Application of a Sediment Quality Index to the Masan Bay, Korea

  • Published : 2007.12.30


A sediment quality index (SQI) and a mean sediment quality guideline quotient (M-SQGQ) were applied for the assessment of sediment quality in Masan Bay, Korea where metals and organic pollutants are of concern. The SQI was calculated by two functions, 'scope' (the number of variables that do not meet guideline objective) and 'amplitude' (the magnitude by which variables exceed guideline objective), with six different sediment quality guideline values from Canada, USA and Australia/New Zealand. Categorization of sediment quality was on the basis of SQI scores. The SQI values were compared with six guideline values applied as well as with the M-SQGQs. The SQI values were severely influenced by a few variables of high exceedance in the degree of non-compliance. The SQI values were very dependent on both the numbers and values of guideline variables used in index caluculation. Nevertheless, the SQI could provide integrated and simplified information from a large number of chemical data set. It is required to further evaluate protocols and guideline applied for deriving SQI and to compare it with field based sediment toxicity test and ecosystem integrity.



  1. CCME. 2001. Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life: Canadian Water Quality Index 1.0, Technical Report. In: Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines, 1999. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  2. Fairey, R., E.R. Long, C.A. Roberts, B.S. Anderson, B.M. Phillips, J.W. Hunt, H.R. Puckett, and C.J. Wilson. 2001. An evolution of methods for calculating mean sediment quality guideline quotients as indicators of contamination and acute toxicity to amphipods by chemical mixtures. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 20, 2276-2286<2276:AEOMFC>2.0.CO;2
  3. Garpentine, L., C. Marvin, and S. Painter. 2002. Initial development and evaluation of a sediment quality index for the Great Lakes region. Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess., 8, 1549-1567
  4. Hernandez-Romero, A.H., C. Tovilla-Hernandez, E.A. Malo, and R. Bello-Mendoza. 2004. Water quality and presence of pesticides in a tropical coastal wetland in southern Mexico. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 48, 1130-1141
  5. Jarvie, H.P., E. Lycett, C. Neal, and A. Love. 2002. Patterns in nutrient concentrations and biological quality indices across the upper Thames river basin, UK. Sci. Total Environ., 282/283, 263-294
  6. Jiang, J.-G. 2006. Development of a new biotic index to assess freshwater pollution. Environ. Pollut., 139, 306-317
  7. Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute. 2007. Marine environmental risk assessment of special management area: Masan Bay case study. Technical Report. KORDI, Ansan, Korea. (In Korean)
  8. Long, E.R. and D.D. MacDonald. 1998. Recommended uses of empirically derived, sediment quality guidelines for marine and estuarine ecosystems. Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess., 4, 1019-1039
  9. Marvin, C., L. Grapentine, and S. Painter. 2004. Application of a sediment quality index to the lower Laurentian Great Lakes. Environ. Monit. Assess., 91, 1-16
  10. Miller, W.W., H.M. Joung, C.N. Mahannah, and J.R. Garrett. 1986. Identification of water quality differences in Nevada through index application. J. Environ. Quality, 15, 265-271
  11. Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. 2002. Nationwide monitoring study on POPs pollution in the Koran coastal environment. BSPM 125-00-1442-4. Technical Report. MOMAF, Seoul, Korea. (In Korean)
  12. Nicciolini, S., L. Spadafina, M.R. Vacri, and E. Bacci. 2000. A simple bacterial index for relative water quality: Preliminary application in the Orbetello lagoon (Tuscany, Italy). Chemosphere, 41, 1065-1069
  13. Parr, L.B. and C.F. Mason. 2003. Long-term trends in water quality and their impact on macroinvertebrate assemblages in eutrophic lowland rivers. Wat. Res., 37, 2969-2979
  14. Prati, L., R. Pavanello, and F. Pesarin. 1971. Assessment of surface water quality by a single index of pollution. Wat. Res., 5, 741-751
  15. Read, P.A., K.J. Anderson, J.E. Matthews, P.G. Watson, M.C. Halliday, and G.M. Shields. 1982. Water quality in the firth of forth. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 13, 421-425
  16. Shin, P.K.S. and W.K.C. Lam. 2001. Development of a marine sediment pollution index. Environ. Pollut., 113, 281-291
  17. Train, R.E. 1972. The quest for environmental indices. Science, 178, 121
  18. Tyson, J.M. and M.A. House. 1988. The application of a water quality index to river management. Wat. Sci. Technol., 21, 1149-1159
  19. Xu, F.L., S.E. Jørgensen, and S. Tao. 1999. Ecological indicators for assessing ecosystem health. Ecol. Model., 116, 77-106
  20. Xu, F.L., K.C. Lam, Z.Y. Zhao, W. Zhan, Y.D. Chen, and S. Tao. 2004. Marine coastal ecosystem health assessment: A case study of the Tolo Harbour, Hong Kong, China. Ecol. Model., 355-370

Cited by

  1. Integrative assessment of sediment quality in terms of chemical contamination in Jinhae Bay, South Korea vol.49, pp.3, 2014,
  2. Sediment Quality Assessment for Heavy Metals in Streams Around the Shihwa Lake vol.19, pp.1, 2016,