For this study, 34 water samples were collected along the Wei River and its tributaries. Multivariate statistical analyses were employed to interpret the environmental data and to identify the natural and anthropogenic trace metal inputs to the surface waters of the river. Our results revealed that Zn, Se, B, Ba, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni and V were all detected in the Wei River. Compared to drinking water guidelines, the primary trace metal pollution components (B, Ni, Zn and Mn) exceeded drinking water standard levels by 47.1, 50.0, 44.1 and 26.5%, respectively. Inter-element relationships and landscape features of trace metals conducted by hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) identified a uniform source of trace metals for all sampling sites, excluding one site that exhibited anomalous concentrations. Based on the patterns of relative loadings of individual metals calculated by principal component analysis (PCA), the primary trace metal sources were associated with natural/geogenic contributions, agro-chemical processes and discharge from local industrial sources. These results demonstrated the impact of human activities on metal concentrations in the Wei River.

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