Influences of coal mines, metallurgical plants, urbanization and lithology on the elemental composition of street dust

  • Gorazd ŽibretEmail author
Original Paper


Street dust (SD) acts as a sink and a source of atmospheric particulate matter, which is especially significant in urban environments. World studies of natural and anthropogenic impacts on the elemental composition of SD are generally limited to specific areas or case studies. The objectives of this study are to determine the impacts of different anthropogenic atmospheric dust emitters and natural factors on the chemical composition of SD, and to define sources of variance in elemental composition of SD, temporal variations and geochemical associations of elements on large number of samples, collected in different time periods, anthropogenic environments and geological settings. Nested ANOVA shows that the majority of the elemental-level variations were found to be regional ones. Increased variations on local scale were observed for Hg, Mo, Ni, Zn and Ag. Increased temporal variations were observed for Zn, As, Cd and Pb. Spatial variations within the same sampling location were increased for Hg and Ag. Three anthropogenic geochemical associations were detected: Coal mining and coal-fired power production enriched SD with Al, Co, Fe, La, Sc, Th, Ti, V, Zr and U, metallurgy with Cr, V, Ni and Mn, and urbanization with Ag, Bi, Ca, Cd, Mg, Mo, Pb and Zn.


Anthropogenic impacts Atmospheric particulate matter Elemental composition Street dust Potential toxic elements Metallurgy Coal Urbanization Geological background 



The author would like to acknowledge the Slovenian Research Agency (research core funding No. P1-0025 “Mineral resources”) and the European Commission (EO-MINERS project, FP7, GA 244242) for funding. The funding parties are not responsible for any information contained in this manuscript. The author would like to thank Robert Šajn, Lea Žibret, Danel van Tonder, Maphuti Kwata, Andzani Ndhukwani and Henk Coetze for their valuable help with sampling in South Africa, and Robert Šajn for providing the 24 SD analyses from Slovenian towns from 1996 to be included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of SloveniaLjubljanaSlovenia

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