Urbanization increased metal levels in lake surface sediment and catchment topsoil of waterscape parks

Hong-Bo LI, Shen YU, Gui-Lin LI, Yi LIU, Guang-Bin YU, Hong DENG, Sheng-Chun WU, Ming Hung WONG

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Lake surface sediment is mainly derived from topsoil in its catchment. We hypothesized that distribution of anthropogenic metals would be homogenous in lake surface sediment and the lake's catchment topsoil. Anthropogenic metal distributions (cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)) in fourteen waterscape parks were investigated in surface sediments and catchment topsoils and possible source homogeneity was tested using stable Pb isotopic ratio analysis. The parks were located along an urbanization gradient consisting of suburban (SU), developing urban (DIU), developed urban (DDU), and central urban core (CUC) areas in Shanghai, China. Results indicated that surface lake sediments and catchment topsoils in the CUC parks were highly contaminated by the investigated anthropogenic metals. Total metal contents in surface sediment and topsoil gradually increased along the urbanization gradient from the SU to CUC areas. Generally, the surface sediments had greater total metal contents than their catchment topsoils. These results suggest that urbanization drives the anthropogenic metal enrichment in both surface sediment and its catchment topsoil in the waterscape parks. Soil fine particles (<63 μm) and surface sediments had similar enrichment ratios of metals, suggesting that surface runoff might act as a carrier for metals transporting from catchment to lake. Stable Pb isotope ratio analysis revealed that the major anthropogenic Pb source in surface sediment was coal combustion as in the catchment topsoil. Urbanization also correlated with chemical fractionation of metals in both surface sediment and catchment topsoil. From the SU to the CUC parks, amounts of labile metal fractions increased while the residual fraction of those metals remained rather constant. In short, urbanization in Shanghai drives anthropogenic metal distribution in environmental matrices and the sources were homogenous. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-209
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2012


Li, H.-B., Yu, S., Li, G.-L., Liu, Y., Yu, G.-B., Deng, H., . . . Wong, M.-H. (2012). Urbanization increased metal levels in lake surface sediment and catchment topsoil of waterscape parks. Science of The Total Environment, 432, 202-209. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.05.100


  • Anthropogenic metal
  • Source homogeneity
  • Surface sediment
  • Catchment topsoil
  • Waterscape park
  • Urbanization gradient


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