Environmental Geology

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Spatial distribution of heavy metals in soils: a case study of Changxing, China

  • Jiachun Shi
  • Haizhen Wang
  • Jianming Xu
  • Jianjun Wu
  • Xingmei Liu
  • Haiping Zhu
  • Chunlan Yu
Original Article


Six hundred and sixty-five soil samples were taken from Changxing County in Zhejiang Province, China, to characterize the spatial variability of Hg Cd, Pb, Cu, As and Cr. The geostatistics and geographic information system (GIS) techniques were applied, and the ordinary kriging and lognormal kriging were used to map the spatial patterns of the six heavy metals. Hg, Pb, Cu and As were fitted to the spherical model with a range of 85.75, 82.32, 86.10, and 23.17 km, respectively. Cr was fitted to the exponential model with a range of 6.27 km, and Cd was fitted to the linear model with a range of 37.66 km. Both Pb and Cu had strong spatial dependence due to the effects of natural factors including parent material, topography and soil type. Hg, Cd, Cr and As had, however, moderate spatial dependence, indicating an involvement of human factors. Meanwhile, based on the comparison between the original data and the guide values of the six metals, the disjunctive kriging technique was used to quantify their pollution risks. The results showed that only Cd and Hg exhibited pollution risks in the study area. The pollution source evaluated was closely corresponded with the real discharge of industrial production and the application of organomercury pesticides. The results of this study provide insight into risk assessment of environmental pollution and decision making for agricultural production and industrial adjustment of building materials.


Geostatistics Heavy metals Spatial variability Geographic information system 



This research was sponsored in part by the National Basic Research Program of China (2005CB121104), Science and Technology Program of Zhejiang Province (2005E10004), and Sino-Australia Special Fund for Science and Technology Cooperation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiachun Shi
    • 1
  • Haizhen Wang
    • 1
  • Jianming Xu
    • 1
  • Jianjun Wu
    • 1
  • Xingmei Liu
    • 1
  • Haiping Zhu
    • 2
  • Chunlan Yu
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Environmental and Natural Resource SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Soil and Fertilizer Station of Zhejiang ProvinceHanzhouChina
  3. 3.Changxing Agricultural BureauChangxingChina

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