Floodplain soils contamination assessment using the sequential extraction method of heavy metals from past mining activities

Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 21;12(1):2927. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-06929-7.


Floodplains are among the most precious and threatened ecosystems in the world. The study deals with floodplain soil contamination caused by 8 heavy metals (HMs) (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Zn) originating and transported from old mine works along the Štiavnica River in Slovakia. We determined the total HMs content and the HM fractions using BCR sequential extraction method. We selected 12 alluvial sites (AS), two contaminated sites (CS), and one reference site (RS). The sampling points were located within the riparian zones (RZ), arable lands (AL), and grasslands (GL). We confirmed soil contamination by HMs and the related ecological risk by different factors. The contamination by HMs at many AS localities was similar or even higher than at CS localities. The highest contamination factor was calculated for Cu (39.8), followed by Pb (27.4), Zn (18.2), and Cd (7.2). The HMs partitioning in the different fractions at the CS and AS localities revealed that Cd, Zn, and Pb were mainly associated with the exchangeable and reducible fractions, while Cu was mainly associated with the oxidisable fraction. The soil properties were selectively correlated with the HM fractions. Based on the ANOVA results, the effect of different ecosystem types on HM fractions was revealed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't