Assessment of heavy metals in agricultural soils and their source apportionment: a Turkish district survey

Güler Dartan, Fatih Taşpınar*, İsmail Toröz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed at investigating the impact of industrialization on the quality of agricultural soils in the district of Bandırma, Turkey, in terms of soil heavy metal contamination. Many soil and phosphogypsum samples were analyzed, and enrichment factors (EFs) were calculated. The average concentration gradient of metals in the soil (mg/kg) was As < Se < Sb < Pb < Co < Cd < V < Cu < Ni < Zn < Cr < P < Mn < Na < K < Mg < Fe < Ca < Al. According to the Pearson cross-correlation results for the element pairs of Fe-Mg (0.635), Fe-Cu (0.863), Fe-Cd (0.545), Cu-Cd (0.630), Mn-Cr (0.698), Mn-Al (0.523), Cr-Mg (0.543), Al-P (0.508), Na-K (0.616), and C-Zn (0.703), the metal enrichments in the soil were found to be moderately high and significant. In the majority of soil samples, Ni, Cu, Co, Zn, Se, Pb, and Cr were moderately enriched whereas Sb and Cd were extremely highly enriched. A factor analysis (FA) was applied to the cross-correlations of the elements to identify their sources. Six significant factors were extracted with the help of FA, explaining 77.22 % of the total variance, and the elements loaded on these factors were interpreted. The evaluations of the factors showed that the study area has been exposed to heavy metal pollution from anthropogenic sources considering the high levels of Cr, Cd, Cu, P, V, Zn, Ni, Sb, and Pb in the soil and the higher EFs falling in the range of 2.54–372.87. Moreover, the soil concentrations of Mn, Mg, Co, Al, K, and Ca were also high, but they were of lithogenic in origin according to the FA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Enrichment factor
  • Factor analysis
  • Heavy metals
  • Phosphogypsum
  • Soil pollution


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