Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19379–19388 | Cite as

Spatial distribution and pollution assessment of metals in intertidal sediments, Korea

  • Dong-Woon Hwang
  • Pyoung-Joong Kim
  • Seong-Gil Kim
  • Chul-In Sun
  • Byoung-Seol Koh
  • Sang-Ok Ryu
  • Tae-Hoon KimEmail author
Research Article


We measured the concentrations of acid volatile sulfide (AVS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and metals (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn) in surface sediments of 74 intertidal sectors along the western and southern coasts of Korea to determine their spatial distribution and pollution status. The concentrations of AVS, COD, and metals were relatively higher in northwestern and southeastern coasts due to human and industrial activities around metropolitan, industrial complexes, and large-scale farms. The results of the sediment quality guidelines and geoaccumulation index for organic matter and metal revealed that almost all intertidal sediments were unpolluted with regard to AVS, COD, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn and some intertidal sediments in northwestern and southeastern coasts were moderately polluted with regard to As. However, the results of pollution load index and ecological risk index for metal showed that intertidal sediments in the southeastern coast are significantly polluted and could have an adverse effect on benthic organisms. Thus, the appropriate management policy and restoration plan for intertidal sectors with high metal pollution level in Korea is necessary to improve the quality of intertidal sediment.


Metal Organic matter Intertidal sediment Assessment Korea 



We thank a lot of colleagues who helped with sampling and analyses.

Funding information

This work was supported by a research grant from the National Institute of Fisheries Science (R2019045) and by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2019R1C1C1002197).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5177_MOESM1_ESM.docx (71 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 70 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dong-Woon Hwang
    • 1
  • Pyoung-Joong Kim
    • 2
  • Seong-Gil Kim
    • 3
  • Chul-In Sun
    • 3
  • Byoung-Seol Koh
    • 3
  • Sang-Ok Ryu
    • 4
  • Tae-Hoon Kim
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Marine Environment Research DivisionNational Institute of Fisheries Sciences (NIFS)BusanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Fisheries Resources and Environment DivisionSouth Sea Fisheries Research Institute, NIFSYeosuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Marine Environment Monitoring TeamKorea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM)BusanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Institute of Coastal Management & Technology (CMT)MuanRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Earth and Marine SciencesJeju National UniversityJejuRepublic of Korea

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