Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 1203–1213 | Cite as

Accumulation and migration of heavy metals in soils of the Rostov region, south of Russia

  • Olga S. BezuglovaEmail author
  • Sergey N. Gorbov
  • Svetlana A. Tischenko
  • Alexandra S. Aleksikova
  • Suleiman S. Tagiverdiev
  • Aleksey K. Sherstnev
  • Marina N. Dubinina
Soil Pollution and Remediation



The main aim of the study performed during 6 years was to determine the specific features of heavy metal contamination of soil cover in the city of Rostov-on-Don and its agglomeration. It was supposed to answer the question: Does soil inherit heavy metals mainly from the parent rocks, or they enter the soil mainly as a result of anthropogenes in the city condition.

Materials and methods

Seventeen soil profiles were established in different parts of the Rostov agglomeration, within the city and in the urbanized agricultural region. The following objects were studied: (1) calcareous ordinary chernozem under steppe vegetation (fallow) and under trees (parks): soils of natural structure insignificantly affected by urbanization processes; (2) urbostratozems: soils of natural structure overlain by loose anthropogenic deposits; (3) screened urbostratozems (or ecranozems): soils of natural structure overlain by asphalt and/or another impermeable surface. The contents of heavy metals were determined by X-ray fluorescence. The degree of soil contamination with heavy metals was assessed by comparing their content with the MPC values (danger coefficient method) or using the total contamination factor Zc.

Results and discussion

The comparison of chernozems under different plant covers shows that the woody plants capable of retaining moisture in the soil and more deeply wetting the soil layer decrease the accumulation of vanadium, chromium, cobalt, nickel, and copper in the surface layer. The accumulation coefficients of these metals in urbostratozems are still lower for some reason. At the same time, an increase in the accumulation of zinc and lead is observed in the surface layer of soils under the forest canopy, as well as in the urbostratozems. In the Urbostratozems, screened by dense surfaces, a high variation is observed, which is related to the different times of soil sealing with asphalt.


The results showed that the concentrations of most elements in the parent rock of Rostov-on-Don exceed the background values, and those of some elements exceed the MPC levels. The main source of accumulation of these elements in the soil profile is the parent rock. Additional input from anthropogenic sources is contributed by the accumulation of such elements as chromium, nickel, zinc, and lead.


Chernozem Heavy metals Soil Urbanized area Urbostratozem 



This work was supported by project no. 213.01-2015/002VG which implemented within the framework of the internal SFU grant. Analytical work was carried out on the equipment of Centers for collective use of Southern Federal University “High Technology” and the center for collective use of Southern Federal University “Biotechnology, Biomedicine, and Environmental Monitoring”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga S. Bezuglova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sergey N. Gorbov
    • 1
  • Svetlana A. Tischenko
    • 1
  • Alexandra S. Aleksikova
    • 1
  • Suleiman S. Tagiverdiev
    • 1
  • Aleksey K. Sherstnev
    • 1
  • Marina N. Dubinina
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Federal University, Academy of Biology and BiotechnologyRostov-on-DonRussia

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