Source Identification, Ecological Risk and Spatial Analysis of Heavy Metals Contamination in Agricultural Soils of Tanjaro Area, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Keywords: Heavy Metals Source, Ecological Risk Assessment, Soil Pollution, GIS, Kurdistan Region, Heavy Metals


The current work accomplished a comprehensive evaluation of heavy metals pollution in soil of agricultural areas from Tanjaro sub-district, Sulaimaniyah province, Kurdistan Region, NE Iraq. Ninety soil samples were collected from thirty different locations. Concentrations of 16 heavy metals were measured by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry ICP-OES. The pollution index (PI), potential ecological risk index (Er), enrichment factor (EF), and ecological risk index (RI) were used to assess the pollution in soil samples. High levels of Li and Ni, and moderate Ba, Cd, Hg, and Pb according to the results of concentration analysis, pollution index (PI), and potential ecological risk (ERI). High levels of Cd and Hg according to the results of Er. Agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) and principal component analysis (PCA) suggested that heavy metals were generated from different natural and anthropogenic sources like natural weathering, fertilizer application, and transportation. Origins of Hg, Cd, Ni, and Pb are probably from activities like overuse of pesticides and fertilizers, whereas Pb could be exhausted from vehicle exhausts as well. Furthermore, spatial distributions revealed nonpoint source pollution for the studied heavy metals.  The obtained results help in the remediation techniques of contaminated soils such as dilution with decontaminated soil or extraction or separation of heavy metals.


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Author Biographies

Hayder Mohammed Issa, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Garmian, Sulaimaniyah, KRI, Iraq

Hayder M. Issa is an assistant professor at University of Garmian, he has completed B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Baghdad, Iraq in 1992 and Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the same University in 1995. The PhD degree is in Process and Environmental Engineering from University of Toulouse III (Université Paul Sabatier), INPT, Toulouse, France, in 2013, and is in the field of mass transfer and flow behavior in water treatment tank. He has academic and research experience related to various topics like plant design, reaction engineering, environmental pollution, oil & gas processing, process modeling & simulation and water quality & treatment.

Azad H. Alshatteri, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Garmian, Sulaimaniyah, KRI, Iraq

Azad H. Alshatteri is a lecturer at Chemistry Department/ College of Education/ University of Garmian. In 2008, I graduated from the University of Sulaimani. In 2013, he earned an MSc in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Manchester. He is PhD student at the University of Sulaimani. His interesting study subject is concerned with environmental analytical chemistry and bioanalysis. Several studies on water analysis and water quality determination have been published.


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How to Cite
Issa, H., & Alshatteri, A. (2021, December 28). Source Identification, Ecological Risk and Spatial Analysis of Heavy Metals Contamination in Agricultural Soils of Tanjaro Area, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. UKH Journal of Science and Engineering, 5(2), 18-27.
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