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Understanding heavy metal accumulation in roadside soils along major roads in the Tibet Plateau TEXT SIZE: A A A
The heavy metal accumulation in the Tibet Plateau (TP) poses a serious ecologic risk to the health of human and the other biota. Given the TP far away from the large anthropogenic emission sources, the rapid development of traffic activities during last several decades possibly leads to the elevated heavy metal concentration in the roadside soils. Therefore, we comprehensively assessed the heavy metal distribution in the 0-5 cm and 15-20 cm depth soils located at 5 m, 50 m, and 100 m distance to the edge of two major roads among the different vegetation covers and climatic conditions in the TP to verify this hypothesis. Results show that most of heavy metal concentrations in soils of different distance to the major road display an insignificant difference. The Nemero Synthesis indexes which represent the risk of pollution for these regions almost range 1 to 2 (low pollution risk), except 12.7 (extreme pollution risk) at one site. These indicate the limited impacts from the traffic activities for the whole region, but at some specific sites with the elevated traffic pollution. The forest cover at the altitude of 3700-4100 m has the highest mercury accumulation due to the vegetation and climatic factors induced the higher atmospheric depositions and stronger complexation with the organic matters. The statistical analysis finally suggests the geogenic weathering processes, climate, terrain and vegetation play an important role in shaping heavy metal distribution along the roadside of the TP. (c) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication name

 SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT Volume802 Article Number149865 DOI10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149865 PublishedJAN 1 2022


 An, Siwei; Liu, Nantao; Li, Xianming; Zeng, Shufang; Wang, Xun; Wang, Dingyong

Corresponding author(s) 

 WANG, Dingyong
 Southwest Univ, Coll Resources & Environm, Chongqing 400715, Peoples R China

Author(s) from IGCAS   WANG Xun

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