10 years long-term assessment on characterizing spatiotemporal trend and source apportionment of metal(loid)s in terrestrial soils along the west coast of South Korea

Seo Joon Yoon, Seongjin Hong, Changkeun Lee, Junghyun Lee, Taewoo Kim, Jongmin Lee, Beomgi Kim, Junsung Noh, Bong Oh Kwon, Jong Seong Khim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long-term trends in the spatial distributions and sources of metal(loid)s in soils adjacent to the west coastal areas of South Korea have been systematically investigated for 10 years (2010–2019). Monitoring in 17 sites clearly showed site- and region-specific distributions, being associated with land use type (significant differences, as road > agriculture > wild) (P < 0.05), rather than temporal variation. The great concentrations of all metal(loid)s were found near Lake Shihwa (LS) and Geum River (GG), near the road, indicating that transportation activity was the main source of metal(loid)s contamination in soil. Especially, Cd (0.5 mg kg−1), Hg (0.04 mg kg−1), Pb (65 mg kg−1), and Zn (184 mg kg−1), related to the transportation activity near the road, showed twice greater than other land use types, on average. The concentration of metal(loid)s in each site and with the same land use type did not greatly vary over the years, with no significant annual difference (P > 0.05). The degree of metal(loid)s contamination compared to the background levels was identified in the order of Pb > Zn > Cr > Cu > As>Cd > Ni > Hg, with the contaminated hotspots mostly in LS or GG. The potential ecological risk was evidenced for Cd and Hg, but such a trend was temporally irregular over the years, indicating site-specificity. The sources of metal(loid)s were carefully determined as natural (20%), fuel combustion & agricultural pollution (43%), and vehicular emissions (37%) using the Positive Matrix Factorization model. The relative contribution of each source to contamination over the last decade was found to be similar, supporting that site-dependent lesser variation in metal(loid)s contamination in the coastal areas of South Korea. Overall, the distribution of metal(loid)s in the soil near the west coastal areas over the last decade largely depended on land use activities, and contamination degree was associated with non-point sources, such as transportation and fuel combustion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154214
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume826
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Ecological risk
  • Land use
  • Long term monitoring
  • Metal(loid)
  • Yellow Sea

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