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Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signatures linked to anthropogenic toxic substances pollution in a highly industrialized area of South Korea

Hong, Seongjin, Lee, Yeonjung, Yoon, Seo Joon, Lee, Junghyun, Kang, Sujin, Won, Eun-Ji, Hur, Jin, Khim, Jong Seong, Shin, Kyung-Hoon
Marine pollution bulletin 2019 v.144 pp. 152-159
carbon, drain pipes, drainage systems, highlands, industrialization, lakes, land use, nitrogen, organic matter, particulates, pollutants, rain, sediments, stable isotopes, stormwater, streams, toxic substances, water pollution, water quality, South Korea
Sources of organic matter in a polluted coastal embayment (Lake Sihwa) indicated that δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N of suspended particulate matter (SPM) and sediments could be distinguished by land-use type and surrounding activities. Specifically, low δ¹⁵N occurred in inland creeks near industrial complex, where severe contamination by persistent toxic substances (PTSs) is evidenced. To identify the sources of ¹⁵N-depleted organic matter and PTSs, the SPM and/or sediments were collected along ~8 km of the Singil Creek and in stormwater drainage pipes that carried pollutants to the creeks from upland areas. Results indicated that stormwater originating in industrial areas was the main source of low δ¹⁵N and elevated PTSs, which appeared to flow into stormwater drains with rainwater and eventually into the creeks at stormwater outfalls. To improve the water quality of inland creeks, it will be necessary to reduce the amount of untreated stormwater entering stormwater drainage system from industrial complex.