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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

Concentrations of 21 metals in the suspended solids collected from the principal 166 rivers and 3 lakes in Japan

Hisayuki Teraoka, Jun Kobayashi
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 14, No. 5, P. 203-226, 1980


In the analysis of natural water, it would be interesting to determine small but significant quantities of trace metals which are concentrated in suspended solids, since some of these metals, derived from geologic formations, mines and industries not only influence the environment for men and animals, but will also help us in tracing metallic resources. Taking advantage of the nation-wide chemical investigations conducted by JUN KOBAYASHI, FUJI MORII and coworkers on various constituents dissolved in the principal Japanese rivers and lakes, the present authors could analyze major and minor metallic elements in the suspended solids by the emission spectrographic method. The following are the results obtained: (1) Markedly higher concentrations of minor elements such as Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Mn and Co were found in the suspended solids than in unpolluted soils or in the continental crust reported by TAYLOR (1964). (2) The concentrations of Mn, Cu, Ni, Pb and Sri were found to be markedly high in the Northeastern provinces. This must be due to the higher concentrations of these metals distributed in geologic formations in this section as well as to the influence of many copper and other mines. (3) The distribution of Be happened to divide Japan into two halves. It is markedly lower in the eastern half. Positive correlations were also observed between the concentrations of Be and those of Al and Ti. (4) Owing to the extremely acid nature (pH 2.0) of the Yu River (No. 42) in the Tone river system, caused by the Kusatsu hot sulfuric springs, the concentrations of all metals except Si showed the lowest values, while Si had the highest value. Other inorganic acid rivers which are distributed mostly in the Northeastern provinces, i.e. the Agatsuma River (No. 43, pH 4.3) of the same system and the Ara River (No. 13, pH 3.6), and acid lakes, i.e. Lake Tazawa (No. 32, pH 4.4) and Lake Inawashiro (No. 57, pH 4.5) showed about the same tendency.

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