Seasonal, Spatial Distribution and Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Surface Sediments from a Watershed Area in Gonghu Bay in Taihu Lake, China


Surface sediments from five stations within Gonghu Bay in Taihu Lake, China, were sampled for seasonal and spatial metal contamination analysis variations and ecological risks assessment from April 2009 to January 2010. The Contamination Factor (CF) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) indicated that the sediments in Gonghu Bay ranged from unpolluted to moderately polluted, except for Cd. The one-way ANOVA analysis results showed that the Pb, Zn, Cr, and Cu concentrations were higher at station 3 (lake inlet) and the Cr, Pb, and Zn concentrations were significantly higher in the spring. Additionally, using BCR¡¦s sequential extraction, the results showed that the fractionated metals Zn and Cd were observed as bioavailable fractions in the sediments, which could have potential moderate mobility in the water system. There was a significant increase in the bioavailable form during winter. The ratio of secondary and primary phrase (RSP) decreased according to the order Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb > Cd > Cr. Finally, these results indicated that the sediments of Gonghu Bay were polluted by Cd, Zn, and Cu, which provides a scientific basis for effectively protecting sediments in watershed areas from long-term heavy metal accumulation.

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