Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2017, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (5): 467-475.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2017.00467

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Contamination and risk assessment of heavy metals in farmland soils of Baghrash County, Xinjiang, Northwest China

Ajigul Mamut1, Mamattursun Eziz1,2, Anwar Mohammad3, Mattohti Anayit1, Atiyagul Rixit1   

  1. 1. College of Geographical Science and Tourism, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830054, China;
    2. Research Center for Urban Development in Silk Road Economic Zone, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830054, China;
    3. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xinjiang University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830046, China
  • Received:2016-12-29 Revised:2017-03-16 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: Mamattursun Eziz,
  • Supported by:
    This research was supported by the Fund for Training Program of Distinguished Young Scientists of Xinjiang (No. qn2015jq003) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41561073 and No. 41361002).

Abstract: Soil pollution significantly reduces environmental quality. In this study, farmland soil samples were collected from 25 sites in Baghrash County, Northwest China; and the concentrations of eight heavy-metal elements (arsenic, As; cadmium, Cd; chromium, Cr; copper, Cu; manganese, Mn; nickel, Ni; lead, Pb; zinc, Zn) were determined by standard methods. The spatial distribution, contamination level, and ecological risk stature of heavy metals were analyzed based on GIS technology, the Geo-accumulation Index (Igeo), the Pollution Load Index (PLI), and the Potential Ecological Risk Index (RI). Results indicated that (1) The average concentrations of Cd exceeded 12.12 times the allowed national standard for soil environmental quality of China. The average concentrations of Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn exceeded the background values of irrigation soils in Xinjiang by 60.58, 1.25, 1.50, 4.95, and 5.10 times, respectively. (2) The pollution order of the average value of Igeo for heavy metals was ranked as Cd > Zn > Pb > Ni > Cr > Cu > As > Mn. The individual potential ecological risk index for heavy metals was ranked in the order of Cd > As > Ni > Cu > Pb > Cr > Zn. The average PLI for the study area showed a heavy pollution level, while the average RI showed a considerable ecological risk stature, as compared to the classification standard. (3) The spatial distribution patterns of eight heavy metal elements were substantially heterogeneous. The moderately polluted areas with moderate potential ecological risks were distributed in the southern parts of the study area, whereas the heavily polluted areas with considerable potential ecological risks were distributed in the northern parts. Overall, it was observed that Cd contributed most to the PLI and RI of the farmland soils in Baghrash County. The pollution risk of Cd should be a major concern, and human activities in the region should be cautious.

Key words: farmland soils, heavy metal, pollution, ecological risk, spatial distribution

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