Enrichment and Bioavailability of Trace Elements in Soil in Vicinity of Railways in Japan

  • Zhen Wang
  • Izumi Watanabe
  • Hirozaku Ozaki
  • Jianqiang Zhang


This study focuses on the concentrations, distribution, pollution levels, and bioavailability of 12 trace elements in soils along 6 different railways in Japan. Three diesel powered railways and three electricity powered railways were chosen as target. Surface soils (< 3 cm) were collected in vicinity of railways for analysis. Digestion and extraction were performed before concentration and bioavailability analysis. Enrichment factor was applied to investigate contamination levels of selected elements. The mean concentrations of Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Sn, and Pb in soil samples were higher than soil background value in Japan. Concentrations of trace elements in soils along different railway had different characteristics. Horizontal distribution of Cu, Zn, Cd, Sn, and Pb in soil samples showed obviously downtrend with distance along railways with high frequency. Concentrations of V, Mn, Fe, and Co were higher in soils along railways which pass through city center. According to principal component analysis and cluster analysis, concentrations of Cu, Zn, Sn, and Pb could be considered as the indicators of soil contamination level along electricity powered trains, whereas indicators along diesel powered trains were not clear. Enrichment factor analysis proved that operation of freight trains had impact on pollution level of Cr, Ni, and Cd. Bioavailability of Mn, Co, Zn, and Cd in soil along electricity-powered railways were higher, and bioavailability of Pb in railways located in countryside was lower. Thus, enrichment and bioavailability of trace elements can be indicators of railway-originated trace elements pollution in soil.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support that was provided by China Scholarship Council (Grant No. 201407000044).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhen Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Izumi Watanabe
    • 2
  • Hirozaku Ozaki
    • 2
  • Jianqiang Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Geosciences and Environmental EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.United Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyFuchuJapan

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