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Assessment of metal contamination in water and sediments from major rivers in South Korea from 2008 to 2015

Publication Date - 2019-10-20 00:00:00

Publication Title : Assessment of metal contamination in water and sediments from major rivers in South Korea from 2008 to 2015

Publicationed By : Dr. Md Saiful Islam

Publication Publication Date : 2019-10-20 00:00:00

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Publication Description :

This study is the first report to evaluate (8 years data) the contamination degree and distribution characteristics  of metals in the surface water and sediments of four Korean rivers (Nakdong, Yeongsan, Geum, and Han). Eight  years of data were evaluated, and metal concentrations in the river water were found to be below permissible  limits but high enough to cause detrimental effects (under chronic exposure) to aquatic organisms. The analysis  of metals in the river sediments showed the following trend: Zn N Cu N Cd N Pb N Ni N As N Cr N Hg. The concentrations  of metals in sediments (especially in the Geum and Han rivers) were above the permissible limits reported  by international agencies. Concentrations of Cu, Ni, and Zn were high enough to pose risks to aquatic  communities. In sediments, metals pollutionwas also evaluated using different indices, such as enrichment factor  (EF), geoaccumulation index (Igeo), contamination factor (CF), degree of contamination (Cd), modified degree of  contamination (mCd), and pollution load index (PLI). The CF, EF, and Igeo indices demonstrated that most of the  river sediment samples were moderately to heavily contaminated by Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. The PLI values were  above one in the Geum and Han river sediments, which indicated polluted conditions. Similarly, Cd indicated a considerable to very high degree of contamination, while mCd indicated a low to moderate degree of contamination  in all four river sediments. Finally, it was found that the extent of metals pollution in the Korean rivers  reached a critical condition, which could be detrimental to the biota of the rivers, as well as to humans in the  long term.

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