Research project

Emerging contaminant sources, fluxes and risk management across the Pearl River Estuary and South China Sea.

Project overview

The environmental occurrence, fate and ecotoxicity of emerging contaminants (ECs) have been the subject of increasing research, and policy and public concern, over the past two decades. The extent to which ECs are removed and sequestered in estuarine and marine sediments, their fluxes (mass transport rate) through major estuarine systems, and their rate of degradation and/or environmental persistence remains relatively unclear. Without these data, it is very difficult to meaningfully assess the ecosafety implications of ECs, and their risk management requirements. This project supports collaboration between Southampton and Hong Kong-based partners to assess the sources, fluxes, and the extent of sedimentary trapping and / or degradation for selected emerging contaminants across the Pearl River Estuary into the South China Sea, and propose source and pathway interventions that can be applied to reduce contaminant fluxes and environmental risk


Lead researcher

Professor Andrew Cundy

Chair in Environmental Radiochemistry

Research interests

  • Environmental radioactivity and radiochemistry
  • Environmental geology
  • Contaminated land, wastes and water management
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Other researchers

Professor Phillip Warwick

Associate Dean-Enterprise
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Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs