The rapid expansion of construction related to coastal development evokes great concern about environmental risks. Recent attention has been focused mainly on factors related to the effects of waterlogging, but there is urgent need to address the potential hazard caused by artificial topography: derived changes in the elemental composition of the sediments. To reveal possible mechanisms and to assess the environmental risks of artificial topography on transition of elemental composition in the sediment at adjoining zones, a nest-random effects-combined investigation was carried out around a semi-open seawall. The results implied great changes induced by artificial topography. Not only did artificial topography alter the sediment elemental composition at sites under the effect of artificial topography, but also caused a coupling pattern transition of elements S and Cd. The biogeochemical processes associated with S were also important, as suggested by cluster analysis. The geo-accumulation index shows that artificial topography triggered the accumulation of C, N, S, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Ni, Cr, Pb, As and Cd, and increased the pollution risk of C, N, S, Cu, As and Cd. Enrichment factors reveal that artificial topography is a new type of human-activity-derived Cu contamination. The heavy metal Cu was notably promoted on both the geo-accumulation index and the enrichment factor under the influence of artificial topography. Further analysis showed that the Cu content in the sediment could be fitted using equations for Al and organic carbon, which represented clay mineral sedimentation and organic matter accumulation, respectively. Copper could be a reliable indicator of environmental degradation caused by artificial topography.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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