Sources of heavy metal pollution in agricultural soils of a rapidly industrializing area in the Yangtze Delta of China

Xianghua XU, Yongcun ZHAO, Xiaoyan ZHAO, Yudong WANG, Wenjing DENG

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Abstract

The rapid industrialization and urbanization in developing countries have increased pollution by heavy metals, which is a concern for human health and the environment. In this study, 230 surface soil samples (0–20 cm) were collected from agricultural areas of Jiaxing, a rapidly industrializing area in the Yangtze Delta of China. Sequential Gaussian simulation (SGS) and multivariate factorial kriging analysis (FKA) were used to identify and explore the sources of heavy metal pollution for eight metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, Ni, Cd, Hg and As). Localized hot-spots of pollution were identified for Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr, Ni and Cd with area percentages of 0.48 percent, 0.58 percent, 2.84 percent, 2.41 percent, 0.74 percent, and 0.68 percent, respectively. The areas with Hg pollution covered approximately 38 percent whereas no potential pollution risk was found for As. The soil parent material and point sources of pollution had significant influences on Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and Cd levels, except for the influence of agricultural management practices also accounted for micro-scale variations (nugget effect) for Cu and Zn pollution. Short-range (4 km) diffusion processes had a significant influence on Cu levels, although they did not appear to be the dominant sources of Zn and Cd variation. The short-range diffusion pollution arising from current and historic industrial emissions and urbanization, and long-range (33 km) variations in soil parent materials and/or diffusion jointly determined the current concentrations of soil Pb. The sources of Hg pollution risk may be attributed to the atmosphere deposition of industrial emission and historical use of Hg-containing pesticides. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume108
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Citation

Xu, X., Zhao, Y., Zhao, X., Wang, Y., & Deng, W. (2014). Sources of heavy metal pollution in agricultural soils of a rapidly industrializing area in the Yangtze Delta of China. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 108, 161-167.

Keywords

  • Soil heavy metal
  • Potential pollution risk
  • Industrialization
  • Localized pollution
  • Diffusion pollution

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