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Spatial and Temporal Variations of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments in Bohai Bay, North China

Abstract

Characteristics of the spatial and temporal distributions of selected heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb and Hg) in Bohai Bay, north China was examined. Surface sediment samples from 15 sites were collected and analyzed for the selected metals with atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) from the year of 1997–2007. Mean concentrations of metals in the 11-year period showed that Hg and Zn concentrations slightly fluctuated, while Cu, Cd and Pb concentrations in sediments varied with time. High levels of heavy metals occurred not only along the shoreline but also at some site in the inner part of the bay, suggesting the contamination sources of heavy metals from both terrestrial inputs and the atmospheric deposition. Compared with the environmental background values of selected heavy metals it indicated that anthropogenic activities influenced the sediment quality. The contamination factor \( {\text{C}}^{i}_{f} \), which is used to evaluate the pollution of the environment, showed that the contamination by selected heavy metals was moderate. Cd, Zn and Pb were the main polluting elements in this area.

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Acknowledgments

This research is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (2008EG124218).

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Correspondence to Jian Xu.

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Zhan, S., Peng, S., Liu, C. et al. Spatial and Temporal Variations of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments in Bohai Bay, North China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 482–487 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-010-9971-6

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Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Bohai Bay
  • Marine sediment quality
  • Assessment