Hydrotransport-oriented zn, cu, and pb behavior assessment and source identification in the river network of a historically mined area in the Hokuroku basin, Northeast Japan

Qingqing Lu, Zhengfu Bian, Noriyoshi Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aquatic ecosystems continuously receive potentially hazardous heavy metals from natural and anthropogenic sources. Focusing on the origin of heavy metals, this study aims to estimate the load contribution of tributaries from individual watershed and human drainage and to dissect the source of heavy metals, as commonly required for environmental impact assessment. Using integrated water dynamics, Geographic Information System (GIS), and chemical analysis, we identified and evaluated the heavy metal sources of the Kosaka river system in Hokuroku basin, which is a historically mined area in Northeast Japan, both in the high-water and low-water seasons. The migration and diffusion behaviors of heavy metals along with hydro-transport were analyzed, and the effects of mining activities on regional water quality both in the high-water and low-water seasons were clarified. The results indicate that Zn pollution was obvious in the Kosaka River network, especially in the downstream area. The spatial heterogeneity of heavy metal outflows from tributary watersheds was obvious, and the variations had strong correlations with mine site locations. The heavy metal flows in the mainstream increased sharply in the vicinity downstream of the Kosaka refinery drainage outlets. Compared to the low-water season, the influences of human drainage were slighter in high-water season, with lower contribution rates due to the dilution effect of the greater water discharge. Downscale sampling is effective to identify pollutant sources in regional basins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3907
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume16
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 2

Keywords

  • Accumulation
  • Heavy metal flows
  • Historically mined area
  • Source analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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