Potential ecological risk assessment and prediction of soil heavy-metal pollution around coal gangue dump
The aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential ecological risk and trend of soil heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in Jilin Province (Northeast China). The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn were monitored by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The potential ecological risk index method developed by Hakanson (1980) was employed to assess the potential risk of heavy-metal pollution. The potential ecological risk in the order of ER(Cd) > ER(Pb) > ER(Cu) > ER(Cr) > ER(Zn) have been obtained, which showed that Cd was the most important factor leading to risk. Based on the Cd pollution history, the cumulative acceleration and cumulative rate of Cd were estimated, then the fixed number of years exceeding the standard prediction model was established, which was used to predict the pollution trend of Cd under the accelerated accumulation mode and the uniform mode. Pearson correlation analysis and correspondence analysis are employed to identify the sources of heavy metals and the relationship between sampling points and variables. These findings provided some useful insights for making appropriate management strategies to prevent or decrease heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in the Yangcaogou coal mine and other similar areas elsewhere.