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Distribution of Heavy Metals and Rare Earth Elements in the Surface Sediments of Penang River Estuary, Malaysia
Geochemical sediment of the tropical Pinang River, Malaysia was carried out with the aim at documenting elemental concentrations and pollution level assessment. Concentration of selected heavy metals (Cu, Cd, Cr, Pb, Zn and Mn), rare earth elements, TOC and grain size distribution of sediments were determined at 100 m sampling interval along the river. Sediment size showed a positive correlation with ƩREE and Mn and medium correlations with TOC, Zn, Cu, Cr and Pb contents showing enrichment in the clay size fraction. Results of enrichment factor and geoaccumulation index showed that most of the elemental sources were natural (especially REE) and mostly likely represented background values. However, pollution load index revealed the higher levels of Cr, Cd, Zn and Pb, and, therefore, indicating to the anthropogenic sources (i.e. fishing activities) especially in the downstream locations. Thus, the Pinang River is classified as moderately to highly polluted.
Heavy Metals, REE, Tropical River, Sediment, Pollution, Penang, Malaysia.
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