Geochemical Characteristics and Source Apportionment of Rare Earth Elements in the Dustfall of Quanzhou City

ZHANG Zong-wei1 YU Rui-lian1 HU Gong-ren1 HU Qi-chao1 WANG Xiao-ming2

(1.Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, College of Chemical Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, China 361021)
(2.Center of Analysis, Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology, Beijing, China 100029)

【Abstract】Rare earth elements (REEs) have certain properties as tracing elements, which result in their special geochemical characteristics. In order to study the geochemical characteristics of REE in the dustfall and their sources, 34 dustfall samples were collected in five functional areas and potential source areas of Quanzhou City, then REE compositions, distribution patterns and characteristic parameters were analyzed together with ternary diagrams and characteristic parameter diagrams, for investigating the main provenance. The results showed that ΣREE in the dustfall presented significant spatial difference with the sequence of industrial area > heavy traffic area > commercial area > residential area > agricultural area. The low coefficient variation of ΣREE in residential, heavy traffic and commercial areas indicated homogeneous sources of REE. The chondrite-normalized REE patterns were all of the rightward inclined type with the enrichment of LREE relative to HREE and showed obvious negative Eu anomalies, which indicated that the dustfall in study area had obvious terrigenous property. Some REE characteristic parameters in each functional area were close to the average in potential source areas, failed to reveal the causes for spatial differences. The results of La Ce V diagram demonstrated that REE in the dustfall of residential area, heavy traffic area and commercial area were mainly derived from traffic source and soil dust, followed by coal combustion, δEu vs. ΣREEs diagram and HREEN/ MREEN vs. La N diagram further explained that vehicle emission was the main anthropogenic source of REE in the dustfall of heavy traffic area and commercial area. The REE in the dustfall of Quanzhou City was slightly affected by steelworks emissions and cement plant dust and there were additional REE sources in the dustfall of industrial and agricultural area different from other functional areas.

【Keywords】 dustfall; rare earth elements; geochemical characteristics; source apportionment; Quanzhou City;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.: 21377042, 21477042) Natural Science Funds project in Fujian Province (Grant No.: 2016J01065) Graduate Student Innovation Ability Cultivating Scientific Research Project of Huaqiao University in 2014 (435)

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This Article


CN: 11-1895/X

Vol 37, No. 12, Pages 4504-4513

December 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results and discussion
  • 3 Conclusions
  • References