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Zinc in soil reflecting the intensive coal mining activities: Evidence from stable zinc isotopes analysis

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2022 May 20;239:113669. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113669. Online ahead of print.


In the mining area affected by coal mining activities for a long time, heavy metal Zn pollution poses a serious threat to soil quality and human health, and direct evidence showing the relationship between Zn accumulation mechanism in soils and mining activities is lacking. In this study, the Zn content and isotopes composition (δ66Zn) from soil and environmental samples around mining area were determined and analyzed to clarify the Zn characteristics in soil. Moreover, the distribution and source of Zn content in soil of mining area were analyzed by mathematical statistics, correlation analysis and isotope mass mixing model. The results showed that: (1) the Zn content in soil ranged from 95 to 327 mg·kg-1 (mean: 233 mg·kg-1), exceeding the control point and the soil background value of Anhui Province; (2) the results of Zn isotope analysis showed that Zn in soil mainly derived from the wind dispersion input of fine particles in gangue and fly ash, followed by the natural weathering of parent material; (3) isotopic mass mixing model can be used to distinguish the contribution of anthropogenic and natural Zn sources. Mining input was the main contribution source of Zn in soil (mean: 67%), followed by natural background (mean: 33%). The employment of Zn isotopes can effectively evaluate the impact of anthropogenic and natural long-term processes on Zn in the soil of the mining area, and provide important information for the formulation of soil metal pollution control measures.

PMID:35605319 | DOI:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113669

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