Assessments of natural and anthropogenic influences on water chemistry in the upper Nakdong River, South Korea

Jiyun Kim, Hye Bin Choi, Uikyu Choi, In Jae Yang, Jong Sik Ryu, Jeonghoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to evaluate what sources principally affect the chemical compositions in the catchment of the upper Nakdong River, South Korea where bedrock mostly consists of silicates as a natural factor. From October 7th to 9th, 2015, thirty-three water samples were collected, including samples from tributaries which run alongside mines. We analyzed the major anions, cations, trace elements and water isotopes of the samples and the analyzed data are divided into four groups by principle component analysis (PCA). We determined that most of the water samples are influenced by water-rock interactions when we consider the PCA results and the chemical weathering equation line. However, six samples have excess concentrations of sulfate and plot below the equation line. These samples were mostly from streams beside a zinc-cadmium smelter, which was also consistent with the PCA results. Samples near populated area could also be separated into a group via domestic pollution. Based on the PCA and chemical results, the chemical compositions of the river can be affected by two anthropogenic inputs: mine wastes and domestic contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Forensics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2020

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© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Nakdong River
  • anthropogenic inputsprinciple component analysis
  • domestic contaminants
  • mine wastes


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