Grain size and concentrations of organic carbon (Corg) and particulate metals (PMs) As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn, Al, Fe, and Mn of 373 surface sediment samples, salinities in 67 surface water samples, were analyzed in various environments, including the upper delta plain wetlands (UDPW), its adjacent shallow sea wetland (SSW) in the Liaodong Bay, and river channels that are running through the Liaohe Delta, to evaluate the spatial distribution, transportation environmental dynamics of metals, and the provenance of metal pollution and assess the filtration functions of wetlands. The concentrations of PMs for UDPW were generally higher by a factor of ~ 10–22% compared with its analogues in SSW, suggesting the accumulation of PMs within the UDPW indicates that the UDPW systems are efficiently physical and chemical traps for PMs of anthropogenic sources by retaining and storing pollutants flowing into the sea. However, there was sever sewage irrigation-induced Cd pollution with a geo-accumulation index of 0.62–3.11 in an area of ~ 86 km2 of the adjacent shallow sea wetland, where large amount wetlands were historically moved for agriculture in the UDPW. Remarkably, the distributions of PMs were controlled by salinity-induced desorption and re-adsorption mechanisms and significantly dispersed the contamination coverage by the three-dimensional hydrodynamic and sedimentation processes that dominated by inputs of freshwater and ocean dynamics including NE-SW tidal currents and NE-E longshore drifts in the SSW of the Liaodong Bay. A high agreement between the UDPW and the SSW datasets in principal component analysis essentially reflects that the characteristics of PM sources in the SSW were actually inherited from that in the UDPW, with a much closer relationship among metals, organic matter, and fine particulates in SSW than that of UDPW, which was judged by their correlation coefficient range of 0.406–0.919 in SSW against those of 0.042–0.654 in UDPW.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 12, 2017
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