Sources and geographic heterogeneity of trace metals in the sediments of Prydz Bay, East Antarctica

  • Wei-Ping Sun
  • Chuan-Yu Hu
  • Huan-Xin Weng
  • Zheng-Bing Han
  • Chen Shen
  • Jian-Ming Pan
Keywords: Trace elements, sources, sediments, enrichment factor, cluster analysis, Antarctica.


In this study, we have determined the contents and distribution of zinc and cadmium in the surface sediments from Prydz Bay, East Antarctica. The main sources of the trace elements and their geographic heterogeneity, and the relation between Zn and Cd, are discussed based on the cluster analysis, principle component analysis and considerations of biogenic and lithogenic inputs. The results show that the contents of trace metals range from 34.6 to 96.6 mg kg-1 for Zn, and from 0.254 to 0.441 mg kg-1 for Cd. Calculations of the enrichment factor indicated no significant anthropogenic impact. Biogenic and lithogenic inputs are the main sources of trace metals. They are almost equal for Zn and Cd at the Amery Ice Shelf edge, while the continental shelf and deep ocean are dominated by biogenic inputs. The contribution of biogenic inputs is much higher for Zn than for Cd at the deep ocean. Calculations of biogenic trace metals revealed different relationships between biogenic Zn and biogenic Cd, which reflect the biological uptake by phytoplankton in the water column.

Keywords: Trace elements; sources; enrichment factor; cluster analysis; principal component analysis; Antarctica.

(Published: 24 July 2013)

Citation: Polar Research 2013, 32, 20049,


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How to Cite
Sun, W.-P., Hu, C.-Y., Weng, H.-X., Han, Z.-B., Shen, C., & Pan, J.-M. (2013). Sources and geographic heterogeneity of trace metals in the sediments of Prydz Bay, East Antarctica. Polar Research, 32.
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