Assessment of spatial distribution and possible sources of heavy metals in the soils of Sariseki-Dörtyol District in Hatay Province (Turkey)

Research paper by Necat Ağca, Engin Özdel

Indexed on: 05 May '13Published on: 05 May '13Published in: Environmental Geology


In this study, total heavy metal content of soil and their spatial distribution in Sarıseki-Dörtyol district were analyzed and mapped. Variable distance grids (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 km) were established, with a total of 102 soil samples collected from two different soil depths (0–5 and 5–20 cm) at intersections of the grids (51 sampling point). Soil samples were analyzed for heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, Fe, and Ni). The most proper variogram models for the contents of all heavy metal were spherical and exponential ones. The ranges of semivariograms were between 1.9 and 31.1 km. According to the calculated geoaccumulation (Igeo) values, samples from both soil depths were classified as partly to highly polluted with Cd and Ni and partly polluted with Cr and as partly polluted-to-not polluted with Pb and not polluted with Cu, Fe and Mn. Similar results were also obtained when evaluated by the enrichment factor. The contamination levels of the heavy metals were Ni > Cd > Cr > Pb > Zn > Cu > Co > Fe > Mn in decreasing order. The soils in the study area are contaminated predominantly by Cd and Ni, which may give rise to various health hazards or diseases. Cadmium pollution results primarily from industrial activities and, to a lesser extent, from vehicular traffic, whereas Ni contents in the study area result from parent material, phosphorus fertilizer, industries, and vehicles.