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Concentration and Spatial Distribution of Lead in Soil Used for Ammunition Destruction


Studies on heavy metal contamination in soils used for ammunition disposal and destruction are still emerging. The present study aimed to evaluate the contamination level and spatial distribution of lead in disposal and destruction areas. This site was used for ammunition disposal and destruction activities for 20 years. The ammunition destruction site (1,296 ha), a sampling system that followed a sampling grid (5 m × 5 m) with 30 points was adopted and samples were collected at the following five depths with a total of 150 samples. During the collection procedure, each sampling grid point was georeferenced using a topographic global positioning system. Data were validated through semivariogram and kriging models using Geostat software. The results demonstrated that the average lead value was 163 mg kg−1, which was close to the investigation limit and the contamination levels were higher downstream than upstream. The results showed that there was lead contamination at the destruction site and that the contamination existed mainly at the surface layer depth. However, high lead concentrations were also found at deeper soil depths in the destruction area due to frequent detonations. According to the planimetry data, the areas that require intervention significantly decreased with increasing depths in the following order: 582.7 m2 in the 0–20 cm layer; 194.6 m2 in the 20–40 cm layer; 101.6 m2 in the 40–60 cm layer; and 45.3 m2 in the 60–80 cm layer.

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Correspondence to Alfredo Tolón-Becerra.

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do Nascimento Guedes, J., do Amaral Sobrinho, N.M.B., Ceddia, M.B. et al. Concentration and Spatial Distribution of Lead in Soil Used for Ammunition Destruction. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 775–781 (2012).

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  • Heavy metals
  • Extraction
  • Spatial variability
  • Geostatistics