Urban geochemistry of heavy metals in soils of Hamedan City, Iran

Soroush Modabberi, Mahsa Tashakkor, Neda Sharifi Soltani, Andrew S. Hursthouse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract


Today, more than half of the human population lives in cities and the proportion is expected to increase progressively. Humans in urban areas are exposed to various contaminants originating from a wide range of sources. Urban soils are part of the exposure pathway and have been widely studied. The diverse range of sources, including geogenic, traffic, industrial and commercial activities and the wider management of urban space all contribute to determining pollutant accumulation in the soils. Metallic elements are most persistent and urban soils are considered a sink, resulting in concentrations that are generally higher than the normal values.

Hamedan city is the largest population center in the west of Iran, with a history of more than 3,200 years of habitation. Hamedan has a population of about 1.7 million inhabitants. The previous studies indicated anomalous concentration of heavy metals in soils of rural areas around Hamedan however the extent of contamination of urban soils has yet to be studied.

Thirty-four soil samples were collected from urban and peri-urban areas from residential, industrial and agricultural land uses and also green spaces and urban street dusts. The physicochemical parameters were measured in samples including grain-size analysis, pH, EC, OC, OM. The samples were analyzed for 62 elements by ICP-MS instrument.

The analytical data indicates that the concentration of most of the elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Mn, Ni, …) are equal to or lower than the local background values, however Hg, Pb and Zn show much higher contents (average values of 148, 51 and 115 as compared to background values of 20, 12, 88ppm respectively). Comparison of the analytical results with the published values for some other cities in the world indicates the higher contents of As, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, V, and Zn. No clear relationship is observed between pH and OM values with other parameters.

Multivariate statistical analysis by PCA highlights a strong association of the elements Al, Co, Cr, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, Ti, V and Pb in the first component. These association relates to the pedogenic processes and parent materials. Association of Pb and Zn in component 2 suggests an automotive source for these elements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication32nd International SEGH Conference, 4th-8th July, 2016
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Conference of the Environmental Geochemistry and Society for Health: abstract book
Place of PublicationBrussels, Belgium
PublisherUniversité Libre de Bruxelles
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference of the Environmental Geochemistry and Society for Health (32nd : 2016) - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 4 Jul 20168 Jul 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference of the Environmental Geochemistry and Society for Health (32nd : 2016)
Abbreviated titleSEGH


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