Keywords : Major Trace Elements

Environmental Significance of Major and Trace Elements in the Soils of Selected Areas in Erbil City, Kurdistan Region, Northern Iraq

Farhad A. Mohammed; Sirwa Q. Smail; Yawooz A. Kettanah

Iraqi National Journal of Earth Sciences, 2013, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 15-32

Thirty five elements were analyzed in twenty seven soil samples from six different sites in Erbil city to investigate the possible pollution by heavy metals in these areas. These sites are North Industrial, South Industrial, Erbil Citadel and three sites outside the city as background. Fe, K, Al, Na, P, Li, Be, B, Sc, V, Cr, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Mo, Sn, Cd, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Th, and U have higher concentrations than those of the local background but still have not reached
the pollutant levels when compared with the international standards.The concentrations of Ni, Cu, and Zn have exceeded pollutant levels but still cannot be considered toxic or hazardous because of their immobile nature under the current oxidizing environmental conditions. Meanwhile, Co, Mn and Pb have reached critical levels in the industrial areas; while Ni, Cu, Co, and Mn have critical values in the Citadel soils. The concentration of Ca in all studied areas is higher than those of international soil standards, while Mg is lower. There are high concentrations of P in the Erbil Citadel soil samples which are considered pollutant.