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Spatial distribution of metals in top soils of Islamabad City, Pakistan

Author(s): Ali SM, Malik RN



Present study was conducted in rapidly growing city Islamabad, and surface soils were collected from three major land cover types viz., built-up, drain side, and green areas. A total of seven physicochemical parameters and 11 metals were determined in surface soils. Factor analysis based on principal component analysis explained total variance of 68.0%, 64.5%, and 60.2% of three land cover types and showed high loadings for major elements (Mg and K) in built-up and green area and Fe in drain side. Top soil pollution index was carried out by using geo-accumulation index and metal pollution index (MPI₆). Concentration of major elements (Ca, Mg, Na, K) in surface soils is derived by parent material, whereas concentration of Fe, Ni, Pb, and Zn were mainly related with anthropogenic sources. Geostatistical methods such as kirging identified hotspot areas of metal contamination by Pb, Ni, and Zn in built-up areas influenced mainly by vehicular emissions and waste disposal. The results stresses that land clearing should be avoided to reduce contamination and management of urban soils.

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