Geo-environmental study of heavy metals of the agricultural highway soils, NW Jordan

  • Nazem Mansour El-Radaideh
  • Ahmed Abed Al-Kareem Al-Taani
Original Paper


This study investigated the status and distribution patterns of selected heavy metals in roadside soils along Irbid-North Shooneh Highway, Jordan. This highway has experienced a growing number of vehicles that are likely to influence the levels of heavy metals in the surrounding agricultural lands. The average concentrations of Cr, Co, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, and Ni were 16.0, 36.0, 11.0, 4.0, 79.0, 122.0, and 60.0 mg/kg, respectively. Cd, Pb, and Co showed average levels that are higher than the average world soil background values. Elevated levels of heavy metals were measured in surface soil layer which decreased with depth, and with distance from the roadway. The contamination factor (CF), pollution load index (PLI), single ecological risk (Ei), potential ecological risk index (PERI), and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) generally indicated that the roadside soils are contaminated with Cd, Pb, and Ni. Heavy metals in soils are of geogenic and anthropogenic origins. Weathering of parent rocks in Wadi Al-Arab catchment is the primary natural source, whereas agrochemicals, vehicle exhausts, degradation of surface wear and paint of vehicles, vehicle wear debris of tire, and brake lining are the main anthropogenic sources of heavy metals.


Heavy metals Roadside soils Pollution Jordan 



The authors gratefully acknowledge use of the services and facilities at Yarmouk University and Al Al-Bayt University, Jordan, and the data provided by Jordan Agricultural Ministry.

Supplementary material

12517_2018_4099_MOESM1_ESM.docx (154 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 153 kb)
12517_2018_4099_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (15 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 14 kb)


  1. Abu-Rukah Y, Samawi M (2000) A study of contamination of the northern Jordan valley agricultural fields by various metal ions using regression analysis. Qatar Univ J 20:155–165Google Scholar
  2. Abu-Rukah, Y.H., (2002). A study of soils along the Amman Aqaba highway contamination with heavy metals. Freiberger Forschungshefte, Geowissenschaften C494:53–62Google Scholar
  3. Adachi K, Tainosho O (2004) Characterization of heavy metal particles embedded in tire dust. Environ Inter 30(8):1009–1017CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Adamiec E, Jarosz-Krzemińska E, Wieszała R (2016) Heavy metals from non-exhaust vehicle emissions in urban and motorway road dusts. Environ Monit Assess 188:369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Adriano D (2001) Trace elements in terrestrial environments: biogeochemistry, bioavailability, and risks of metals. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Al-Khashman O, Shawabkeh R (2009) Metal distribution in urban soil around steel industry beside queen Alia airport, Jordan. Environ Geochem Hlth 31(6):717–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Al–Khashman OA, Shawabkeh RA (2006) Metals distribution in soils around the cement factory in southern Jordan. Environ Pollut 140:387–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Allen SE, Grimshaw HM, Parkinson JA, Quarmby C (1974) Chemical analysis of ecological materials. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Al-Qudah B (2001) Soils of Jordan. In: Zdruli, P. Steduto, C. Lacirignola, L. Montanarella (eds) Soil resources of southern an eastern Mediterranean countries. Options Méditerranéennes, Série BGoogle Scholar
  10. Alsbou E, Al-Khashman O (2018) Heavy metal concentrations in roadside soil and street dust from Petra region, Jordan. Environ Monit Assess 190(48).
  11. Al-Shereideh S, Wahsha M, El-Radaideh N, Al-Taani A, Abderahman N, Odat A, Al-Momani T, Khawajah M (2015) Geo-environmental Assessment of Al-Ramtha Soils, Jordan. Curr Wor Environ 10(2):386–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Al-Taani AA, Batayneh A, El-Radaideh N, Al-Momani I, Rawabdeh A (2012) Monitoring of selenium concentrations in major springs of Yarmouk Basin, North Jordan. World App Scs J 18(5):704–714Google Scholar
  13. Al-Taani AA, Batayneh A, Mogren S, Nazzal N, Ghrefat H, Zaman H, Elawadi E (2013) Groundwater quality of coastal aquifer systems in the eastern coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Saudi Arabia. J Appl Sci Agric 8(6):768–778Google Scholar
  14. Al-Taani AA, Batayneh A, El-Radaideh N, Ghrefat H, Zumlot T, Al-Rawabdeh A, Al-Momani T, Taani A (2015a) Spatial distribution and pollution assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of Ziqlab reservoir, Jordan. Environ Monit Assess 187(32):1–14Google Scholar
  15. Al-Taani AA, Rashdan M, Khashashneh S (2015b) Atmospheric dry deposition of mineral dust to the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea: rate and trace elements. Marine Pollut Bull 92(1–2):252–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Angulo E (1996) The Tomlinson pollution load index applied to heavy metal “mussel–watch” data: a useful index to assess coastal pollution. Sci Total Environ 187(1):19–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Apeagyei E, Bank MS, Spengler JD (2011) Distribution of heavy metals in road dust along an urban-rural gradient in Massachusetts. Atmos Environ 45(13):2310–2323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) (2007) Toxicological profile for chromiumGoogle Scholar
  19. Babula P, Adam V, Opatrilova R, Zehnalek J, Havel L, Kizek R (2008) Uncommon heavy metals, metalloids and their plant toxicity: a review. Environ Chem Lett 6:189–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Banat KM, Howari FM, Al–Hamad AA (2005) Heavy metals in urban soils of central Jordan: should we worry about their environmental risks? Environ Res 97:258–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Batayneh A, Al-Taani AA (2015) Integrated resistivity and water chemistry for evaluation of groundwater quality of the Gulf of Aqaba coastal area in Saudi Arabia. Geosci J 20(3):403–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Batayneh A, Elawadi E, Zaman H, Al-Taani AA, Nazzal Y, Ghrefat H (2014) Environmental assessment of the Gulf of Aqaba coastal surface waters, Saudi Arabia. J Coast Res 30(2):283–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Batayneh A, Ghrefat H, Zumlot T, Elawadi E, Mogren S, Zaman Z, Al-Taani AA, Nazzal Y, Elwaheidi M (2015) Assessing of metals and metalloids in surface sediments along the Gulf of Aqaba coast, northwestern Saudi Arabia. J Coast Res 31(1):163–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Bender F (1968) Geologie von Jordanien, Beiträge zur Regionalen Geologie der Erde, Band 7.- Gebrüder Bornträger; BerlinGoogle Scholar
  25. Bretzel F, Benvenuti S, Pistelli L (2014) Metal contamination in urban street sediment in Pisa (Italy) can affect the production of antioxidant metabolites in Taraxacum officinale Weber. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 21(3):2325–2333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Carroll D (1970) Clay minerals: a guide to their X-ray identification. Geological Society of America. Special Paper No. 126. pp 80Google Scholar
  27. Charlesworth SM, Everett M, McCarthy R, Ordonez A, de Miguel E (2003) A comparative study of heavy metal concentration and distribution in deposited street dusts large and a small urban area: Birmingham and Coventry, west midlands, UK. Environ Inter 29(5):563–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Chen TB, Zheng YM, Lei M, Huang ZC, Wu HT, Chen H, Fan KK, Yu K, Wu X, Kocher B, Wessolek G, Stoffregen H (2005) Water and heavy metal transport in roadside soils. Pedosphere 15(6):746–753Google Scholar
  29. Christoforidis A, Stamatis N (2009) Heavy metal contamination in street dust and roadside soil along the major national road in Kavala’s region, Greece. Geoderma 151(3–4):257–263Google Scholar
  30. Contini D, Belosi F, Gambaro A, Cesari D, Stortini AM, Bove MC (2012) Comparison of PM10 concentrations and metal content in three different sites of the Venice Lagoon: an analysis of possible aerosol sources. J Environ Scis 24:954–1965Google Scholar
  31. Elliot HA, Liberati MR, Huang CP (1986) Competitive adsorption of heavy metals by soils. J Environ Qual 15:214–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ellis JB, Revitt DM (1982) Incidence of heavy metals in street surface sediments: solubility and grain size studies. Water Air Soil Pollut 17:87–100Google Scholar
  33. El-Radaideh N (2010) Using bottom reservoir sediments as a source of agricultural soil: Wadi El-Arab reservoir as a case study, NW Jordan. Abhath Al-Yarmouk 19(2):75–91Google Scholar
  34. El-Radaideh N (2016) Geoenvironmental assessment of Al-Wala reservoir sediments. Jordan Geosci J 20:77–87. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. El-Radaideh N, Al-Taani AA, Al-Momani T, Tarawneh K, Batayneh A, Taani A (2014) Evaluating the potential of sediments in Ziqlab reservoir (Northwest Jordan) for soil replacement and amendment. Lake Reser Manag 30:32–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. El-Radaideh N, Al-Taani AA, Al Khateeb W (2017a) Status of sedimentation in King Talal Dam, case study from Jordan. Environ Earth Scs 76(3):132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. El-Radaideh N, Al-Taani AA, Al Khateeb W (2017b) Characteristics and quality of reservoir sediments, Mujib dam, Central Jordan, as a case study. Environ Monit Assess 189(4):143. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Faiz Y, Tufail M, Javed MT, Chaudhry MM, Siddique N (2009) Road dust pollution of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn along Islamabad expressway, Pakistan. Microchem J92:186–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Fergusson JE, Hayes RW, Yong TS, Thiew SH (1980) Heavy metal pollution by traffic in Christchurch. New Zealand: lead and cadmium content of dust and soil, and plant samples. N Z J Sci 23:293–310Google Scholar
  40. Ferreira-Baptista L, De Miguel E (2005) Geochemistry and risk assessment of street dust in Luanda, Angola: a tropical urban environment. Atmosph Environ 39:4501–4512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Folk RL (1974) Pertology of sedimentary rocks. Hemphill Publishing, Austin (TX), p 182Google Scholar
  42. Fortescue J (1992) Landscape geochemistry-Retrospect and prospect-1990. Appl Geoch 7:1–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Grim RE (1968) Clay mineralogy, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, New York (NY), p 596Google Scholar
  44. Gee GW, Bauder JW, (1986) Particle size analysis. In Klute A (ed) Methods of soil analysis Part 1. Physical and mineralogical methods. Agronomy series No. 9. American Society of Agronomy, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  45. Hakanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control sedimentological approaches. Wat Resear 14(8):975–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hesse PR (1972) Textbook of soil chemical analysis. Chemical Publications, New York (NY), p 520Google Scholar
  47. Hewitt CN, Candy GBB (1990) Soil and street dust heavy metal concentrations in and around Cuenca, Ecuador. Environ Pollut 63(2):129–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Howari FM, Banat KM (2001) Assessment of Fe, Zn, Cd, Hg, and Pb in the Jordan and Yarmouk River sediments in relation to their physicochemical properties and sequential extraction characterization. Water Air Soil Pollut 132(1–2):43–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Howari FM, Abu-Rukah Y, Goodell PC (2004) Heavy metal pollution of soils along north Shooneh-Aqaba highway, Jordan. Internt J Environ Poll 22:597. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ibrahim M, Al-Mashakbeh H (2016) Integrating lithostratigraphic units and GIS-analysis techniques to modified surface water quality index. J Environ Prot 07:1104–1112. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. IUSS Working Group WRB (2007) World reference base for soil resources 2006, first update 2007. World soil resources reports no. 103. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  52. Jarrar M, Mustafa H (1995) Mineralogical and geochemical study of the oil shale of Wadi Esh-Shallalah (NW Jordan). Abhath Al-Yarmouk 4:111–136Google Scholar
  53. Jones L H P, Jarvis S C (1981) The fate of heavy metals,” in The Chemistry of Soil Processes, D. J. Green and M. H. B. Hayes, Eds., p. 593, John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  54. Kabata-Pendias A (2011) Trace elements in soils and plants, 4th edn. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
  55. Kabata-Pendias A, Pendias H (2001). Trace elements in soils and plants, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla, USAGoogle Scholar
  56. Kelly J, Thornton I, Simpson PR (1996) Urban geochemistry: a study of the influence of anthropogenic activity on heavy metal content of soils in traditionally industrial and non industrial areas of Bristol. Appl Geochem 11:363–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Khresat SA, Rawajfih Z, Mohammad M (1998) Land degradation in north-western Jordan: causes and processes. J Arid Environ 39:623–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Kim JA, Park JH, Hwang WJ (2016) Heavy metal distribution in street dust from traditional markets and the human health implications. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Kluge B, Wessolek G (2012) Heavy metal pattern and solute concentration in soils along the oldest highway of the world—the AVUS autobahn. Environ Monit Assess 184:6469–6481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Kraushaar S (2016) Soil Erosion and sediment flux in northern Jordan, Springer Theses, 185p.
  61. Li L (2005) Retention capacity and environmental mobility of Pb in soils along highway corridor. WATER AIR SOIL POLL170:211–227Google Scholar
  62. Lin CC, Chen SJ, Huang KL, Hwang WI, Chang-Chien GP, Lin W (2005) Characteristics of metals in nano/ultrafine/fine/coarse particles collected beside a heavily trafficked road. Environ Sci Tech 39:8113–8122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Liu E, Yan T, Birch G, Zhu Y (2014) Pollution and health risk of potentially toxic metals in urban road dust in Nanjing, a mega-city of China. Sci Total Environ 476-477:522–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Loranger, Zayed J (1994) Manganese and lead concentrations in ambient air and emission rates from unleaded and leaded gasoline between 1981 and 1992 in Canada: a comparative study. Atmos Environ 1994 28(9):1645–1651Google Scholar
  65. Loring D, Rantala R (1992) Manual for the geochemical analyses of marine sediments and suspended particulate matter. Earth-Sci Reviw 32:235–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Loska K, Wiechuła D, Barska B, Cebula E, Chojnecka A (2003) Assessment of arsenic enrichment of cultivated soils in southern Poland. POL J Environ Stud12:187–192Google Scholar
  67. Madrid L, Barrientos ED, Madrid F (2002) Distribution of heavy metal contents of urban soils in parks of Seville. Chemosphere 49:1301–1308. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Manta DS, Angelone M, Bellanca A, Neri R, Sprovieri M (2002) Heavy metals in urban soils: a case study from the city of Palermo (Sicily), Italy. Sci Total Environ 300:229–243. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Mashal K, Al-Qinna M, Ali Y (2009) Spatial distribution and environmental implications of lead and zinc in urban soils and street dusts samples in Al-Hashimeyeh municipality. Jordan J Mech Ind Eng 3(2):141–150Google Scholar
  70. Meyer WL, Marsh M, Fup PA (1994) Cation exchange capacities of upland soils in eastern Canada. Canad J Soil Sci 74:393–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Mielke JE (1979) Composition of the Earth’s crust and distribution of the elements. In: Siegel FR (ed) Review of research on modern problems in geochemistry. UNESCO Report, Paris, pp 13–37Google Scholar
  72. Minkina TM, Mandzhieva SS, Sushkova SN, Pinskii DL, Antonenko EM (2011) Effect of the particle-size distribution on the adsorption of copper, lead, and zinc by Chernozemic soils of Rostov oblast. Eurasian Soil Sci 5(44):1193–1200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Mmolawa K, Likuku A, Gaboutloeloe G (2011) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in soils along roadside areas in Botswana. Afr J Environ Sc Tech 5(3):186–196Google Scholar
  74. Moreno T, Karanasiou A, Amato F, Lucarelli F, Nava S, Calzolai G, Chiari M, Coz E, Artíñano B, Lumbreras J, Borge R, Boldo E, Linares C, Alastuey A, Querol X, Gibbons W (2013) Daily and hourly sourcing of metallic and mineral dust in urban air contaminated by traffic and coal-burning emissions. Atmos Environ 68:33–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Muller G (1981) The heavy metal pollution of the sediments of Neckars and its tributary. A Stock taking Chemische Zeit 150:157–164Google Scholar
  76. Mustafa H, Attalla M, Khoury H (1998) The upper cretaceous phosphate in NW-Jordan. Abhath Al-Yarmouk 7(1):73–114Google Scholar
  77. Nazzal Y, Rosen MA, Al-Rawabdeh AM (2013) Assessment of metals pollution in urban road dust from selected highways of the greater Toronto area in Canada. Environ Monit Assess 185(2):1847–1858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Odat S (2013a) Calculating pollution indices of heavy metal along Irbid/Zarqa highway-Jordan. Int J Appl Sci Tech 3(8):72–76Google Scholar
  79. Odat S (2013b) Calculating pollution indices of heavy metal along Irbid/Zarqa highway-Jordan. Int J Appl Sci Tech 3(8):72–76Google Scholar
  80. Oliver MA (1997) Soil and human health, a review. Eur J Soil Sci 48(4):573–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Pinskii DL, Minkina TM, Bauer TV, Nevidomskaya DG, Mandzhieva SS, Burachevskaya MV (2018) Copper adsorption by chernozem soils and parent rocks in southern Russia. Geochem Int 56(3):266–275. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Rachwal M, Magiera T, Wawer M (2014) Coke industry and steel metallurgy as the source of soil contamination by technogenic magnetic particles, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Chemosphere 138:863–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Radziemska M, Fronczyk J (2015) Level and contamination assessment of soil along an expressway in an ecologically valuable area in Central Poland. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:13372–13387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Raven P H, Berg L R, Johnson G B (1998) Environment, Saunders College Publishing, New York, NY, USA, 2nd editionGoogle Scholar
  85. Salmons W, Forstner U (1984) Metals in the hydrocycle. Springer Verlag, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Sharma S, Prasad FM (2010) Accumulation of lead and cadmium in soil and vegetable crops along major highways in Agra (India). Environ-J Chem 7:1174–1183Google Scholar
  87. Tian QZ (2005) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in surface soils of urban parks in Beijing, China. Chemosphere 60:542–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Tomllinson DC, Wilson JG, Harris CR, Jeffrey DW (1980) Problems in the assessment of heavy metals levels in estuaries and the formation of pollution index. Helgoländer Meeresun 33:566–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Turer D, Maynard JB, Sansalone JJ (2001) Heavy metal contamination in soils of urban highways: comparison between runoff and soil concentrations at Cincinnati, Ohio. Water, AIR Soil Pollut 132:293–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Ubwa ST, Abah J, Ada CA, Alechenu E (2013) Levels of some heavy metals contamination of street dust in the industrial and high traffic density areas of Jos Metropolis. J Biodivers Environ Sci 3(7):13–21Google Scholar
  91. USEPA,(United States Environmental Protection Agency) (2002) Risk assessment: technical background information.
  92. Wang G, Hou-Qi L, Gong Y, Wei Y, Ai-Jun M, Liu-Yan Y, Zhong H (2017) Risk assessment of metals in urban soils from a typical Industrial City, Suzhou, eastern China. Int J Environ Res Public Health 14(9):1025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wei B, Yang L (2010) A review of heavy metal contaminations in urban soils, urban road dusts and agricultural soils from China. Microchem J 94(2):99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Williams TM, Rees JG, Setiapermana D (2000) Metals and trace organic compounds in sediments and waters of Jakarta Bay and the Pulau Seribu Complex, Indonesia. Mar Pollut Bull 40:277–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Yusuf N, Al-Taani AA, Al-Fukaha F, Al-Shereideh S, Mahasneh M (2011) Sediments transport across the fringing reef in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea and the implications on live corals. Abhath Al-Yarmouk: "Basic Sci& Eng" 20(1):35–52Google Scholar
  96. Zhang H, Zhang Y, Wang Z, Ding M (2013) Heavy metal enrichment in the soil along the Delhi-Ulan section of the Qinghai-Tibet railway in China. Environ Monit Assess 185:5435–5447CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nazem Mansour El-Radaideh
    • 1
  • Ahmed Abed Al-Kareem Al-Taani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan

Personalised recommendations