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Distribution of Heavy Metals and Rare Earth Elements in the Surface Sediments of Penang River Estuary, Malaysia


Affiliations
1 School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
2 Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, 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.

Keywords

Heavy Metals, REE, Tropical River, Sediment, Pollution, Penang, Malaysia.
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  • Distribution of Heavy Metals and Rare Earth Elements in the Surface Sediments of Penang River Estuary, Malaysia

Abstract Views: 166  |  PDF Views: 1

Authors

M. C. Ong
School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
F. M. Fok
School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
K. Sultan
School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
B. Joseph
Institute of Oceanography and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Abstract


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.

Keywords


Heavy Metals, REE, Tropical River, Sediment, Pollution, Penang, Malaysia.