Anthropogenic rare earth elements and their spatial distributions in the Han River, South Korea
Abstract Rare earth elements (REE) consist of lanthanides (from La to Lu), together with yttrium and scandium, in which anthropogenic REE, such as gadolinium (Gd), lanthanum (La), and samarium (Sm), has emerged as micro-contaminants in natural waters in highly developed countries. Here, we collected water samples in the Han River (HR) and its tributaries flowing through Seoul Capital Area, the world's second largest metropolitan area in order to examine how and to what extent anthropogenic REE anomalies may occur. Water samples show higher light REE concentrations than heavy REE concentrations, while wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) samples display much higher heavy REE concentrations due to high Gd concentration. The PAAS-normalized REE patterns indicate that WWTP samples display the pronounced positive Gd anomalies, in which anthropogenic Gd from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diagnostic system occurs as a form of Gd complexation with either Cl − or SO 4 2− . Due to the WWTP, both the HR and tributaries show also positive Gd anomalies and the anthropogenic Gd concentrations increase as a function of the distance from the Paldang dam. This result indicates a positive correlation between populaton, number of MRI instruments, and positive Gd anomaly. Similarly, positive La and Sm anomalies exist in the HR, indicating that the HR is also affected by their point sources. Based on the discharge rate and anthropogenic REE concentrations, their fluxes are estimated to be 952?±?319?kg/yr, suggesting that this amount of fluxes could disturb REE distribution in the Yellow Sea, and pose harmful effects on aquatic ecosystems. Highlights We collected water samples in the Han River and its tributaries, South Korea. We investigated how and to what extent anthropogenic REE anomalies occur. Water samples display the pronounced Gd anomaly as well as La and Sm anomalies. Total REE anth fluxes are estimated to be 952?±?319?kg/yr. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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- DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.12.135
- Elsevier : 저널> 권호 > 논문
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