Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

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Spatial distribution characteristics and source identification of heavy metals in river waters of the Huaihe River Basin, China

Jiqiang Yang , Yun Wan , Jingjing Li , Dawei Zou , Shuqing An , Xin Leng

Abstract

Rapid rates of industrialization and urbanization have led to heavy metal contamination of many rivers in China. Identification of the main sources of heavy metal contamination in river waters and the description of their spatial distributions are essential for the control of river water pollution. In this study, water samples were collected from 218 sampling sites on the rivers of the Huaihe River Basin during summer 2014. Results indicated that 14 heavy metal parameters were detected (As, Ba, Co, Cr, Fe, Pb, Mn, Mo, Ni, Zn, Se, Sn, Sr, and V). The concentrations of those heavy metals showed significant regional variation and they could be divided into four groups: a pollution-free group (Group C), relatively low pollution group (Group D), moderate pollution group (Group A), and relatively high pollution group (Group B). Pearson correlation coefficients verified the common sources of some of the heavy metals. Further analysis revealed that releases of effluents associated with mining, smelting, welding, fertilizers, pesticides, and the chemical and electronics industries are the principal sources of heavy metal contamination in the water of the rivers of the Huaihe River Basin.

MF17375  Accepted 29 January 2018

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