Abstract:Trace metal (Cd, Cu, and Ni) dis tri bu tions and be hav iors in sur face waters of the East China Sea continental shelf were investigated during an expeditioncon ducted in June 2004. Dissolved and particulate trace metal con centrations, as well as fractions of dissolved trace metals, fraction ated based on their different chemical affinities to ion exchangers, were determined using ultra-clean techniques and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). Large variations of dissolved (< 0.45 mm) metal concentrations in the East China Sea shelf waters were found (n = 16) and ranged between 0.036 - 0.287 nM for Cd, 0.87 - 8.66 nM for Cu, and 2.66 - 6.04 nM for Ni. Particulate metal contributions were highest near the river mouth. Dis solved Cd and Ni were pre dominantly present (98% for Cd and 86% for Ni) as Chelex-labile fractions in the shelf waters.