Recent Applications of Mineral Magnetic Methods in Sediment Pollution Studies: a Review

Weiguo Zhang, Chenyin Dong, Simon M. Hutchinson, Can Ge, Feng Wang, Huan Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper reviews recent progress in applying mineral magnetic methods in sediment pollution studies. Such applications include its use as a dating marker, as a proxy for heavy metal concentrations and to trace metal pollutant dispersal. The mineral magnetic method has been found to be a promising tool in a wide range of sediment metal pollution studies. However, its use as a proxy of heavy metal concentrations is not always straightforward. This reflects the potentially mixed origins of magnetic minerals in sediments which may have an anthropogenic, natural or mixed source. Furthermore, anthropogenic magnetic particles may not have a common source with heavy metals. The possible linkage between magnetic minerals and heavy metals is discussed. The role of sorting, sorption/desorption and post-depositional diagenesis on the magnetic mineral-heavy metal linkage is highlighted as still requiring careful consideration. It is suggested that detailed characterisation of magnetic mineralogy using combined magnetic, geochemical and mineralogical methods is critical to the optimization of sediment pollution studies using a mineral magnetic approach.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Pollution Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Dating marker
  • Heavy metals
  • Mineral magnetic method
  • Proxies
  • Sediment pollution
  • Tracer studies


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