Concentration and fractionation of trace metals in surface sediments of intertidal Bohai Bay, China.
ABSTRACT Surface sediments from intertidal Bohai Bay were sampled for the geochemical and environmental assessment of six trace metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn). Results indicate that sediment grain size plays an important role in controlling the distribution and fractionation of them. Metal concentrations in clayey silt sediments are all clearly higher than in sand and silty sand ones. Cd and Pb in clayey silt sediments are more mobile than in sand and silty sand ones. Two sediment quality guidelines and two geochemical normalization methods (index of geoaccumulation and enrichment factor) were used to judge the potential risk and accumulation of metals. According to the mean probable effects level quotient, the combination of studied metals may have a 21% probability of being toxic. The sediments with high fraction of clay and silt have been contaminated by trace metals to various degrees, among which Cr contributes the most to contamination.