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Soil heavy metal contamination related to roasted stone coal slag: a study based on geostatistical and multivariate analyses

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Soil was examined for vanadium (V) and related metal contamination near a stone coal mine in Hubei Province, China. In total, 92 surface and vertical (0–200 cm) soil samples were collected from the site. A handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometer was used for in situ analysis of the soil concentrations of heavy metals, including V, chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and lead (Pb). The mean concentrations of these metals were 931, 721, 279, 223, 163, and 11 mg/kg, respectively. Based on the Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soils guidelines, up to 88.0, 76.1, and 56.5 % of the soil samples had single factor pollution indices >3 for V, Cr, and Cu, respectively. Furthermore, 2.2 % of samples were slightly polluted with Zn, while there was no Mn or Pb contamination. GaussAmp curve fitting was performed based on the sample frequency distribution of the Nemerow pollution index. The fitted mean was 5.99, indicating severe pollution. The heavy metals were clustered into two groups, V/Cr/Cu/Zn and Mn/Pb, based on the spatial distributions, the Pearson correlation and principal component analyses. The positive correlations within the V/Cr/Cu/Zn group suggested that they originated from roasted stone coal slag. Finally, the negative correlation between the two groups was attributed to mechanical mixing of the slag and original soil.

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This work was financially supported by the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2015ZX07205-003). In addition, the authors are very grateful to Hucheng Liu, marketing manager of MICHEM TECHNOLOGY LTD., for help and advice during our research. The English in this document has been checked by at least two professional editors, both native speakers of English. For a certificate, please see: http://www.textcheck.com/certificate/JtwSMB

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Correspondence to Jianguo Jiang.

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Responsible editor: Zhihong Xu

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Li, D., Jiang, J., Li, T. et al. Soil heavy metal contamination related to roasted stone coal slag: a study based on geostatistical and multivariate analyses. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 14405–14413 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-6551-2

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  • Stone coal slag
  • Heavy metal
  • Vanadium
  • Nemerow index
  • Spatial distribution
  • Multivariate analysis