Environ Monit Assess. 2023 Sep 10;195(10):1178. doi: 10.1007/s10661-023-11764-y.
Investigating the impacts of climatic factors and human activities on sedimentary records of heavy metal (HM) contamination in lakes is essential for decision-making in global environmental monitoring and assessment. Spatiotemporal distributions of grain size (GS) and HM (Al, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, and Pb) concentrations have been conducted in core sediments that are collected from two adjacent plateau fault-bound lakes in southwest China with contrasting environments, i.e., deep oligotrophic Lake Fuxian (FX) and shallow hypertrophic Lake Xingyun (XY). Results showed that the average value of d50 in FX (4.61 μm) was lower than that in XY (8.35 μm), but the average concentrations of HMs (except Cr and Mn) in XY were higher than those in FX. Heavy metal burial rates (HMBR) were mainly controlled by sediment accumulation rates (SARs) rather than HM concentrations. The correlation coefficients between GS and HM concentrations became strong as the increasing water depths were associated with a stable sedimentary environment. Time-integrated enrichment factors (EF) and source identification of HMs between FX and XY represented that Cr, Ni, and Cu originated from natural sources but Mn, Zn, As, and Pb from anthropogenic sources, respectively. Regardless of FX and XY, the transition times of HMs from natural to anthropogenic sources occurred in the mid-1960s. Comparison of qualification impacts of climatic factors and human-induced factors on increased anthropogenic HMBR by the partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) implied that socio-economic activities, such as population density (PD) and gross domestic product (GDP), provided higher contributors to increased anthropogenic HMBR in XY (0.23/0.71) than FX (0.11/0.18). The comparative results of this study provided new insights into environmental monitoring and management of HM contamination for adjacent lakes with contrasting environments.