Spatial Distribution of Mercury in the Surface Soils of the Urban Areas, Arak, Iran

  • Eisa Solgi
  • Abbas Esmaili-Sari
  • Alireza Riyahi-Bakhtiari


This study assessed the baseline concentrations and spatial distribution of total mercury (Hg) in urban soils of the city of Arak, Iran. Concentrations of Hg were determined in soil collected from urban areas, and the spatial distribution was analyzed using the semivariogram approach in geostatistical technology. Mercury in soil ranged from 66.3 to 581 µg/kg. The experimental variogram of soil mercury concentrations was best-fitted by a spherical model. A spatial distribution map revealed that Hg concentration showed decreasing trends from south to north, west to east and center to suburb. Overall, the results showed that Hg concentrations in urban soils of Arak may be considered medium or low.


Total mercury Urban soils Spatial distribution Geostatistics Arak City 



The authors gratefully acknowledge funding provided for this study by the Tarbiat Modares University of Iran. Also the authors are grateful to Dr M. Solgi (Head of Department of Horticulture at Arak University) for his support and assistance in this research.


  1. Alloway BJ (1995) Heavy metals in soils. Chapman and Hall, GlasgowCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Appleton JD, Weeks JM, Calvez JPS, Beinhoff C (2006) Impacts of mercury contaminated mining waste on soil quality, crops, bivalves, and fish in the Naboc River area, Mindanao, Philippines. Sci Total Environ 354:198–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birke M, Rauch U (2000) Urban geochemistry: investigations in the Berlin metropolitan area. Environ Geochem Health 22:233–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Callender E, Rice KC (2000) The urban environmental gradient: anthropogenic influences on the spatial and temporal distributions of lead and zinc in sediments. Environ Sci Technol 34:232–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cambardella CA, Moorman TB, Novak JM, Parkin TB, Turco RF, Konopka AE (1994) Field-scale variability of soil properties in central Iowa soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 58:1501–1511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen X, Xia X, Wu S, Wang F, Guo X (2010) Mercury in urban soils with various types of land use in Beijing, China. Environ Pollut 158:48–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fang F, Wang Q, Li J (2004) Urban environmental mercury in Changchun, a metropolitan city in Northeastern China: source, cycle, and fate. Sci Total Environ 330:159–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fang F, Wang H, Lin Y (2011) Spatial distribution, bioavailability, and health risk assessment of soil Hg in Wuhu urban area, China. Environ Monit Assess 179:255–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FIFA, Fertilizer Industry federation of Australia (2006) Australian soil fertility manual, 3rd edn. CSIRO Publishing, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
  10. Gillis AA, Miler DR (2000) Some local environmental effects on mercury emission and absorption at a soil surface. Sci Total Environ 260(1–3):191–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grangeon S, Guédron S, Astab J, Sarret G, Charlet L (2012) Lichen and soil as indicators of an atmospheric mercury contamination in the vicinity of a chlor-alkali plant (Grenoble, France). Ecol Indic 13:178–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hojdova M, Navra T, Rohovec J (2008) Distribution and speciation of mercury in mine waste dumps. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 80:237–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Johansson K, Bergback B, Tyler G (2001) Impact of atmospheric long range transport of lead, mercury and cadmium on the Swedish forest environment. Water Air Soil Pollut Focus 1:279–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kot FS, Matyushkina LA (2002) Distribution of mercury in chemical fractions of contaminated urban soils of middle Amur. Russia. J Environ Monit 4(5):803–808CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lark RM, Ferguson RB (2004) Mapping risk of soil nutrient deficiency or excess by disjunctive and indicator kriging. Geoderma 118:39–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Linde M, Bengtsson H, Oborn I (2001) Concentration and pools of heavy metals in urban soils in Stockholm, Sweden. Water Air Soil Pollut Focus 1:83–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu XM, Wu JJ, Xu JM (2006) Characterizing the risk assessment of heavy metals and sampling uncertainty analysis in paddy field by geostatistics and GIS. Environ Pollut 141:257–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu J, Feng X, Zhu W, Zhang X, Yin R (2012) Spatial distribution and speciation of mercury and methyl mercury in the surface water of East River (Dongjiang) tributary of pearl river delta, South China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 19:105–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lu S, Wang H, Bai S (2009) Heavy metal contents and magnetic susceptibility of soils along an urban–rural gradient in rapidly growing city of eastern China. Environ Monit Assess 155:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Manta DS, Angelone M, Bellanca A, Neri R, Sprovieri M (2002) Heavy metals in urban soils: a case study from the city of Palermo (Sicily). Italy. Sci Total Environ 300(1–3):229–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Miller EK, Vanarsdale A, Keeler GJ, Chalmers A, Poissant L, Kamman NC, Brulotte R (2005) Estimation and mapping of wet and dry mercury deposition across northeastern North America. Ecotoxicology 14:53–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Peltola P, Astrom M (2003) Urban geochemistry: a multimedia and multielement survey of a small town in Northern Europe. Environ Geochem Health 25:397–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Reimann C, Caritat P (1998) Chemical elements in the environment: fact sheets for the geochemist and environmental scientist. Springer, Berlin p 398 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Remy S, Prudent P, Hissler C, Probst JL, Krempp G (2003) Total mercury concentrations in an industrialized catchment, the Thur River basin (north-eastern France): geochemical background level and contamination factors. Chemosphere 52:635–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rice KC (1999) Trace element concentrations in streambed sediment across the conterminous United States. Environ Sci Technol 33:2499–2504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rodrigues S, Pereira ME, Duarte AC, Ajmone-Marsan F, Davidson CM, Grman H, Hossack I, Hursthouse AS, Ljung K, Martini C, Otabbong E, Reinoso R, Ruiz-Cortés E, Urquhart GJ, Vrščaj B (2006a) Mercury in urban soils: a comparison of local spatial variability in six European cities. Sci Total Environ 368:926–936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rodrigues S, PereiraME Sarabando L, Lopes LD, Cachada A, Duarte A (2006b) Spatial distribution of total Hg in urban soils from an Atlantic coastal city (Aveiro, Portugal). Sci Total Environ 368:40–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Santos-Francés F, García-Sánchez A, Alonso-Rojo P, Contreras F (2011) Distribution and mobility of mercury in soils of a gold mining region, Cuyuni river basin. Venezuela. J Environ Manage 92(4):1268–1276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tijhuis L, Brattli B, Sæther OM (2002) A geochemical survey of topsoil in the city of Oslo, Norway. Environ Geochem Health 24:67–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. USEPA,1996. Soil screening guidance: technical background document. EPA/540/R95/128Google Scholar
  31. Vafaei R, Ostovan H, Incekara U, Pesic V (2007) Faunistic study of the aquatic beetles (Coleoptera: polyphaga) of Markazi Province (Central Iran) with new records. Arch Biol Sci Belgrade 59(3):239–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wang XS, Qin Y (2005) Correlation between magnetic susceptibility and heavy metals in urban topsoil: a case study from the city of Xuzhou. China. Environ Geo 49:10–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wang D, Shi X, Wei S (2003) Accumulation and transformation of atmospheric mercury in soil. Sci Total Environ 304(1–3):209–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Webster R, Oliver MA (2001) Geostatistics for environmental scientists. Wiley, Chichester, pp 89–96Google Scholar
  35. Won JH, Park JY, Lee TG (2007) Mercury emissions from automobiles using gasoline, diesel, and LPG. Atmos Environ 41:7547–7552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wu Y, Zhou Q, Adriano DC (1991) Interim environmental guidelines for cadmium and mercury in soils of China. Water Air Soil Pollut 57–58:733–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eisa Solgi
    • 1
  • Abbas Esmaili-Sari
    • 2
  • Alireza Riyahi-Bakhtiari
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources and EnvironmentMalayer UniversityMalayerIran
  2. 2.Department of Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine ScienceTarbiat Modares UniversityNoorIran

Personalised recommendations