Heavy Metals and Arsenic in Sediments of Xinfengjiang Reservoir in South China: Levels, Source Identification and Health Risk Assessment

VIEWS - 384 (Abstract) 148 (PDF)
Yunjiang Yu, Liangzhong Li, Mingyang Li, Xiaohui Zhang, Zongrui Li, Xiaohui Zhu, Bigui Lin


Xinfengjiang Reservoir (XFJR) is the largest drinking water source in the southern China, and plays a vital role in supporting the development of China's Pearl River delta. The levels, source Identification, potential ecological risks and health risk of eight metal elements including Zn, Pb, Ni, Mn, Cu, Cr, Cd and As in the sediments of the XFJR and Heyuan section of East River (HYER) were investigated. Sixteen sediment samples were collected from June to July 2016 in XFJR and HYER, and the concentrations of heavy metals (Zn, Pb, Ni, Mn, Cu, Cr, Cd) and As were analyzed simultaneously. Results showed that the contents of Zn, Pb, Ni, Mn, Cu, Cr, Cd and As in surface sediment of XFJR were 76.27, 36.63, 12.23, 293.61, 14.88, 60.38, 0.76 and 18.68 mg / kg , respectively, and were 76.47, 30.95, 24.47, 361.95, 23.80, 91.81, 0.68 and 7.31 mg / kg, respectively, for HYER. The pollution’s levels of the heavy metal and As was in the order of Cd > Zn > Cr > Mn > As > Cu > Ni > Pb. The spatial distribution pattern of heavy metal and As in the surface sediments of the studied area featured high concentrations in the northeastern region and low concentrations in the XFJR, with a gradual decrease along the river flow from north to south. The results of principal component analysis demonstrated that agricultural activities, industrial pollution and water vehicles were the main sources of heavy metals pollution. The potential ecological risk index of the region was 22.02, and the potential ecological risk of heavy metal and As were in the ordered of Ni > Cu > Pb > Cr > Zn > Mn > Cd >As, indicating slight ecological risk. In addition, the non-carcinogenic risk and carcinogenic risk of heavy metal and As in the surface sediment for adult and children were within acceptable level.


Heavy metals; Surface sediments; source identification; Risk assessment

Full Text:



Aljahdali, M. O., and Alhassan, A. B. 2020. Ecological risk assessment of heavy metal contamination in mangrove habitats, using biochemical markers and pollution indices: A case study of Avicennia marina L. in the Rabigh lagoon, Red Sea. Saudi Journal of

Biological Sciences.


Cao, Y., Lei, K., Zhang, X., Xu, L., Lin, C., and Yang, Y. 2018. Contamination and ecological risks of toxic metals in the Hai River, China. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 164, 210-218.


Chen, M., Li, F., Tao, M., Hu, L., Shi, Y., and Liu, Y. 2019. Distribution and ecological risks of heavy metals in river sediments and

overlying water in typical mining areas of China. Mar Pollut Bull, 146, 893-899.


Chon, H., Ohandja, D., and Voulvoulis, N. 2012. The role of sediments as a source of metals in river catchments. Chemosphere, 88(10), 1250-1256.


Facchinelli, A., Sacchi, E., and Mallen, L. 2001. Multivariate statistical and GIS-based approach to identify heavy metal sources in soils.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 114(3), 313-324.


Guo, X. Y., Gao, M., Zhang, J., Zhang, H. T., Zhu, J. G., and Deng, J. C. 2019. Characteristics of spatial distribution andbiological toxicity

for heavy metals in sediments of the Yangcheng Lake. China Environmental Science 39(2), 802-811.

Hakanson, L. 1980. An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution-control-A sedimentological arrroach. Water Res, 14, 975-1001.


Huang, B. 2019. Changes in chemical fractions and ecological risk prediction of heavy metals in estuarine sediments of Chunfeng Lake

estuary, China. Mar Pollut Bull, 138, 575-583.


Irshad, M. K., Noman, A., Alhaithloul, H. A. S., Adeel, M., Rui, Y., Shah, T., Zhu, S., and Shang, J. 2020. Goethite-modified biochar

ameliorates the growth of rice ( Oryza sativa L.) plants by suppressing Cd and As-induced oxidative stress in Cd and As cocontaminated paddy soil. Science of the Total Environment, 717.


Kang, J., Zhou, L., Duan, X., Sun, H., Ao, Z., and Wang, S. 2019. Degradation of Cosmetic Microplastics via Functionalized Carbon

Nanosprings. Matter, 1(3), 745-758.


Li, Y., Gao, B., Xu, D., Peng, W., Liu, X., Qu, X., and Zhang, M. 2020. Hydrodynamic impact on trace metals in sediments in the cascade

reservoirs, North China. Science of the Total Environment, 716.


Liu, M., Chen, J., Sun, X., Hu, Z., and Fan, D. 2019. Accumulation and transformation of heavy metals in surface sediments from the

Yangtze River estuary to the East China Sea shelf. Environmental Pollution, 245, 111-121.


Liu, P., Hu, W., Tian, K., Huang, B., Zhao, Y., Wang, X., Zhou, Y., Shi, B., Kwon, B. O., Choi, K., Ryu, J., Chen, Y., Wang, T., and Khim, J.

S. 2020. Accumulation and ecological risk of heavy metals in soils along the coastal areas of the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea: A

comparative study of China and South Korea. Environ Int, 137, 105519.


Liu, Z. L., Yan, Y. J., Lu, J. J., Liu, J. H., and Chen, B. M. 2019. Pollution characteristics and pollution degree assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments from Bosten Lake. Journal of Shihezi University ( Natural Science), 37(5), 613-620.

Melymuk, L., Robson, M., Csiszar, S. A., Helm, P. A., Kaltenecker, G., Backus, S., Bradley, L., Gilbert, B., Blanchard, P., Jantunen, L.,

and Diamond, M. L. 2014. From the City to the Lake: Loadings of PCBs, PBDEs, PAHs and PCMs from Toronto to Lake Ontario.

Environmental Science & Technology, 48(7), 3732-3741.


Müller, G. 1979. Heavy metals in sediment of the Rhine-changes since 1971. Umschau in Wissenschaft Und Technik, 79, 778-783.

Nawab, J., Khan, S., and Xiaoping, W. 2018. Ecological and health risk assessment of potentially toxic elements in the major rivers of

Pakistan: General population vs. Fishermen. Chemosphere, 202, 154-164.


Pan, L., Wu, R., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Fang, G., Su, B., Wang, S., and Xiang, B. 2019. Heavy metal pollution levels and risk assessment of

soils and sediments in the upstream of Miyun Reservoir, Beijing. Journal of environmental engineering technology, 9(3), 261-268.

Park, J., Lee, S., Lee, E., Noh, H., Seo, Y., Lim, H., Shin, H., Lee, I., Jung, H., Na, T., and Kim, S. D. 2019. Probabilistic ecological risk

assessment of heavy metals using the sensitivity of resident organisms in four Korean rivers. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf, 183, 109483.


Robertson, D. J., Taylor, K. G., and Hoon, S. R. 2003. Geochemical and mineral magnetic characterisation of urban sediment particulates, Manchester, UK. Applied Geochemistry, 18(2).


Sun, C., Zhang, Z., Cao, H., Xu, M., and Xu, L. 2019. Concentrations, speciation, and ecological risk of heavy metals in the sediment of

the Songhua River in an urban area with petrochemical industries. Chemosphere, 219, 538-545.


Tian, K., Wu, Q., Liu, P., Hu, W., Huang, B., Shi, B., Zhou, Y., Kwon, B.-O., Choi, K., Ryu, J., Seong Khim, J., and Wang, T. 2020.

Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in sediments and water from the coastal areas of the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea.

Environment International, 136.


USEPA 1989. Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume 1: Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part a), Interim Final. U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response. Washington, 1-288.

USEPA 2004. Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund Volume I: Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part E, Supplemental Guidance for

Dermal Risk Assessment).

Xia, F., Qu, L., Wang, T., Luo, L., Chen, H., Dahlgren, R. A., Zhang, M., Mei, K., and Huang, H. 2018. Distribution and source analysis of

heavy metal pollutants in sediments of a rapid developing urban river system. Chemosphere, 207.


Xu, X., Wang, T., Sun, M., Bai, Y., Fu, C., Zhang, L., Hu, X., and Hagist, S. 2019. Management principles for heavy metal contaminated farmland based on ecological risk-A case study in the pilot area of Hunan province, China. Sci Total Environ, 684, 537-547.


Yang, C., Wu, Y., Zhang, F., Liu, L., and Pan, R. 2016. Pollution characteristics and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in the

surface sediments from a source water reservoir. Chemical Speciation & Bioavailability, 28(1-4), 133-141.


Yang, F., Zhang, S., Sun, Y., Du, Q., Song, J., and Tsang, D. C. W. 2019. A novel electrochemical modification combined with one-step

pyrolysis for preparation of sustainable thorn-like iron-based biochar composites. Bioresource Technology, 274, 379-385.


Yao, Z. 2006. Environmental geochemistry of heavy metals in sediments of Dongting Lake. Geochimica, 35(6), 629-638.

Yavar Ashayeri, N., and Keshavarzi, B. 2019. Geochemical characteristics, partitioning, quantitative source apportionment, and ecological and health risk of heavy metals in sediments and water: A case study in Shadegan Wetland, Iran. Mar Pollut Bull, 149, 110495.


Zhang, Q., Feng, M. Q., and Hao, X. Y. 2019. Pollution characteristics and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in the sediments of

zhangze reservoir. Environmental engineering, 37(1), 11-17.

Zhang, Z., Lu, Y., Li, H., Tu, Y., Liu, B., and Yang, Z. 2018. Assessment of heavy metal contamination, distribution and source identification in the sediments from the Zijiang River, China. Science of The Total Environment, 645, 235-243.


Zhao, B., Zhu, S., Yang, X., Wang, M., Su, C., and Xu, C. 2018. Pollution Status and Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in

Sediments of Caohai Lake. Research of environmental sciences, 32(2), 235-224.

Zhao, G., Ye, S., Yuan, H., Ding, X., Wang, J., and Laws, E. A. 2018. Surface sediment properties and heavy metal contamination

assessment in river sediments of the Pearl River Delta, China. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 136, 300-308.


Zhao, S. Y., and Han, B. P. 2007. Structural analysis of zooplankton community in a large deep oligotrophic reservoir-Xinfengjiang

Reservoir, South China. Journal of Lake Sciences, 19(3), 305-314.


Zhuang, W., Ying, S. C., Frie, A. L., Wang, Q., Song, J., Liu, Y., Chen, Q., and Lai, X. 2019. Distribution, pollution status, and source

apportionment of trace metals in lake sediments under the influence of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project, China. Science of

The Total Environment, 671, 108-118.


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26789/AEB.2020.01.002


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Yunjiang Yu, Liangzhong Li, Mingyang Li, Xiaohui Zhang, Zongrui Li, Xiaohui Zhu, Bigui Lin

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.