Analysis of Spatial Variations and Sources of Heavy Metals in Farmland Soils of Beijing Suburbs.

PloS one

PubMedID: 25658749

Zou J, Dai W, Gong S, Ma Z. Analysis of Spatial Variations and Sources of Heavy Metals in Farmland Soils of Beijing Suburbs. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(2):e0118082.
To understand the effect of intense human activities in suburbs on environmental quality, we obtained 758 measurements of the heavy metals in certain farmland soils of the Beijing suburbs. Multivariate statistical analysis and geostatistical analysis were used to conduct a basic analysis of the heavy metal concentrations, the distribution characteristics and the sources of pollution of the farmland soils in these suburbs. The results showed the presence of eight heavy metals in the agricultural soils at levels exceeding the background values for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn. In particular, all the measured Cr concentrations exceeded the background value, while As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn were present at 1.13, 1.68, 1.95, 1.43, 1.63, 0.79, 0.92 and 1.36 times their background values, respectively. The results of correlation, factor and spatial structure analyses showed that Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn were strongly homologous, whereas Cr and Hg showed a degree of heterogeneity. The analysis further indicated that in addition to natural factors, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in the soil were mainly associated with distribution from road traffic and land use status. Different agricultural production measures in the various areas were also important factors that affected the spatial distribution of the soil Cr concentration. The major sources of Hg pollution were landfills for industrial waste and urban domestic garbage, while the spatial distribution of As was more likely to be a result of composite pollution. The regional distribution of the heavy metals indicated that except for Cr and Hg, the high heavy metal levels occurred in districts and counties with higher organic matter concentrations, such as the northwestern and southeastern suburbs of Beijing. There was no significant Ni pollution in the agricultural soils of the Beijing suburbs.