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Spatial patterns of heavy metal contamination by urbanization

Nele Delbecque (UGent) and Ann Verdoodt (UGent)
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Abstract
Spatial analysis of heavy metals (HMs) is an important step toward developing predictive models of urban HM contamination. This study assessed the spatial distribution of the enrichment of eight HMs (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the city of Ghent, Belgium. A database with soil HM concentrations measured at 2194 point observations was collected from the Public Waste Agency of Flanders. The degree of anthropogenic HM enrichment was quantified using an urban pollution index (PI). Enrichment of HMs showed high variations throughout the study area. Observed concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, and Hg did not exceed expected background values for the majority of the sampling locations (PI <= 1 for 76% [As], 64% [Cd], 50% [Cr], and 74% [Hg] of sampling points). Accordingly, predicted PI values of these HMs in Ghent were on average < 2. On the other hand, observed median PIs for Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn surpassed expected background values (PI > 1) in 66, 76, 68, and 66% of the cases. The predicted PI means for the entire study area were 3.46 (Cu), 2.06 (Ni), 3.26 (Pb), and 3.28 (Zn). Comparison between various land use types and times since development indicated that HM enrichment was generally highest in urban land uses built up before 1933. Results, however, suggested that spatial patterns of HM contamination are difficult to predict in cities with a long history of industrialization without knowledge on the spatial distribution of (potentially) contaminating historical industrial activities.
Keywords
contamination, pollution index, city, heavy metals, urban soils, SOURCE IDENTIFICATION, ENVIRONMENT, POLLUTION, AREA

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Chicago
Delbecque, Nele, and Ann Verdoodt. 2016. “Spatial Patterns of Heavy Metal Contamination by Urbanization.” Journal of Environmental Quality 45 (1): 9–17.
APA
Delbecque, Nele, & Verdoodt, A. (2016). Spatial patterns of heavy metal contamination by urbanization. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, 45(1), 9–17.
Vancouver
1.
Delbecque N, Verdoodt A. Spatial patterns of heavy metal contamination by urbanization. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY. 2016;45(1):9–17.
MLA
Delbecque, Nele, and Ann Verdoodt. “Spatial Patterns of Heavy Metal Contamination by Urbanization.” JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY 45.1 (2016): 9–17. Print.
@article{7196793,
  abstract     = {Spatial analysis of heavy metals (HMs) is an important step toward developing predictive models of urban HM contamination. This study assessed the spatial distribution of the enrichment of eight HMs (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the city of Ghent, Belgium. A database with soil HM concentrations measured at 2194 point observations was collected from the Public Waste Agency of Flanders. The degree of anthropogenic HM enrichment was quantified using an urban pollution index (PI). Enrichment of HMs showed high variations throughout the study area. Observed concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, and Hg did not exceed expected background values for the majority of the sampling locations (PI {\textlangle}= 1 for 76\% [As], 64\% [Cd], 50\% [Cr], and 74\% [Hg] of sampling points). Accordingly, predicted PI values of these HMs in Ghent were on average {\textlangle} 2. On the other hand, observed median PIs for Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn surpassed expected background values (PI {\textrangle} 1) in 66, 76, 68, and 66\% of the cases. The predicted PI means for the entire study area were 3.46 (Cu), 2.06 (Ni), 3.26 (Pb), and 3.28 (Zn). Comparison between various land use types and times since development indicated that HM enrichment was generally highest in urban land uses built up before 1933. Results, however, suggested that spatial patterns of HM contamination are difficult to predict in cities with a long history of industrialization without knowledge on the spatial distribution of (potentially) contaminating historical industrial activities.},
  author       = {Delbecque, Nele and Verdoodt, Ann},
  issn         = {0047-2425},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {9--17},
  title        = {Spatial patterns of heavy metal contamination by urbanization},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2014.11.0508},
  volume       = {45},
  year         = {2016},
}

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