An assessment of heavy metal contamination in the nakdong river around the weir

Hee Won Son, Sun Hee Shim, Haeseong Oh, Jung Hyun Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this study, the concentrations and characteristics of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and lead (Pb) contamination in sediment samples were investigated using aqua regia extraction and Tessier’s five-step sequential extraction. Based on the concentration of metals, the influence of the Hapcheon- Changnyeong weir on sediments in the Nakdong River was assessed. The origins of the contaminants, their bioavailability, and their mobility were determined using sequential extraction. Greater concentrations of heavy metals were found in samples collected closer to the weir. The largest proportion of Cu was identified in the residual fraction based on sequential extraction, whereas Zn was predominantly found in the reducible fraction. Iron-manganese in the reducible fraction of Zn has the potential to leach back to the water body. In addition, the combined concentration of fractions 1 and 2 of Cu comprised more than 20% of total amount that still has potential to affect the water quality. The results of this study were compared with existing sediment standards set out by the NIER (National Institute of Environmental Research), Canada, and US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) guidelines, as well as the risk assessment code (RAC). The concentrations of heavy metals exceeded the standards set by the Canadian guideline by up to four times in particular samples, highlighting the need for continual monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number684
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors.


  • Aqua regia extraction
  • Heavy metal
  • Monitoring
  • Sequential extraction
  • Surface water quality
  • Water contaminants


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