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Effects of Groundwater Irrigation and Petroleum Exploiting on Soil Arsenic Levels

Su, Yuhong, Chen, Tingting, Yuan, Xuehua
Soil & sediment contamination 2018 v.27 no.7 pp. 551-562
agricultural soils, arsenic, groundwater, human health, irrigated soils, microirrigation, petroleum, roots, China
In order to evaluate the combined effects of drip irrigation and petroleum extraction activities on As contamination and distribution in local soils, a total of 141 soil and 30 groundwater (GW) samples from field sites drip-irrigated with GW in Kuitun, Xinjiang, China were collected and analyzed arsenic (As) levels. Soil As levels ranged from 6.74 to 23.10 mg·kg⁻¹. For the field irrigated with As-loaded GW for 0.5-10 years, As levels in soils increased by 0.50-9.10 mg·kg⁻¹ as compared with the control soils. As levels in all top-layer (0-10 cm in thickness) irrigated soils A (0-5 cm away from dripper) were found to be higher than those in top-layer irrigated soils B (5-10 cm away from dripper). It was estimated that As in agricultural soils increased by approximately 11∼3789 g·yr⁻¹·ha⁻¹ under drip irrigating, most of which in top-layer soils covering the plant roots. The widely used drip irrigation system in Kuitun enhanced the ecological and human-health threats of As via affecting its spread into soils. Furthermore, the petroleum exploiting activity further promoted As levels in local soils. Within a distance of 10∼1000 m away from petroleum exploiting sites, the soil As level decreases significantly with the distance.