Multivariate analysis for source identification of pollution in sediment of Linggi River, Malaysia

  • Md Suhaimi Elias
  • Shariff Ibrahim
  • Kamarudin Samuding
  • Shamsiah Ab Rahman
  • Yii Mei Wo
  • Jeremy Andy Dominic Daung


Rapid socioeconomic development in the Linggi River Basin has contributed to the significant increase of pollution discharge into the Linggi River and its adjacent coastal areas. The toxic element contents and distributions in the sediment samples collected along the Linggi River were determined using neutron activation analysis (NAA) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) techniques. The measured mean concentration of As, Cd, Pb, Sb, U, Th and Zn is relatively higher compared to the continental crust value of the respective element. Most of the elements (As, Cr, Fe, Pb, Sb and Zn) exceeded the freshwater sediment quality guideline-threshold effect concentration (FSQG-TEC) value. Downstream stations of the Linggi River showed that As concentrations in sediment exceeded the freshwater sediment quality guideline-probable effect concentration (FSQG-PEC) value. This indicates that the concentration of As will give an adverse effect to the growth of sediment-dwelling organisms. Generally, the Linggi River sediment can be categorised as unpolluted to strongly polluted and unpolluted to strongly to extremely polluted. The correlation matrix of metal-metal relationship, principle component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) indicates that the pollution sources of Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd and Pb in sediments of the Linggi River originated from the industry of electronics and electroplating. Elements of As, Cr, Sb and Fe mainly originated from motor-vehicle workshops and metal work, whilst U and Th originated from natural processes such as terrestrial runoff and land erosion.


Linggi River Geoaccumulation index Freshwater sediment quality guidelines Principle component analysis Cluster analysis 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (MOSTI) for financial support under ScienceFund research grant (04-03-01-SF0142). We would also like to express our gratitude and special thanks to staff of Analytical Chemistry Application Group for their assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md Suhaimi Elias
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shariff Ibrahim
    • 1
  • Kamarudin Samuding
    • 3
  • Shamsiah Ab Rahman
    • 2
  • Yii Mei Wo
    • 4
  • Jeremy Andy Dominic Daung
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Environment, Faculty of Applied SciencesUniversiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)Shah AlamMalaysia
  2. 2.Analytical Chemistry Application Group (ACA), Waste and Environmental Technology DivisionMalaysian Nuclear AgencyKajangMalaysia
  3. 3.Environmental Tracer Application Group (E-TAG), Waste and Environmental Technology DivisionMalaysian Nuclear AgencyKajangMalaysia
  4. 4.Radiochemistry and Environmental Group (RAS), Waste and Environmental Technology DivisionMalaysian Nuclear AgencyKajangMalaysia

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