Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Soil Contamination Related Publications

3 Geostatistical Analysis of Contamination of Soils in an Urban Area in Ghana

Authors: S. K. Appiah, E. N. Aidoo, D. Asamoah Owusu, M. W. Nuonabuor

Abstract:

Urbanization remains one of the unique predominant factors which is linked to the destruction of urban environment and its associated cases of soil contamination by heavy metals through the natural and anthropogenic activities. These activities are important sources of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn). Often, these heavy metals lead to increased levels in some areas due to the impact of atmospheric deposition caused by their proximity to industrial plants or the indiscriminately burning of substances. Information gathered on potentially hazardous levels of these heavy metals in soils leads to establish serious health and urban agriculture implications. However, characterization of spatial variations of soil contamination by heavy metals in Ghana is limited. Kumasi is a Metropolitan city in Ghana, West Africa and is challenged with the recent spate of deteriorating soil quality due to rapid economic development and other human activities such as “Galamsey”, illegal mining operations within the metropolis. The paper seeks to use both univariate and multivariate geostatistical techniques to assess the spatial distribution of heavy metals in soils and the potential risk associated with ingestion of sources of soil contamination in the Metropolis. Geostatistical tools have the ability to detect changes in correlation structure and how a good knowledge of the study area can help to explain the different scales of variation detected. To achieve this task, point referenced data on heavy metals measured from topsoil samples in a previous study, were collected at various locations. Linear models of regionalisation and coregionalisation were fitted to all experimental semivariograms to describe the spatial dependence between the topsoil heavy metals at different spatial scales, which led to ordinary kriging and cokriging at unsampled locations and production of risk maps of soil contamination by these heavy metals. Results obtained from both the univariate and multivariate semivariogram models showed strong spatial dependence with range of autocorrelations ranging from 100 to 300 meters. The risk maps produced show strong spatial heterogeneity for almost all the soil heavy metals with extremely risk of contamination found close to areas with commercial and industrial activities. Hence, ongoing pollution interventions should be geared towards these highly risk areas for efficient management of soil contamination to avert further pollution in the metropolis.

Keywords: Soil Contamination, Spatial Distribution, risk maps, coregionalization, multivariate geostatistical analysis, ordinary cokriging, soil heavy metals

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2 Removal of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons from Contaminated Soils by Electrochemical Method

Authors: D. M. Cocârță, I. A. Istrate, C. Streche, D. M. Dumitru

Abstract:

Soil contamination phenomena are a wide world issue that has received the important attention in the last decades. The main pollutants that have affected soils are especially those resulted from the oil extraction, transport and processing. This paper presents results obtained in the framework of a research project focused on the management of contaminated sites with petroleum products/ REMPET. One of the specific objectives of the REMPET project was to assess the electrochemical treatment (improved with polarity change respect to the typical approach) as a treatment option for the remediation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) from contaminated soils. Petroleum hydrocarbon compounds attach to soil components and are difficult to remove and degrade. Electrochemical treatment is a physicochemical treatment that has gained acceptance as an alternative method, for the remediation of organic contaminated soils comparing with the traditional methods as bioremediation and chemical oxidation. This type of treatment need short time and have high removal efficiency, being usually applied in heterogeneous soils with low permeability. During the experimental tests, the following parameters were monitored: pH, redox potential, humidity, current intensity, energy consumption. The electrochemical method was applied in an experimental setup with the next dimensions: 450 mm x 150 mm x 150 mm (L x l x h). The setup length was devised in three electrochemical cells that were connected at two power supplies. The power supplies configuration was provided in such manner that each cell has a cathode and an anode without overlapping. The initial value of TPH concentration in soil was of 1420.28 mg/kgdw. The remediation method has been applied for only 21 days, when it was already noticed an average removal efficiency of 31 %, with better results in the anode area respect to the cathode one (33% respect to 27%). The energy consumption registered after the development of the experiment was 10.6 kWh for exterior power supply and 16.1 kWh for the interior one. Taking into account that at national level, the most used methods for soil remediation are bioremediation (which needs too much time to be implemented and depends on many factors) and thermal desorption (which involves high costs in order to be implemented), the study of electrochemical treatment will give an alternative to these two methods (and their limitations).

Keywords: Pollution, Soil Contamination, electrochemical remediation, total petroleum hydrocarbons

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1 Application of Various Methods for Evaluation of Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils around Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Mine Complex, Armenia

Authors: K. A. Ghazaryan, H. S. Movsesyan, N. P. Ghazaryan

Abstract:

The present study was aimed in assessing the heavy metal pollution of the soils around Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex and related environmental risks. This mine complex is located in the south-east part of Armenia, and the present study was conducted in 2013. The soils of the five riskiest sites of this region were studied: surroundings of the open mine, the sites adjacent to processing plant of Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex, surroundings of Darazam active tailing dump, the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 2”, and the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 3”. The mountain cambisol was the main soil type in the study sites. The level of soil contamination by heavy metals was assessed by Contamination factors (Cf), Degree of contamination (Cd), Geoaccumulation index (I-geo) and Enrichment factor (EF). The distribution pattern of trace metals in the soil profile according to Cf, Cd, I-geo and EF values shows that the soil is much polluted. Almost in all studied sites, Cu, Mo, Pb, and Cd were the main polluting heavy metals, and this was conditioned by Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex activity. It is necessary to state that the pollution problem becomes pressing as some parts of these highly polluted region are inhabited by population, and agriculture is highly developed there; therefore, heavy metals can be transferred into human bodies through food chains and have direct influence on public health. Since the induced pollution can pose serious threats to public health, further investigations on soil and vegetation pollution are recommended. Finally, Cf calculating based on distance from the pollution source and the wind direction can provide more reasonable results.

Keywords: Heavy Metals, Soil Contamination, Armenia, enrichment factor, Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex

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