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Assessment of heavy metal (HM) contamination in agricultural soil lands in northern Telangana, India: an approach of spatial distribution and multivariate statistical analysis

Adimalla, Narsimha, Qian, Hui, Wang, Haike
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2019 v.191 no.4 pp. 246
agricultural soils, anthropogenic activities, arsenic, barium, chromium, cobalt, copper, guidelines, heavy metals, lead, multivariate analysis, nickel, pollution load, principal component analysis, soil pollution, soil quality, soil sampling, toxicity, vanadium, variance, zinc, India
The contamination of heavy metals (HMs) in agricultural soil lands has attracted the environmental world due to their abundance, persistence, and toxicity. A study has been conducted to evaluate the degree of HM contamination in the agricultural soils of northern Telangana, using geo-accumulation index (Igₑₒ), pollution index (PI), pollution load index (PLI), enrichment factor (EF), statistical analysis, and also spatial distribution. In this study, a total of 15 surface agricultural soil samples were collected and analyzed for the concentration of HMs including Cr, Cu, Co, Ba, V, As, Ni, Pb, and Zn. Their average values vary from 3.5 to 778, which show the increasing order of their abundance: As < Ni < Pb < Co < Cu < Zn < Cr < V < Ba. The concentrations of Ba, V, Zn, and Cu are significantly higher than their guideline values, while Co, Ni, Pb, Zn, and As are within prescribed limits proposed by Canadian soil quality guidelines. The highest Igₑₒ (1.04) indicated the extreme degree of contamination due to Cu. The estimated PI and PLI specified the low to moderate soil pollution, whereas EF showed the moderate soil pollution due to Cr, Co, V, Zn, and As. According to principal component analysis with eigenvalue, more than one account for 53.020% of the total variance, indicating the major source of anthropogenic activity. Spatial distribution maps of HMs displayed four highly polluted zones found in the agricultural sites such as Oni, Yamcha, Bederelli, and Mudhol, in northern Telangana.