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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 158796, 6 pages
Research Article

Heavy Metals Pollution and Pb Isotopic Signatures in Surface Sediments Collected from Bohai Bay, North China

1State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
2Department of Water Environment, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
3State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

Received 27 October 2013; Accepted 5 March 2014; Published 10 April 2014

Academic Editors: T. Chaminda, K. Kuroda, and G. Singh

Copyright © 2014 Bo Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To investigate the characteristics and potential sources of heavy metals pollution, surface sediments collected from Bohai Bay, North China, were analyzed for the selected metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn). The Geoaccumulation Index was used to assess the level of heavy metal pollution. Pb isotopic compositions in sediments were also measured to effectively identify the potential Pb sources. The results showed that the average concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn were 0.15, 79.73, 28.70, 36.56, 25.63, and 72.83 mg/kg, respectively. The mean concentrations of the studied metals were slightly higher than the background values. However, the heavy metals concentrations in surface sediments in Bohai Bay were below the other important bays or estuaries in China. The assessment by Geoaccumulation Index indicated that Cr, Zn, and Cd were classified as “the unpolluted” level, while Ni, Cu, and Pb were ranked as “unpolluted to moderately polluted” level. The order of pollution level of heavy metals was: . The Pb isotopic ratios in surface sediments varied from 1.159 to 1.185 for 206Pb/207Pb and from 2.456 to 2.482 for 208Pb/207Pb. Compared with Pb isotopic radios in other sources, Pb contaminations in the surface sediments of Bohai Bay may be controlled by the mix process of coal combustion, aerosol particles deposition, and natural sources.