Pedosphere 30(2): 244--252, 2020
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2020 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Accumulation and potential sources of heavy metals in soils of the Hetao area, Inner Mongolia, China
Yangchun ZHU1,2, Lijin WANG1, Xueyong ZHAO3, Jie LIAN3, Zhenhua ZHANG2
1Ecology Institute, Lishui University, Lishui 323000 (China);
2Institute of Agricultural Resource and Environmental Sciences, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014 (China);
3Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000 (China)
ABSTRACT
      Soil contamination by heavy metals is a problem in agricultural irrigation systems. To assess the accumulation and sources of heavy metals in the Yongji irrigation district of the Hetao area, Inner Mongolia, China, 195 soil samples from 39 sites (0-100 cm) were collected, and Zn, Cu, Pb, Cr, and Cd concentrations were analyzed. The mean concentrations were 107.17, 32.48, 12.31, 53.53, and 0.22 mg kg-1, respectively, with no significant differences between soil depths (P > 0.05). Concentrations of Zn, Cu, and Cd were higher than the background levels, with moderate accumulation; the contamination factor (CF) values were 1.9, 1.7, and 1.9, respectively, and the geoaccumulation index (Igeo) was > 0. Concentrations of Pb and Cr were lower than, or close to, the background levels (CF < 1, Igeo < 0), indicating that they originated from a natural source. The monomial potential ecological risk index (Eri) for Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cr was low; Eri for Cd was 55.73, implying a moderate risk. The grade of potential ecological risk index of the five heavy metals (RI) was low, declining from south to north. The studied soils were contaminated with Zn, Cu, and Cd; principal component (PC) analysis implicated the enrichment of Cd and partial Cu (high loading in PC 2) was related to agricultural activities; Zn and partial Cu, closely associated with PC 3, may have originated from irrigation water from the Yellow River. Future agricultural development should focus on fertilizer and pesticide application and the quality of irrigation water.
Key Words:  agricultural activity,contamination factor,geoaccumulation index,potential ecological risk,principal component analysis,soil layer,spatial distribution
Citation: Zhu Y C, Wang L J, Zhao X Y, Lian J, Zhang Z H. 2020. Accumulation and potential sources of heavy metals in soils of the Hetao area, Inner Mongolia, China. Pedosphere. 30(2): 244-252.
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