Spatiotemporal patterns of soil heavy metal pollution risk and driving forces of increment in a typical industrialized region in central China.Environ Sci Process Impacts. 2023 Mar 22; 25(3):554-565.ES
Excessive enrichment of soil heavy metals seriously damages human health and soil environment. Exploring the spatiotemporal patterns and detecting the influencing factors are conducive to developing targeted risk management and control. Based on the soil samples of Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn, and Cd collected in one typical industrialized region in China from 2016 to 2019, this study analyzed the spatiotemporal pattern of geo-accumulation risk and potential ecological risk based on the spatiotemporal ordinary kriging (STOK) prediction, and probed the driving forces of heavy metal increments with the random forest (RF) regression model. The risk assessment revealed that soils were seriously contaminated by Pb, Cd, and Cu, moderately contaminated by Zn and Mn, and uncontaminated by Co, Cr, and Ni; more than 30% of areas had moderate to high potential ecological risks. From 2016 to 2019, soil heavy metal contents increased in more than 50% of regions and the growth rates of accumulations were ranked as Co (65%) > Ni (56%) > Mn (43%) > Pb (40%) > Cr (36%) > Zn (31%) > Cu (23%) > Cd (3%). High contents and increases of heavy metals in soils near industrial lands are higher. Smelter (24%), mine (20%), and factory (12%) were the major contributing factors for these heavy metal increments, followed by transportation (6%) and population (5%). The results indicated that the management of industrial discharge and contaminated soils should be strengthened to prevent the worsening soil heavy metal pollution in the study area.