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A 59-year sedimentary record of metal pollution in the sediment core from the Huaihe River, Huainan, Anhui, China

Wang, Jie, Liu, Guijian, Zhang, Jiamei, Liu, Houqi, Lam, Paul K. S.
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.23 pp. 23533-23545
accidents, atmospheric deposition, coal, cobalt, combustion, copper, flue gas, gasoline, humans, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, principal component analysis, radionuclides, rivers, sediment contamination, sediments, water pollution, zinc, China
An approximately 59-year (1955–2014) sedimentary record of metal elements (Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Mn, and Fe) in a sediment core, collected from the Huaihe River, Huainan City, Anhui Province, China, was reconstructed by using ²¹⁰Pb geochronology. Copper, Zn, Ni, Co, and Mn evaluated by enrichment factor (EF) indicated minor contamination due to water pollution accidents of the Huaihe River that occurred in 1990s and 2004. Lead presented the most severe pollution among the metals studied, especially during 1957–1974. The use of leaded petrol and atmospheric deposition of coal combustion flue gases could have contributed to Pb contamination. In spite of the general good quality (mean sediment pollution index (SPI) 35.69) of the sediment core evaluated by SPI based on the principal component analysis, worse sediment qualities in the upper section (<6 cm, 2004) were still observed, suggesting intensive human activities causing the increasing concentrations of metals in recent decades.