Natural Background Level Analysis of Heavy Metal Concentration in Korean Coastal Sediments

한국 연안 퇴적물 내 중금속 원소의 자연적 배경농도 연구

  • 임동일 (한국해양연구원 남해연구소) ;
  • 최진용 (군산대학교 자연과학대학 해양학과) ;
  • 정회수 (한국해양연구원 한중해양과학공동연구센터) ;
  • 최현우 (한국해양연구원 해양자료정보실) ;
  • 김영옥 (한국해양연구원 남해연구소)
  • Published : 2007.12.30


This paper presents an attempt to determine natural background levels of heavy metals which could be used for assessing heavy metal contamination. For this study, a large archive dataset of heavy metal concentration (Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn) for more than 900 surface sediment samples from various Korean coastal environments was newly compiled. These data were normalized for aluminum (grain-size normalizer) concentration to isolate natural factors from anthropogenic ones. The normalization was based on the hypothesis that heavy metal concentrations vary consistently with the concentration of aluminum, unless these metals are of anthropogenic origin. So, the samples (outliers) suspected of receivingany anthropogenic input were removed from regression to ascertain the "background" relationship between the metals and aluminum. Identification of these outliers was tested using a model of predicted limits at 95%. The process of testing for normality (Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test) and selection of outliers was iterated until a normal distribution was achieved. On the basis of the linear regression analysis of the large archive (please check) dataset, background levels, which are applicable to heavy metal assessment of Korean coastal sediments, were successfully developed for Cu, Cr, Ni, Zn. As an example, we tested the applicability of this baseline level for metal pollution assessment of Masan Bay sediments.


coastal sediment;heavy metals natural;background concentration;linear regression;Mansan Bay


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