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    STUDIA GEOGRAPHIA - Issue no. 2 / 2009  
         
  Article:   SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF HEAVY METALS IN THE SOILS OF ERATH COUNTY, TEXAS.

Authors:  M. DIA, D. WEINDORF, C. THOMPSON, H. CUMMINGS, H.L. CACOVEAN, T. RUSU.
 
       
         
  Abstract:  

Spatial Distribution of Heavy Metals in the Soils of Erath County, Texas. The presence of heavy metals in soils is a potential threat to plants, animals, humans and the environment. The soils of Erath County, Texas were examined to determine the spatial variability of heavy metals (Pb, Mn, Zn, and As) near the major highways (US-281, 377, 67, and State Highway 8 and 108) as well as unpaved county roads. It is hypothesized that heavy metals generated from combustion of motor fuel have accumulated near roadsides. However, their persistence in the soil varies with the distance from the road edge, direction of prevailing wind, traffic density, and type of road. Soil samples were collected along both sides of the road at variable distances: 25, 50 and 100 m from the road edge.The high concentration of Pb, Mn, and Zn in roadside soil was found to be associated with traffic related activities. The distribution of Pb, Mn, and Zn in roadside soil is related to traffic density, and distance from the road edge. The prevailing wind also had a significant effect on the accumulation pattern of Pb and Mn in roadside soil. Although As in roadside soil was higher than typical background levels, As distribution was not influenced by traffic density, distance from the road edge, or direction of prevailing wind. Rather, observed differences were attributed to the nature of the soil parent material.

Keywords: Automobile; Gasoline; Heavy metals; Roadside soil; Erath County, TX.

 
         
     
         
         
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