Author(s): Wu B, Wang G, Wu J, Fu Q, Liu C
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Abstract The concentrations of heavy metals (mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and arsenic (As)) in surface water and sediments were investigated in two adjacent drinking water reservoirs (Hongfeng and Baihua Reservoirs) on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in Southwest China. Possible pollution sources were identified by spatial and statistical analyses. For both reservoirs, Cd was most likely from industrial activities, and As was from lithogenic sources. For the Hongfeng Reservoir, Pb, Cr and Cu might have originated from mixed sources (traffic pollution and residual effect of former industrial practices), and the sources of Hg included the inflows, which were different for the North (industrial activities) and South (lithogenic origin) Lakes, and atmospheric deposition resulting from coal combustion. For the Baihua Reservoir, the Hg, Cr and Cu were primarily derived from industrial activities, and the Pb originated from traffic pollution. The Hg in the Baihua Reservoir might also have been associated with coal combustion pollution. An analysis of ecological risk using sediment quality guidelines showed that there were moderate toxicological risks for sediment-dwelling organisms in both reservoirs, mainly from Hg and Cr. Ecological risk analysis using the Hakanson index suggested that there was a potential moderate to very high ecological risk to humans from fish in both reservoirs, mainly because of elevated levels of Hg and Cd. The upstream Hongfeng Reservoir acts as a buffer, but remains an important source of Cd, Cu and Pb and a moderately important source of Cr, for the downstream Baihua Reservoir. This study provides a replicable method for assessing aquatic ecosystem health in adjacent plateau reservoirs.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research