Environmental geochemistry of some major, minor and trace elements in Kerman urban areas

Document Type : Original Research


1 Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Islamic Azad University - Zarand Branch, Zarand, Iran


In this investigation, soils, sediments and rocks of urban areas of Kerman studied to assess the degree of pollution by minor and trace elements as a consequence of anthropogenic sources. 37 samples were collected and analyzed by ICP-MS for 30 elements. These concentrations were compared with environmental investigation limits. From this study it was possible to observe that the fresh rocks (limestone) near Kerman city contain relatively low concentrations of majority of major, minor and trace elements as shown by background values. Soils of Kerman are anomalously rich in some minor and trace elements. Most of the soil samples displayed concentrations of these elements higher than natural background values that which suggests an anthropogenic input besides the rock and sediment influences. The accumulation of these contaminants is likely to accelerate as a consequence of rapid traffic economic and industrial growth in the urban environment of Kerman. Geochemical maps of some major minor and trace elements in the rock, sediment and soils were produced using geographical information system (GIS) technology. Geochemical maps showed a increasing in concentrations of some potentially toxic elements from rural areas to Kerman city center. The most polluted points are caused soils close to battery repairing stores or discarded batteries and machinery oil painting (Pb>5000 ppm). It seems that traffic and wind- blown dust are responsible for high soil concentration in some of elements like Pb Cr, Sb and Sn. However some of elements Be, Ce, Ga, Hf, In, La, Li, Nb, Re, Ta, Te, Th, U, Y, Zr did not show any pollution in this area.