Source Apportionment of Heavy Metal Pollution in Agricultural Soils around the Poyang Lake Region Using UNMIX Model

Yanhong Li, Huifen Kuang, Chunhua Hu, Gang Ge
2021 Sustainability  
Rapid urbanization and industrialization have caused the continuous discharge of heavy metals into the soils of China's Poyang Lake region, where they pose a major threat to human health. Yet, the spatial characteristics of these heavy metals in farmland soils and their pollution sources in this region remain unclear. This study was conducted to document the pollution caused by heavy metals in the Poyang Lake region through sampling that consisted of the collection of 215 soil samples from
more » ... ultural fields. The UNMIX model provided identification of the sources causing heavy metal pollution and source contributions to soil pollution. ArcGIS was used to study the spatial distribution of the eleven heavy metals and to validate the apportionment of pollution sources provided by the UNMIX model. Soil concentrations of heavy metals were above the local background concentrations. The average content of eight heavy metals, including Cd, Mo, Zn, Cu, Sb, W, Pb, and Ni, was approximately 1–6 times greater than natural background levels (6.91, 2.0, 1.67, 1.53, 1.23, 1.38, 1.11, and 1.24, respectively), while the average content of V, Cr, and Co was lower than natural background levels. The average contents of Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb were all lower than the screening levels for unacceptable risks in agricultural land soils. The percentage of Cd content exceeded the risk screening value in all sampling sites, up to 55%, indicating that agricultural soils may significantly be affected by cadmium contamination. Five pollution sources of heavy metals were identified: natural sources, copper mine tailings, agricultural activities, atmospheric depositions, and industrial activities. The contribution rates of the pollution sources were 7%, 13%, 20%, 29%, and 31%, respectively. The spatial pattern of heavy metals was closely aligned with the outputs of the UNMIX model. The foregoing supports the utility of the UNMIX model for the identification of pollution sources of heavy metals, apportionment study, and its implementation in agricultural soils in the Poyang Lake region.
doi:10.3390/su13095272 fatcat:htrx2d6sg5fhllvkb4orh3naea