Aquatic environment

Assessment of heavy metal enrichment and its human impact in lacustrine sediments from four lakes in the mid-low reaches of the Yangtze River, China


Haijian Bing , Yanhong Wu , Enfeng Liu , Xiangdong Yang

DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(12)60195-8

Received October 17, 2012,Revised January 08, 2013, Accepted , Available online July 10, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 1300-1309

Sediments from four lakes in the mid-low reaches of the Yangtze River, Taibai Lake, Longgan Lake, Chaohu Lake and Xijiu Lake, were chosen to evaluate their enrichment state and history. The state of heavy metal enrichment was at a low level in the sediment of Taibai Lake and Longgan Lake. The enrichment state of Co, Cr and Ni was also low in the sediment of Chaohu Lake and Xijiu Lake, while Cu, Pb and Zn enrichment reached a higher level. Mass accumulation fluxes were calculated to quantitatively evaluate the anthropogenic contribution to heavy metals in the sediment. The anthropogenic accumulation fluxes were lower in the sediment of Taibai Lake and Longgan Lake compared with the other two lakes, where heavy metals, especially Cu, Pb and Zn, were mainly from anthropogenic sources. Heavy metal accumulation did not vary greatly in the sediment of Taibai Lake and Longgan Lake, while that in Chaohu Lake and Xijiu Lake increased since the 1950s and substantially increased since the 1980s, although a decrease occurred since 2000 AD in Xijiu Lake. Heavy metal enrichment was strongly related to human activities in the catchment. The development of urbanization and industrialization was much more rapid in the catchments of Chaohu Lake and Xijiu Lake than of the other two lakes, and thus large amounts of anthropogenically sourced heavy metals were discharged into the lakes, which resulted in a higher contamination risk. However, human activities in the Longgan Lake and Taibai Lake catchments mainly involved agriculture, which contributed a relatively small portion of heavy metals to the lakes.

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