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Sci Total Environ. 2012 May 15;425:66-74. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Multivariate and geostatistical analyses of the spatial distribution and origin of heavy metals in the agricultural soils in Shunyi, Beijing, China.

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State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P. O. Box 2871, Beijing 100085, China.


An extensive survey was conducted in this study to determine the spatial distribution and possible sources of heavy metals in the agricultural soils in Shunyi, a representative agricultural suburb in Beijing, China. A total of 412 surface soil samples were collected at a density of one sample per km(2), and concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn were analyzed. The mean values of the heavy metals were 7.85±2.13, 0.136±0.061, 22.4±6.31, 0.073±0.049, 20.4±5.2, and 69.8±16.5 mg kg(-1) for As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn, respectively, slightly higher than their background values of Beijing topsoil with the exception of Pb, but lower than the guideline values of Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soils. Multivariate and geostatistical analyses suggested that soil contamination of Cd, Cu and Zn was mainly derived from agricultural practices. Whereas, As and Pb were due mainly to soil parent materials, and Hg was caused by the atmospheric deposits from Beijing City. The identification of heavy metal sources in agricultural soils is a basis for undertaking appropriate action to protect soil quality.

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