Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 1551–1560 | Cite as

The effects of human activities and different land-use on trace element pollution in urban topsoil of Isfahan (Iran)

  • Iman TahmasbianEmail author
  • Azadeh Nasrazadani
  • Hojat Shoja
  • Ali Akbar Safari Sinegani
Original Article


The excessive input of trace elements into urban soil has become one of the most important concerns in industrial and crowded cities all over the world. The contamination of urban soils can affect the health of people living in urban areas, and the surrounding ecosystems. Current study was conducted to assess the effects of human activities as well as different land-use on accumulation of trace elements in urban topsoil and also identify the potential risks to human health in Isfahan (Iran). A total of 95 topsoil samples were taken from different localities of Isfahan City and analyzed for Zn, Pb, Cu and Cr using the atomic absorption spectrophotometric method. Pollution index (PI) was calculated for each trace element to identify the rate of trace element accumulation with respect to the background values. Land-use map and geochemical maps were also created for evaluating of spatial distribution of pollution index and trace elements’ concentration in the studied area. Overlapping the concentrations’ map and land-use map revealed that the highest values of pollution index and trace elements’ concentration were located in central part of the city and highways with a great vehicle traffic load and also in the vicinity of industrial factories that increased potential health hazards to the local community. On the other hand, lowest values of trace elements were located in green-lands with strict vehicle traffic laws. These results indicated that different land-use and human activities have affected quality of urban topsoil of Isfahan resulting in great apprehensions regarding public health in crowded parts of the city.


Urban area Land-use Public health Trace element Spatial distribution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iman Tahmasbian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Azadeh Nasrazadani
    • 2
  • Hojat Shoja
    • 1
  • Ali Akbar Safari Sinegani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil ScienceBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamadanIran
  2. 2.Young Researcher ClubIslamic Azad University of khorasganIsfahanIran

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