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Heavy metal contamination of agricultural soils affected by mining activities around the Ganxi River in Chenzhou, Southern China

Ma, Li, Sun, Jing, Yang, Zhaoguang, Wang, Lin
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2015 v.187 no.12 pp. 731
agricultural soils, anthropogenic activities, atomic absorption spectrometry, cluster analysis, heavy metals, lead, mining, multivariate analysis, pH, pollution, principal component analysis, risk, rivers, toxicity, variance, zinc, China
Heavy metal contamination attracted a wide spread attention due to their strong toxicity and persistence. The Ganxi River, located in Chenzhou City, Southern China, has been severely polluted by lead/zinc ore mining activities. This work investigated the heavy metal pollution in agricultural soils around the Ganxi River. The total concentrations of heavy metals were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The potential risk associated with the heavy metals in soil was assessed by Nemerow comprehensive index and potential ecological risk index. In both methods, the study area was rated as very high risk. Multivariate statistical methods including Pearson’s correlation analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, and principal component analysis were employed to evaluate the relationships between heavy metals, as well as the correlation between heavy metals and pH, to identify the metal sources. Three distinct clusters have been observed by hierarchical cluster analysis. In principal component analysis, a total of two components were extracted to explain over 90 % of the total variance, both of which were associated with anthropogenic sources.