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Characteristics and impacts of trace elements in atmospheric deposition at a high-elevation site, southern China

Nie, Xiaoling, Wang, Yan, Li, Yaxin, Sun, Lei, Li, Tao, Yang, Minmin, Yang, Xueqiao, Wang, Wenxing
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.29 pp. 22839-22851
aluminum, arsenic, atomic absorption spectrometry, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, dry deposition, iron, lead, manganese, models, molybdenum, nickel, pH, pollution, prediction, rain, risk, selenium, soil, toxic substances, vanadium, wet deposition, zinc, China
To investigate the regional background trace element (TE) level in atmospheric deposition (dry and wet), TEs (Fe, Al, V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Ba, and Pb) in 52 rainwater samples and 73 total suspended particles (TSP) samples collected in Mt. Lushan, Southern China, were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The results showed that TEs in wet and dry deposition of the target area were significantly elevated compared within and outside China and the volume weight mean pH of rainwater was 4.43. The relative contributions of wet and dry depositions of TEs vary significantly among elements. The wet deposition fluxes of V, As, Cr, Se, Zn, and Cd exceeded considerably their dry deposition fluxes while dry deposition dominated the removal of pollution elements such as Mo, Cu, Ni, Mn, and Al. The summed dry deposition flux was four times higher than the summed wet deposition flux. Prediction results based on a simple accumulation model found that the content of seven toxic elements (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, and Pb) in soils could increase rapidly due to the impact of annual atmospheric deposition, and the increasing amounts of them reached 0.063, 0.012, 0.026, 0.459, 0.076, 0.004, and 0.145 mg kg⁻¹, respectively. In addition, the annual increasing rates ranged from 0.05% (Cr and Ni) to 2.08% (Cd). It was also predicted that atmospheric deposition induced the accumulation of Cr and Cd in surface soils. Cd was the critical element with the greatest potential ecological risk among all the elements in atmospheric deposition.