Author(s): AlKhashman OA, Shawabkeh RA
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Abstract The objective of this study was to assess the extent and severity of metal contamination in urban soil around Queen Alia Airport, Jordan. Thirty-two soil samples were collected around steel manufacturing plants located in the Al-Jiza area, south Jordan, around the Queen Alia Airport. The samples were obtained at two depths, 0-10 and 10-20 cm, and were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry for lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and chromium (Cr) levels. The physicochemical factors believed to affect the mobility of metals in the soil of the study area were also examined, including pH, electrical conductivity, total organic matter, calcium carbonate (CaCO(3)) content and cation exchange capacity. The high concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd in the soil samples were found to be related to anthropogenic sources, such as the steel manufacturing plants, agriculture and traffic emissions, with the highest concentrations of these metals close to the site of the steel plants; in contrast the concentration of Cr was low in the soil sampled close to the steel plants. The metals were concentrated in the surface soil, and concentrations decreased with increasing depth, reflecting the physical properties of the soil and its alkaline pH. The mineralogical composition of the topsoil, identified by X-ray diffraction, was predominantly quartz, calcite, dolomite and minor minerals, such as gypsum and clay minerals. Metal concentrations were compared using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compute the statistical significance of the mean. The results of the ANOVA showed significant differences between sites for Pb, Cd and Cu, but no significant differences for the remaining metals tested. Factor analysis revealed that polluted soil occurs predominantly at sites around the steel plants and that there is no significant variation in the characteristics of the unpolluted soil, which are uniform in the study area.
This article was published in Environ Geochem Health
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography