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An extended study on historical mercury accumulation in lake sediment of Shanghai: The contribution of socioeconomic driver

Yang, Jing, Chen, Ling, Steele, Joshua Caleb, Chen, Rui-Shan, Meng, Xiang-Zhou
Environmental pollution 2016 v.219 pp. 612-619
coal, emissions, industrialization, industry, issues and policy, lakes, mercury, models, sediments, socioeconomic factors, urban areas, urbanization, China, Taiwan
Rapid industrialization and urbanization has caused large emission and potential contamination of mercury (Hg) in urban environment. However, little is known about the impact of socioeconomic factor on Hg accumulation in sediment. In the present study, historical record of anthropogenic Hg deposition of Shanghai was reconstructed by using three sediment cores from three park lakes (C1: Luxun Park; C2: Fuxing island Park; C3: Xinjiangwan Park). Meanwhile, the influence of socioeconomic factor to Hg emissions and sedimentary record was calculated based on an extended STIRPAT (stochastic impacts by regression on population, affluence and technology) model. The profiles of Hg levels and fluxes in the three sediment cores showed that Shanghai has recently undergone urbanization. The anthropogenic Hg fluxes exhibited fluctuant increases from ∼1900 to present and accelerated after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and the implementation of reform and opening up policy in 1978. The mean flux ratios of Hg in post-2000 were 2.2, 12, and 2.7 in the C1, C2 and C3 cores, respectively. The extended STIRPAT model was constructed based on strong positive relationships between socioeconomic factors and Hg fluxes, revealing that the proportion of coal consumption, the urbanization rate, and the proportion of heavy industry were the three most important driving factors for Hg accumulations in urban sediment of Shanghai.