Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 21, pp 12305–12315 | Cite as

Annual input fluxes and source identification of trace elements in atmospheric deposition in Shanxi Basin: the largest coal base in China

  • Cong Zhong
  • Zhongfang Yang
  • Wei Jiang
  • Tao Yu
  • Qingye Hou
  • Desheng Li
  • Jianwu Wang
Research Article


Industrialization and urbanization have led to a great deterioration of air quality and provoked some serious environmental concerns. One hundred and five samples of atmospheric deposition were analyzed for their concentrations of 13 trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Al, Co, Cr, Hg, Mn, Mo, Pb, Se, and Zn) in Shanxi Basin, which includes six isolate basins. The input fluxes of the trace elements in atmospheric deposition were observed and evaluated. Geostatistical analysis (EF, PCA, and CA ) were conducted to determine the spatial distribution, possible sources, and enrichment degrees of trace elements in atmospheric deposition. Fe/Al and K/Al also contribute to identify the sources of atmospheric deposition. The distribution of trace elements in atmospheric deposition was proved to be geographically restricted. The results show that As, Cd, Pb, Zn, and Se mainly come from coal combustion. Fe, Cu, Mn, Hg, and Co originate mainly from interactions between local polluted soils and blowing dust from other places, while the main source of Al, Cr, and Mo are the soil parent materials without pollution. This work provides baseline information to develop policies to control and reduce trace elements, especially toxic elements, from atmospheric deposition. Some exploratory analytical methods applied in this work are also worth considering in similar researches.


Source identification Multivariate statistics Enrichment factor Fe/Al K/Al 



This study was supported by the project of China Geological Survey “Study on Evaluation System and Integration of the Eco-geochemical Assessment for the Agricultural Ecosystem of China” (No. 1212010511218) and “Agricultural Ecological geochemical Assessment in the loess plateau basin economic belt of Shanxi” (No. 200314200020). The authors also would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers and associate editor who aided in the development and improvement of this paper.

Supplementary material

11356_2014_3052_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.9 mb)
(PDF 1.88 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth Sciences and ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Shanxi Institute of Geological SurveyTaiyuanChina

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