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Quantitative analysis of the factors influencing spatial distribution of soil heavy metals based on geographical detector

Qiao, Pengwei, Yang, Sucai, Lei, Mei, Chen, Tongbin, Dong, Nan
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.664 pp. 392-413
arid lands, calcareous soils, forests, heavy metals, industry, landscapes, normalized difference vegetation index, pH, pollution control, quantitative analysis, risk, rivers, soil pollution, uncertainty, water solubility
With the rapid development of modern industry, heavy metals in the soil introduce the risk of serious pollution. To reduce this pollution risk, the following four research questions needed to be addressed: What are the main influencing factors of soil pollution? What is the degree of influence? Do factors operate independently or are they interconnected? Which regions have high pollution risk and should be paid more attention? The study area was in Huanjiang County, with 273 km2, and geographical detector proved to be a useful tool to solve these four problems. We found that mine activity and pH value were the primary influencing factors for total and water-soluble heavy metals. The interaction effects of mine activity and soil type, pH values, and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for total heavy metals, as well as pH value and mine activity for water-soluble heavy metals, were greater than the sum effect of two factors. Zones with a high concentration of heavy metals were closer to the road and farther from the mine area, which had low NDVI, large slope, high terrain, and large pH values. Concentrations of total heavy metals were higher in calcareous soils and in dryland and forests. Zones with a higher concentration of water-soluble heavy metals were closer to the mine and river, which had lower DEM and pH values. The uncertainty of geographical detector was also analyzed on the basis of their interpolation accuracy and the stratification number of influencing factors, and we found that the existing sample numbers and the stratification number of influencing factors met the needs of geographical detector calculation. This study's conclusions are useful for soil pollution control and restoration.