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Environ Pollut. 2011 Oct;159(10):3057-70. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 May 10.

Assessment of heavy metal pollution from a Fe-smelting plant in urban river sediments using environmental magnetic and geochemical methods.

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State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No 19 Bei Tucheng Xilu, Chaoyang Dist, Beijing 100029, China.


Environmental magnetic proxies provide a rapid means of assessing the degree of industrial heavy metal pollution in soils and sediments. To test the efficiency of magnetic methods for detecting contaminates from a Fe-smelting plant in Loudi City, Hunan Province (China) we investigated river sediments from Lianshui River. Both magnetic and non-magnetic (microscopic, chemical and statistical) methods were used to characterize these sediments. Anthropogenic heavy metals coexist with coarse-grained magnetic spherules. It can be demonstrated that the Pollution Load Index of industrial heavy metals (Fe, V, Cr, Mo, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cu) and the logarithm of saturation isothermal remanent magnetization, a proxy for magnetic concentration, are significantly correlated. The distribution heavy metal pollution in the Lianshui River is controlled by surface water transport and deposition. Our findings demonstrate that magnetic methods have a useful and practical application for detecting and mapping pollution in and around modern industrial cities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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