It was conformed that magnetic susceptibility could be used as an indicator to identify industrial sources of trace metals, but was not suitable to indicate the traffic or natural sources. Linear regression equations between the low-frequency magnetic susceptibility and the integrated pollution index as well as annual effective dose rate indicated a potential for using magnetic susceptibility in semi-quantitative assessment of trace metal pollution and radiological hazard in sediments. A three-step procedure is proposed for the use of magnetic susceptibility in pollution monitoring, which provides a fast and effective method for estimating the pollution extent and tracing the major sources of trace metals in the sediment of lakes and rivers.


Trace metal Natural radionuclide Pollution indicator Source discrimination Environmental magnetism method 



We thank Cancan Chen and Xiaoxue Li for their help with the sampling and the experiments.

Funding information

The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China through Grant 41271510 and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central University through Grants GK201601009 and 2017TS027.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huiyun Pan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xinwei Lu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kai Lei
    • 3
  • Dongqi Shi
    • 1
  • Chunhui Ren
    • 1
  • Linna Yang
    • 1
  • Lijun Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science, School of Geography and TourismShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Resources and EnvironmentHenan Polytechnic UniversityJiaozuoPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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