Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 5097–5110 | Cite as

Distribution, enrichment and sources of heavy metals in surface sediments of Hainan Island rivers, China

  • Debo ZhaoEmail author
  • Shiming Wan
  • Zhaojie Yu
  • Jie Huang
Original Article


Heavy metal concentrations in 36 samples of surface sediments from Hainan Island rivers were determined to evaluate the level of contamination in the region. Heavy metal concentrations (mg/kg) of Hainan Island rivers were in the range of 0.01–0.58 mg/kg for Hg, 0.09–0.70 mg/kg for Cd, 1.80–36.87 mg/kg for As, 15.33–69.32 mg/kg for Pb, 4.46–150.89 mg/kg for Cu, 6.64–104.95 mg/kg for Cr and 22.11–199.11 mg/kg for Zn. Contamination indices including contamination factor, enrichment factor, and geoaccumulation index, and multivariate statistical analyses indicated that Wenlan River was relatively at a considerable pollution level; Nandu, Changhua, Lingshui, Wanquan and Zhubi rivers were at a low-to-moderate pollution level; Beimen and Ningyuan rivers were at a level of relatively low pollution. Principal component analysis indicated that Cd, Pb, Cr and Zn were predominantly sourced from anthropogenic sources; whereas, Cu, As and Hg were from lithogenic sources. This study would be helpful for sustainable land use and marine management in the region.


Heavy metals Hainan Island rivers Surface sediment Contamination indices Multivariate statistical analyses Sources 



We thank Dr. Dongfeng Jiao and Mr. Chen for assistance in field work and Xingyan Shen and Xuebo Yin for technical help in laboratory. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41076033), Chinese Continental Shelf Deep Drilling Program (GZH201100202) and Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA11030104).


  1. Amin B, Ismail A, Arshad A, Yap CK, Kamarudin MS (2009) Anthropogenic impacts on heavy metal concentrations in the coastal sediments of Dumai, Indonesia. Environ Monit Assess 148:291–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. An Q, Wu Y, Wang J, Li Z (2010) Assessment of dissolved heavy metal in the Yangtze river estuary and its adjacent sea, China. Environ Monit Assess 164:173–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Audry S, Schafer J, Blanc G, Jouanneau JM (2004) Fifty-year sedimentary record of heavy metal pollution (Cd, Zn, Cu, Pb) in the Lot river reservoirs (France). Environ Pollut 132:413–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bacon JR, Davidson CM (2008) Is there a future for sequential chemical extraction? Analyst 133:25–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhuiyan MA, Suruvi NI, Dampare SB, Islam MA, Quraishi SB, Ganyaglo S, Suzuki S (2011) Investigation of the possible sources of heavy metal contamination in lagoon and canal water in the tannery industrial area in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Environ Monit Assess 175:633–649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chabukdhara M, Nema AK (2012) Assessment of heavy metal contamination in Hindon River sediments: a chemometric and geochemical approach. Chemosphere 87:945–953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cooke JA, Andrews SM, Johnson MS (1990) Lead, zinc, cadmium and fluoride in small mammals from contaminated grassland established on fluorspar tailings. Water Air Soil Pollut 51:43–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. CSBTS (2002) The People’s Republic of China National Standards GB 18668-2002-Marine Sediment Quality. China State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision: 10Google Scholar
  9. Dassenakis M, Scoullos M, Gaitis A (1997) Trace metals transport and behaviour in the Mediterranean estuary of Acheloos River. Mar Pollut Bull 34:103–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dou Y, Li J, Zhao J, Hu B, Yang S (2013) Distribution, enrichment and source of heavy metals in surface sediments of the eastern Beibu Bay, South China Sea. Mar Pollut Bull 67:137–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Facchinelli A, Sacchi E, Mallen L (2001) Multivariate statistical and GIS-based approach to identify heavy metal sources in soils. Environ Pollut 114:313–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fu G, Li M, Zeng W (2000) Geology in Hainan Island. Chinese Geology Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Gaur VK, Gupta SK, Pandey SD, Gopal K, Misra V (2005) Distribution of heavy metals in sediment and water of river Gomti. Environ Monit Assess 102:419–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control. A sedimentological approach. Water Res 14:975–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hu B, Cui R, Li J, Wei H, Zhao J, Bai F, Song W, Ding X (2013a) Occurrence and distribution of heavy metals in surface sediments of the Changhua river estuary and adjacent shelf (Hainan Island). Mar Pollut Bull 76:400–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hu B, Li G, Li J, Bi J, Zhao J, Bu R (2013b) Spatial distribution and ecotoxicological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of the southern Bohai Bay, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 20:4099–4110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Idris AM (2008) Combining multivariate analysis and geochemical approaches for assessing heavy metal level in sediments from Sudanese harbors along the Red Sea coast. Microchem J 90:159–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ip CC, Li XD, Zhang G, Wai OW, Li YS (2007) Trace metal distribution in sediments of the Pearl river estuary and the surrounding coastal area, South China. Environ Pollut 147:311–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Irabien MJ, Velasco F (1999) Heavy metals in Oka river sediments (Urdaibai National Biosphere Reserve, northern Spain): lithogenic and anthropogenic effects. Environ Geol 37:54–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li L (1992) Hydrological character in Hainan island. Hydrology 6:49–51Google Scholar
  21. Li X, Liu L, Wang Y, Luo G, Chen X, Yang X, Gao B, He X (2012) Integrated assessment of heavy metal contamination in sediments from a coastal industrial basin, NE China. PloS one 7:e39690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Loring D, Rantala R (1992) Manual for the geochemical analyses of marine sediments and suspended particulate matter. Earth Sci Rev 32:235–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 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
  24. Metcalfe I (2009) Late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic tectonic and palaeogeographical evolution of SE Asia. Geol Soc Lond (Spec Publ) 315:7–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Meza-Figueroa D, Maier RM, de la O-Villanueva M, Gomez-Alvarez A, Moreno-Zazueta A, Rivera J, Campillo A, Grandlic CJ, Anaya R, Palafox-Reyes J (2009) The impact of unconfined mine tailings in residential areas from a mining town in a semi-arid environment: Nacozari, Sonora, Mexico. Chemosphere 77:140–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Müller G (1979) Schwermetalle in den Sedimenten des Rheins-Veränderungen seit 1971. Umschau 79:778–783Google Scholar
  27. Müller G (1981) Die Schwermetallbelastung der sedimente des Neckars und seiner Nebenflusse: eine Bestandsaufnahme. Chem Zeitung 105:157–164Google Scholar
  28. Pekey H (2006) The distribution and sources of heavy metals in Izmit Bay surface sediments affected by a polluted stream. Mar Pollut Bull 52:1197–1208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Peng X, Zhou H, Weng H, Pan J, Chen G (2003) Characteristics of major elements' constitutions and distributions in sediments of the Lingdingyang in the Pearl River Estuary and their geochemical implication. J Zhejiang Univ (Science Edition) 30:697–702 (in Chinese with English abstract) Google Scholar
  30. Raghunath R, Tripathi RM, Kumar AV, Sathe AP, Khandekar RN, Nambi KS (1999) Assessment of Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn exposures of 6- to 10-year-old children in Mumbai. Environ Res 80:215–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reimann C, Filzmoser P, Garrett R, Dutter R (2011) Statistical data analysis explained: applied environmental statistics with R. John Wiley & Sons, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  32. Sakan SM, Dordevic DS, Manojlovic DD, Predrag PS (2009) Assessment of heavy metal pollutants accumulation in the Tisza river sediments. J Environ Manage 90:3382–3390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. SBSM (2008) Electronic atlas of Hainan province. The state bureau of surveying and mapping in Hainan data information centerGoogle Scholar
  34. Shi X, Kohn B, Spencer S, Guo X, Li Y, Yang X, Shi H, Gleadow A (2011) Cenozoic denudation history of southern Hainan Island, South China Sea: constraints from low temperature thermochronology. Tectonophysics 504:100–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Singh KP, Malik A, Sinha S (2005) Water quality assessment and apportionment of pollution sources of Gomti river (India) using multivariate statistical techniques—a case study. Anal Chim Acta 538:355–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sun S, Song X, Sun Y, Ma X, Li J, Chen J, Huang T, Cao L (2014) Determination of multiple metallic elements in oceanic sediments by ICP-AES. Chin J Inorg Anal Chem 4:35–38Google Scholar
  37. Varol M (2011) Assessment of heavy metal contamination in sediments of the Tigris river (Turkey) using pollution indices and multivariate statistical techniques. J Hazard Mater 195:355–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wan S, Li A, Clift PD, Stuut J-BW (2007) Development of the east Asian monsoon: mineralogical and sedimentologic records in the northern south China Sea since 20 Ma. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 254:561–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Xia P, Meng X, Yin P, Liu L (2008) Heavy metal pollution and its potential ecological risk in the sediments from the Beihai intertidal zone of Guangxi province. Adv Mar Sci 26:471–477Google Scholar
  40. Xia P, Meng X, Yin P, Cao Z, Wang X (2011) Eighty-year sedimentary record of heavy metal inputs in the intertidal sediments from the Nanliu river estuary, Beibu Gulf of South China Sea. Environ Pollut 159:92–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xu Y, Cawood PA, Du Y, Zhong Z, Hughes NC (2014) Terminal suturing of Gondwana along the southern margin of South China Craton: evidence from detrital zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopes in Cambrian and Ordovician strata, Hainan island. Tectonics 33:2490–2504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yang S, Li C (1999) Characteristic element compositions of the Yangtze and the Yellow River sediments and their geological background. Mar Geol Quat Geol 19:19–26 (in Chinese with English abstract) Google Scholar
  43. Yang W, Lai Z, Wei T (2009) Pollution and ecological hazard evaluation of sediment heavy metals in Pearl River Estuary. J Zhejiang Ocean Univ (Natural Science) 2:188–232 (in Chinese with English abstract) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yu R, Yuan X, Zhao Y, Hu G, Tu X (2008) Heavy metal pollution in intertidal sediments from Quanzhou Bay, China. J Environ Sci 20:664–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zhang J (1995) Geochemistry of trace metals from Chinese river/estuary systems: an overview. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 41:631–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang J, Liu C (2002) Riverine composition and estuarine geochemistry of particulate metals in China—weathering features, anthropogenic impact and chemical fluxes. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 54:1051–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhang H, Shan B (2008) Historical records of heavy metal accumulation in sediments and the relationship with agricultural intensification in the Yangtze-Huaihe region, China. Sci Total Environ 399:113–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhang W, Feng H, Chang J, Qu J, Xie H, Yu L (2009) Heavy metal contamination in surface sediments of Yangtze River intertidal zone: an assessment from different indexes. Environ Pollut 157:1533–1543CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debo Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shiming Wan
    • 1
  • Zhaojie Yu
    • 3
  • Jie Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Laboratoire IDES, UMR 8148 CNRSUniversité de Paris XIOrsayFrance

Personalised recommendations