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Chemosphere. 2007 Jan;66(8):1431-40. Epub 2006 Nov 17.

Distribution and accumulation of heavy metals in the sediments of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan.

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Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan, ROC.


The distribution, enrichment, and accumulation of heavy metals in the sediments, especially those at the vicinity of tributary estuaries of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan were investigated. Sediment samples from six locations in the Kaohsiung Harbor were collected quarterly in the period from 2002 to 2005 and characterized for metal content (e.g., Hg, Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn and Al), water content, organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorous, total grease, and grain size. Results showed that metal concentrations varied from 0.58 mg kg(-1) for Cd to 596 mg kg(-1) for Zn. Metal concentrations at the vicinity of river mouths were higher than those at other locations. All heavy metals studied, except Cr, had relatively high enrichment factors and geo-accumulation indices in the estuaries. Moreover, metal concentrations correlated closely to the physical-chemical properties of the sediments, which strongly suggested the influence of industrial and municipal wastewaters discharged from the neighboring industrial parks and river basins. Results would help develop strategies for pollution control and sediment remediation of Kaohsiung Harbor.

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