SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 259-265.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2017.02.012

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Pollution and Potential Ecological Risk of Heavy Metals in Sediment from the Lower Reaches of Shaliuhe River, Qinghai Lake Watershed

Huajin Chang1,2(), Guangchao Cao2, Kelong Chen2, Xiaozhou Sun1   

  1. 1. School of Management, Hubei University of Arts and Science, Xiangyang 441053, Hubei, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Physical Geography and Environmental Processes of Qinghai Province, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810008, Qinghai, China
  • Received:2016-01-04 Revised:2016-07-12 Online:2017-02-25 Published:2017-02-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41372003), Scientific Research Innovation Program of Qinghai Normal University, Young and Middle-aged Innovation Team Project of Hubei Provincial Colleges and Universities(T201314)


Heavy metals (including As, Cd, Pb, V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu and Zn) concentrations in sediment from the lower reaches of Shaliuhe River in Qinghai Lake watershed were investigated by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The pollution coefficient (Pi), enrichment factor (EF), geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and potential ecological risk index (RI) were applied for assessing the status of sediment heavy metal pollution and the extent of potential ecological risk. The results showed that the mean concentrations of As, Cd, Pb, V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu and Zn were 10.4±1.5 mg/kg, 0.12±0.05 mg/kg, 18.7±3.5 mg/kg, 63.6±7.7 mg/kg, 49.1±8.9 mg/kg, 618±100 mg/kg, 24.9±4.8 mg/kg, 19.7±6.6 mg/kg and 68.1±13.7 mg/kg, respectively. These heavy metals concentrations in both spatial and temporal sediments are lower than the average soil content of Qinghai Lake watershed. Both Pi and EF of all the elements in sediment samples are lower than 2, and most of them are lower than 1. The heavy metals that have high value of Pi and EF are mainly Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn. The Igeo of most elements are negative except Cd and Cu in QB-19. Besides Cd in three surface sediment samples (QB-19, QB-23 and QB-30), the potential ecological risk factor (Ei) of the heavy metals are lower than 30, and the RI of the heavy metals are lower than 70 except for the three surface sediment samples mentioned above. The results suggest that sediment in the lower reaches of Shaliuhe River has not been polluted, and it has low potential ecological risk. However, anthropogenic contribution for heavy metals (especially Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn) do exists in the Shaliuhe River watershed, and it was significant in modern times.

Key words: heavy metals, sediment, the Shaliuhe River, Qinghai Province

CLC Number: 

  • P595