Evaluation of the agricultural soils pollution along the Orava River using pollution indices

Nikola Benková, Radoslava Kanianska, Peter Andráš, Miriam Kizeková, Ľubica Jančová


Article Details: Received: 2021-10-15 | Accepted: 2021-11-15 | Available online: 2021-12-31 https://doi.org/10.15414/afz.2021.24.04.286-292


Agricultural soil pollution by potentially toxic elements (PTEs) is a major concern nowadays. We selected 11 soil profiles of Fluvisols used as arable land along the River Orava and two study sites located outside the alluvium (1 soil profile of Cambisol used as a permanent grassland, 1 soil profile of Technosol classified as an environmental burden). We determined basic soil properties, total PTEs content and the mobile fraction using inductive coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. The level of pollution of selected PTEs was assessed by single contamination factor (Cf) and pollution load index (PLI). The total PTEs content indicated their increased concentrations at many study sites. But the mobile form content of PTEs did not exceed the Slovak threshold limits in agricultural soils. Nevertheless, the pollution indices also reached higher values in agricultural soils. According to the Cf, Technosol was very highly polluted by Pb (12.89), Sb (11.94), Cd (11.82), Zn (9.19); considerably polluted by As (5.75), Cu (5.70), Mo (4.86); moderately polluted by Cr (2.47), Co (1.92), Ni (1.48). For Fluvisols, a moderate level of pollution was confirmed, with the exception of Cr (3.24) which confirmed a considerable level of pollution. The average Cf for Fluvisols ranged from 1.02 to 9.00 for Cr, from 0.87 to 1.87 for As, from 0.76 to 2.37 for Pb, from 0.61 to 3.48 for Cd. In Cambisol we recorded a low level of contamination for Zn (0.87), Cu (0.99), and Pb (0.94), and a moderate level of contamination for the other PTEs. The PLI reached in Technosol 6.02, in Fluvisols 1.46 (range from 1.08 to 2.09) and in Cambisol the lowest value (1.15).

Keywords: arable land, soil properties, potentially toxic elements, contamination factor, pollution load index



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