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Assessment of nutrient and heavy metal contamination in the seawater and sediment of Yalujiang Estuary

Li, Hongjun, Lin, Lin, Ye, Sheng, Li, Hongbo, Fan, Jingfeng
Marine pollution bulletin 2017 v.117 no.1-2 pp. 499-506
arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cluster analysis, combustion, copper, estuaries, eutrophication, heavy metals, industrial effluents, lead, marine ecosystems, mercury, nitrogen, nutrients, oils, particulate emissions, phosphorus, risk, rivers, seawater, sediment contamination, sediments, zinc, China, North Korea
Yalujiang River is a famous border river between China and North Korea. In this study, 22 sample sites (seawater and sediments) were investigated to determine the concentrations of nutrients (dissolved inorganic nitrogen and soluble reactive phosphorus) and trace elements (Hg, As, Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr, and Zn) during the flood season (August). Generally, the concentration of nutrients were higher in the entrance of the estuary than that in the downstream region and the trophic index ranged from moderate to high production, indicating a potential eutrophication risk. With the exception of Cd, the mean concentrations of most metals attained the first level of seawater quality. Sediment pollution assessment was undertaken using contamination factor (CF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo). The CF values of the seven trace elements were in the following order: Cd>Hg>Pb>As>Cu>Zn>Cr. Both CF and Igeo values indicated the elevated Cd and Hg concentrations in the region. Cluster analysis indicated that the sources of Cu, Cd, Cr, and Zn were mainly derived from copper mine and coastal industrial effluents, whereas Pb, Hg, and As were mainly from vehicle emissions and oil combustion. This study could provide a basis for the sustainable management of the marine ecosystem in this region.