Abstract—The distribution, enrichment, and potential risk of mercury (Hg) in the surface sediments of Kaohsiung River mouth, Taiwan were investigated. Sediment samples from 10 stations in the Kaohsiung River mouth were collected and characterized for Hg, aluminum, water content, organic matter, total grease, and grain size. The results show that samples collected at all monitoring stations near the mouth of Kaohsiung River contain 0.15–1.15 mg/kg of Hg with average of 0.68±0.30 mg/kg. The spatial distribution of Hg reveals that the Hg concentration is relatively high in the river mouth region, and gradually diminishes toward the harbor region. This indicates that upstream industrial and municipal wastewater discharges along the river bank are major sources of pollution. The enrichment factor (EF) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) indicate that the sediment at Kaohsiung River mouth has the moderately severe to severe degree enrichment and moderate to strong accumulation of Hg. The results of potential ecological risk index indicate that the sediment at Kaohsiung River mouth has high to serious ecological potential risk. This suggesting that effective management and control of upstream pollution should be immediately implemented in order to improve the river mouth sediment quality and lower the associated ecological risk.
Index Terms—Accumulation, ecological risk, sediment, enrichment, mercury.
C. W. Chen, C. F. Chen and C. D. Dong (Corresponding author) are with the Department of Marine Environmental Engineering, National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung 81157, Taiwan (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Chiu-Wen Chen, Chih-Feng Chen, and Cheng-Di Dong, "Contamination and Potential Ecological Risk of Mercury in Sediments of Kaohsiung River Mouth, Taiwan," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 66-71, 2012.