Spatial distribution of gut juice extractable Cu, Pb and Zn in sediments from the Pearl River Estuary, Southern China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-119
Journal / PublicationMarine Environmental Research
Online published16 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


In this study, we compared the spatial distribution of total metals (Cu, Pb, and Zn) and bioaccessible metals, which were quantified by incubating sediments with the digestive fluid of sipunculans Sipunculus nudus, in natural sediments of the Pearl River Estuary (PRE). The spatial distribution of bioaccessible metal was not the same as that of total metals in PRE sediments, which were mainly controlled by fine-grained size, total organic carbon (TOC) and Fe. Geochemical factors were important in interpreting this different spatial variation. The similar spatial variations of bioaccessible Cu and total Cu were related to TOC in PRE sediments. Differently from the total Zn, a higher bioaccessible Zn was detected near the West Channel of PRE because of a lower TOC. However, the distribution of bioaccessible Pb was not significantly related to any sediment geochemistry. This study provides a more accurate view of metal pollution in the PRE natural sediments. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Bioaccessibility, Distribution pattern, Extraction, Metals, Pearl River Estuary, Sediments, Total concentration