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Influence of parent sediments on the concentration of heavy metals in urban and suburban soils in Turku, Finland


Influence of parent sediments on the concentration of heavy metals in urban and suburban soils in Turku, Finland



Applied Geochemistry 22(5): 906-918



ISSN/ISBN: 0883-2927

DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2007.02.003

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of parent sediment material on soil geochemistry and to locate possible pollution sources in the area of Turku town in southwestern Finland. The study area is glaciated terrain and subsurface samples were chosen to represent five different parent sediment materials: glacial till, glaciofluvial or littoral sand, clay, peat and marine mud. Elemental concentrations of surface (100 samples) and background soil (50 samples) were analysed by ICP-AES (Al, Ba, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, P, S, Sr, Ti, V) and by graphite furnace AAS (As, Cd, Mo, Se). Loss-on-ignition was determined as an indicator of organic matter. Analytical results were examined using multivariate statistical methods. The results indicate that the studied soils are not heavily contaminated; there were only few sample sites with elevated heavy metal concentrations. High Pb concentrations were observed along main traffic routes, and also in places where there has been small-scale use of antifouling paints. However, concentrations of heavy metals in topsoil were in general significantly lower than those measured in large cities elsewhere. The parent material strongly affects the geochemical character of the soils. Clays naturally have a significantly higher concentration of heavy metals than sands or till material. This is also reflected in concentrations in organic topsoil. When assessing target levels for polluted soil, the primary sediment appears to be a more important factor than the amount of organic matter.

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