Keywords: lead contamination, soil pollution, spatial variability, Turkey
Distribution patterns of lead accumulation in roadside soils: a case study from Erzurum, Turkey
Surface soils along roadsides or near to industrial areas may contain high concentrations of lead that adversely affect plant production. Lead contamination of roadside soils is generally attributed to the exhaust emissions of automobiles operating with leaded gasoline. The objectives of this study were to determine the relationships between lead accumulation in soils and the distance from the road edge, predominant wind direction and soil depth, and to define vertical and horizontal distribution patterns of lead accumulation within the study area. The lead content of soil decreased rapidly with the distance from the road, and the relationship was described by a power function. The contamination was more dependent on the predominant wind direction. Our results indicated that lead that had accumulated within the top few centimetres of soil had been mixed throughout the ploughing layer in cultivated lands. Soils within 40 m of the motorway had at least 2 to 6 times higher amounts of lead than the background level.