Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 32, pp 32053–32065 | Cite as

Metal wet deposition in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) region of Southwest China

  • Min Gao
  • Jian CuiEmail author
  • Liuyi Zhang
  • Dongyi He
  • John Yang
  • Fengwu Zhou
  • Qiangmei Leng
  • Fumo Yang
Research Article


Metal wet deposition has become an environmental concern because of its threats to soil or water quality and human health. This study was to collect rainfall waters in 2016 from seven sites, representing urban, town, rural, and wetland, within the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) region of Southwest China, determine the metal concentration and flux (Zn, Mn, Cu, As, Cd, Pb), and identify their possible sources. Results indicated that Zn was the most abundant metal with a concentration of 16.92 μg L−1 in fall and 19.91 μg L−1 in winter and flux of 4.71 mg m−2 in fall, while Cd was the least with a monthly mean concentration of 0.02–0.37 μg L−1. Among the seven sites, urban (FL) had the highest values of both concentrations of metals (Zn, Cu, Pb) and fluxes of metals (Mn, As), which significantly differed from the other sites. Component and redundancy analysis suggested that fossil fuel and biomass combustion be a potential metal source. Enrichment factors, box model, and potential ecological risk index showed that the TGR water quality could face a high risk due to wet metal deposition, especially Cd. Data could provide a valuable aid in mitigating metal pollution, developing the best watershed management practices, as well as safeguarding water quality and human health in the TGR region or other reservoir regions.


Metal pollution Wet deposition Ecological risk Three Gorge Reservoir Aquatic ecosystem 



We appreciate Huanbo Wang, Yuan Liu, Guangming Shi, Yang Chen, and Mi Tian in our group for their assistance in the establishment of sampling sites.

Funding information

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41571461), the Chongqing Science & Technology Commission (cstc2015jcyjBX0025; cstc2017shms-xdny80088), Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (R53A500Z10), and the Open Foundation of Key Laboratory of Reservoir Aquatic Environment of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3075_MOESM1_ESM.docx (573 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 573 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chongqing Institue of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of SciencesChongqingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Agriculture and Environmental ScienceLincoln University of MissouriJefferson CityUSA

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