Trace elements and rare earth elements in wet deposition of Lijiang, Mt. Yulong region, southeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau

Junming Guo , Shichang Kang , Jie Huang , Mika Sillanpää , Hewen Niu , Xuejun Sun , Yuanqing He , Shijing Wang , Lekhendra Tripathee


Received December 16, 2015,Revised March 08, 2016, Accepted March 11, 2016, Available online April 22, 2016

Volume 29,2017,Pages 18-28

In order to investigate the compositions and wet deposition fluxes of trace elements and rare earth elements (REEs) in the precipitation of the southeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, 38 precipitation samples were collected from March to August in 2012 in an urban site of Lijiang city in the Mt. Yulong region. The concentrations of most trace elements and REEs were higher during the non-monsoon season than during the monsoon season, indicating that the lower concentrations of trace elements and REEs observed during monsoon had been influenced by the dilution effect of increased precipitation. The concentrations of trace elements in the precipitation of Lijiang city were slightly higher than those observed in remote sites of the Tibetan Plateau but much lower than those observed in the metropolises of China, indicating that the atmospheric environment of Lijiang city was less influenced by anthropogenic emissions, and, as a consequence, the air quality was still relatively good. However, the results of enrichment factor and principal component analysis revealed that some anthropogenic activities (e.g., the increasing traffic emissions from the rapid development of tourism) were most likely important contributors to trace elements, while the regional/local crustal sources rather than anthropogenic activities were the predominant contributors to the REEs in the wet deposition of Lijiang city. Our study was relevant not only for assessing the current status of the atmospheric environment in the Mt. Yulong region, but also for specific management actions to be implemented for the control of atmospheric inputs and the health of the environment for the future.

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