Layer-specific spatial prediction of As concentration in copper smelter vicinity considering the terrain exposure
Article (Published version)
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.
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Prevailing climatic conditions and local topography can be classified as the most influential environmental factors that affect the spatial dispersion of pollutants emanating from industrial sources. In this study, the combined effects of these factors were considered with respect to terrain exposure in order to explain the complex spatial trend of Arsenic (As) concentration that was atmospherically-deposited from one of the largest Copper Mining and Smelting Complexes in Europe, Bor in Serbia. Several exposure parameters were created and employed as spatial covariates within the so-called “Spline-Then-Krige” approach for producing maps of As concentration at three standard soil depth layers (0–5 cm, 5–15 cm and 15–30 cm). The exposure parameters were created to quantify two different aspects of terrain exposure: Geometrical (Proximity) and Topographical exposure. Regression analysis confirmed the presence of a significant statistical association between the As data and all exposure parameters. The trend model showed good overall accuracy explaining 52% of the variance in As data for the surface soil layer, 49% for the middle layer and 35% for the deepest layer. Relative importance analysis revealed the importance of considering a more general model that includes interactions between exposure parameters. The kriging interpolation improved, to some extent, the regression accuracy for all three layers with R2 values ranging from 55% for the surface layer to the 36% for the deepest soil layer. The prediction maps show that As contamination levels are well above allowable Serbian agricultural concentration limits (As < 25 mg/kg) for approximately 78% of the mapping area, thereby indicating that long term smelting activity leaves significant consequences on soil even on deeper unexposed layers.
Keywords:Pollution mapping; Arsenic; Terrain exposure; Exposure to wind; Spline-Than-Krige
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In: Journal of Geochemical Exploration (2017), 179: 25-35