Heavy Metal Contamination in Surface Sediments of Yangtze River Intertidal Zone: An Assessment from Different Indexes

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Surface sediments (0-5 cm) from 59 stations within the Yangtze River intertidal zone (YRIZ) were sampled for metal contamination analysis in April and August 2005. The concentrations ranged (in mg kg -1 dry weight): Al, 40,803-97,213; Fe, 20,538-49,627; Cd, 0.12-0.75; Cr, 36.9-173; Cu, 6.87-49.7; Mn, 413-1,112; Ni, 17.6-48.0; Pb, 18.3-44.1; and Zn, 47.6-154; respectively. Among the 59 sampling stations, enrichment factors (EF) indicate enrichment of Cd (52 stations), Cr (54 stations), Cu (5 stations), Ni (26 stations), Pb (5 stations) and Zn (5 stations). Geoaccumulation indexes (I geo ) also suggest individual metal contamination in localized areas. This study indicates that Cd, Cr and Ni enrichment in the YRIZ sediment is widespread whereas Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn enrichment is localized or nonexistent. Factor and cluster analyses indicate that Cd is associated with total organic carbon whereas Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn have a close association with Mn.



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