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Environmental Earth Sciences

, 76:168 | Cite as

The diagenetic geochemistry and contamination assessment of iron, cadmium, and lead in the sediments from the Shuangtaizi estuary, China

  • Baolin LiuEmail author
  • Yongsheng Nie
  • Xiuhua Gao
  • Ke Hu
  • Juan Yang
Original Article

Abstract

Sediment and pore water samples have been collected from the coastal tidal flat in the Shuangtaizi estuary, China, in order to investigate the geochemical behavior of iron, cadmium, and lead during diagenesis and to assess the degree of contamination. The calculated enrichment factors and geoaccumulation indices for separate elements show that anthropogenic activities have had no significant influence on the distribution of Fe and Pb in the study area, whereas the distribution of Cd has been closely influenced in this way. The high percentage of exchangeable Cd (average of 56.34%) suggests that Cd represents a potential hazard to benthic organisms in the estuary. The calculated diffusive fluxes of metals show that the most mobilized metal is Fe (9.22 mg m−2 a−1), followed by Cd (0.54 mg m−2 a−1) and Pb (0.42 mg m−2 a−1). Low Fe2+ contents in surface pore water, alongside high chromium-reducible sulfur contents, and low acid-volatile sulfur, and elemental sulfur contents at 0–25 cm depth in sediments show that Fe2+ is formed by the reduction of Fe oxides and is transformed first to a solid phase of iron monosulfides (FeS) and eventually to pyrite (FeS2). The release of adsorbed Pb due to reductive dissolution of Fe/Mn oxides during early diagenesis could be a source of Pb2+ in pore water. From the relatively low total organic carbon contents measured in sediments (0.46–1.28%, with an average of 0.94%) and the vertical variation of Cd2+ in pore water, sulfide or Fe/Mn oxides (instead of organic matter) are presumed to exert a significant influence on carrying or releasing Cd by the sediments.

Keywords

Metal Contamination Sediment Shuangtaizi estuary 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (41106108), and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2652015168 and 2652015035).

Supplementary material

12665_2017_6481_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (26 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 26 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China University of Geosciences in BeijingBeijingChina
  2. 2.CNPC Research Institute of Safety and Environment TechnologyBeijingChina

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