Dataset on the abundance, enrichment and partitioning of chemical elements between the particulate and sedimentary phases in the Cai River estuary (South China Sea)
The present work contributes to the local geochemical baselines as a background for long-term monitoring of potential hazardous elements. The dataset covers the source/raw, analysed, calculated data, and descriptive statistics on the bulk, normalized-to-Al, and normalized-to-Fe contents of 53 chemical elements along with environmental indices (EF-Al, EF-Fe, and Igeo) and partition coefficient (K-SPM/Sed, calculated of both bulk and normalized-to-Al element contents) in the surface SPM and surface bottom sediments of the Cai River estuary and includes the respective reference material values. The data provided is essential for the comprehensive environmental assessment of the anthropogenic impact on the coastal ecosystem as well as for the evaluation and modelling of element fractionation and mobility at the estuarine gradients.
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The surface water (eight locations, sts. 1–8) and surface sediment samples (seven locations, sts. 2–8) were collected in the Cai River estuary and Nha Trang Bay during the dry season in July-August 2013. The surface water samples were collected using a plastic Niskin Bottle. The suspended particulate matter (SPM) samples were obtained by filtering water samples in an all-glass filtering system. The surface sediment samples were collected by scuba divers with a manual plastic piston corer. All sampling, sampling transportation, and preparation procedures were performed using standard clean techniques. Standard methods (ICP-AES and ICP-MS) were applied to determine the content of the chemical elements. The elemental analysis of the solution obtained by the total dissolution of SPM and sediment samples was determined with the ICAP -61 (Thermo Jarrell Ash, USA) with the X-7 (Thermo Elemental, USA). Enrichment factor (EF) and Geo-accumulation index (Igeo) were calculated from the bulk element contents by standard formulae. The partitioning coefficient (K-SPM/Sed) was calculated as the ratio of element content in surface SPM and sediments. Descriptive statistics were calculated using Microsoft Excel 2010.