Assessment of Metal Contamination in Surface Sediments of Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, China

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An assessment of metal contamination in surface sediments of the Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, one of the rapidly developing coastal economic zones in China, is provided. Sediments were collected from 10 stations and a total of 15 heavy metals were analyzed. Concentrations of metals show significant variability and range from 210 to 620 ppm for Ti, 2.7 to 23 ppm for Ni, 4.2 to 28 ppm for Cu, 5.2 to 18 ppm for Pb, 12 to 58 ppm for Zn, 0.03 to 0.11 ppm for Cd, 5 to 51 ppm for Cr, 1.5 to 9.9 ppm for Co, 5.3 to 19 ppm for As, 12 to 32 ppm for Se, and 19 to 97 ppm for Sr. Based on concentration relationships and enrichment factor (EF) analyses, the results indicate that sediment grain size and organic matter played important roles in controlling the distribution of the heavy metals in surface sediments of the Jiaozhou Bay. The study shows that the sediment of the Jiaozhou Bay has been contaminated by heavy metals to various degrees, with prominent arsenic contributing the most to the contamination. The analysis suggests that the major sources of metal contamination in the Jiaozhou Bay are land-based anthropogenic ones, such as discharge of industrial waste water and municipal sewage and run-off. Notably, the elevated heavy metal concentrations of the Jiaozhou Bay sediments could have a significant impact on the bay's ecosystem. With the rapid economic development and urbanization around the Jiaozhou Bay, coastal management and pollution control should focus on these contaminant sources, as well as provide ongoing monitoring studies of heavy metal contamination within the bay.



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