Selected trace elements (Hg, As, Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr and Zn) in seawater and sediments from Dingzi Bay, a semi-enclosed bay suffering from severe degradation located in the Shandong Peninsula, were investigated to evaluate the spatial distribution and potential ecological risk. Results indicated that higher concentrations occurred in the inner bay. Calculation of pollution load index (PLI) showed overall low values while the concentration factor (CF) indicated that Hg, As and Cd were at moderate risk levels in the region. Based on the effects-range classification, As was likely to pose environment risk. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that in addition to background contributions, the trace elements contamination could also be affected by anthropogenic pollution sources. The results of present study provide useful background information for further marine investigation and management in the region.
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