Studies of spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of TSP-bound trace metals in Seoul, Korea

Ki Hyun Kim, Bae Jin Choi, Seong Taek Yun, Sun Jin Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, TSP-bound metal concentrations were measured from seven different urbanized locations in Seoul, Korea for the period from March 2001 through May 2002. Our measurement data were analyzed to explore the possible influences of spatial and temporal factors on metal distribution characteristics. To determine the importance of those aspects, the measured concentrations were compared between different metals and between different sites in terms of several criteria: (1) absolute concentrations and enrichment factor (EF) values; (2) coefficient of variation (CV) values of metal concentrations; (3) relative patterns of temporal variations; and (4) relative abundance of strong correlations. According to our analysis of metal distribution characteristics in the study area, the main results of our study can be summarized as follows: (1) a number of metals (e.g., Cd, Cu, and Pb) are highly enriched relative to the average crustal ratios (to Fe); (2) the behavior of Cu is found to vary irregularly, while Fe, Mn, and Pb are tightly coupled both spatially and temporally in the study area; (3) for most elements except Cu and Cd, seasonal variations are observed in a systematic manner; and (4) when compared against those observed in other parts of the world, our Cu and Cd concentrations observed in many locations of Seoul are notably high. The overall results of our study suggest that the distribution characteristics of metals can be regulated strongly by spatial and temporal factors and that such controls are distinguished very clearly between different metal types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Korean Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) Grant (R02-2002-000-00055-0). The third author would like to thank a partial support by the Environmental Geosphere Research Lab (EGRL) of Korea University through Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF). The authors cordially appreciate in-depth comments of Dr. J. W. Winchester and two anonymous reviewers. The authors would also like to thank Ms. Na-Young Kim for her preparation of graphics and tables.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Concentration
  • Distribution
  • Metal
  • Particulate matter
  • Urban air

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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