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Toxic metal enrichment characteristics and sources of arid urban surface soil in Yinchuan City, China

Abstract

To investigate the environmental quality of the urban surface soil in Yinchuan City, the capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (Ningxia), China, we sampled surface soil and measured the concentrations of 8 toxic metals (Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Co, Bi, Ni and V) using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The enrichment characteristics and sources of these toxic metals in the soil were analyzed by the enrichment factor (EF) and multivariate statistical analysis. The results showed that the mean concentrations of these toxic metals in the soil samples were 25.0, 109.1, 16.8, 26.0, 37.2, 2.7, 25.3 and 59.9 mg/kg for Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Co, Bi, Ni and V, respectively, which were 1.2, 1.8, 0.8, 0.4, 3.2, 8.7, 0.7 and 0.8 times of the corresponding background values of Ningxia soil, respectively. The variations of Pb, Zn, Co, Bi and Ni concentrations in the surface soil of Yinchuan were larger than those of the other metals. Our results also showed that the toxic metals investigated in the soil had different enrichment levels. Both Co and Bi were significantly enriched, whereas Cr was only moderately enriched in the soil. There was a deficiency or minimal enrichment of the other toxic metals in the soil. Source analysis results based on the concentration, enrichment characteristics and multivariate statistical analysis indicated that Cr, V and Ni originated from a combination of fossil fuel combustion, traffic pollution and natural occurrence. Pb, Cu and Zn were predominantly derived from natural and traffic sources, while Co and Bi primarily originated from construction sources.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41271510, 41461098) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (GK201601009, 2017TS027). All experiments were finished in the Environmental Science Lab of Shaanxi Normal University. We thank LYU Ruipeng, LIU Jufeng, YU Guoliang and YAN Chang for their helps with the sampling.

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Correspondence to Xinwei Lu.

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Zhang, M., Lu, X., Shi, D. et al. Toxic metal enrichment characteristics and sources of arid urban surface soil in Yinchuan City, China. J. Arid Land 10, 653–662 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-018-0099-6

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Keywords

  • toxic metals
  • urban surface soil
  • enrichment factor
  • arid area
  • Northwest China