Identification and mapping of heavy metal pollution in soils of a sports ground in Galway City

Published by: NUI Galway
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Heavy metals in urban soils continue to attract attention because of their potential long-term effects on human health. During a previous investigation of urban soils in Galway City, Ireland, a pollution hotspot of Pb, Cu, Zn and As was identified in the sports ground of South Park in the Claddagh. The sports ground was formerly a rubbish dumping site for both municipal and industrial wastes. In the present study, a portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analyser was used to obtain rapid in-situ elemental analyses of the topsoil (depth: about 5–10 cm) at 200 locations on a 20 · 20-m grid in South Park. Extremely high values of the pollutants were found, with maximum values of Pb, Zn, Cu and As of 10,297, 24,716, 2224 and 744 mg/kg soil, respectively. High values occur particularly where the topsoil cover is thin, whereas lower values were found in areas where imported topsoil covers the polluted substrate. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques were applied to the dataset to create elemental spatial distribution maps, three-dimensional images and interpretive hazard maps of the pollutants in the study area. Immediate action to remediate the contaminated topsoil is recommended to safeguard the health of children who play at the sports ground.

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Theme Environment
Date dataset released 2007-07-03
Date dataset updated 2015-12-08
Dataset conforms to these standards The INSPIRE Directive or INSPIRE lays down a general framework for a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for the purposes of European Community environmental policies and policies or activities which may have an impact on the environment.
Rights notes ['Creative Commons licence conditions limitations', 'https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/', 'license', 'https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/', 'license']
Update frequency Never
Language English
Geographic coverage in GeoJSON format {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":[[[-9.056, 53.264],[-9.056, 53.267], [-9.051, 53.267], [-9.051, 53.264], [-9.056, 53.264]]]}
Spatial Reference Systems (SRS) Irish Transverse Mercator (ITM, EPSG:2157)
Vertical Extent {"maxVerticalExtent": "5", "verticalDomainName": null, "minVerticalExtent": "1"}
Provenance information Ex-situ and in-situ analyses of South Park soils A pilot study was first undertaken to assess whether or not the present study was warranted. This consisted of the repeated analysis of a soil sample taken in November 2004 as part of the Galway City urban geochemistry study (Zhang 2006) and the collection and analysis of five additional samples within 2–3 m of that location in May 2005 (specific 46 Environ Geochem Health (2008) 30:45–52 123 coordinates for the samples based on the Irish National Grid system are provided in Table 1 of the publication). These samples were sent to OMAC Laboratories Limited in Loughrea, County Galway for inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) analysis for pseudo-total concentrations of the elements following a four-acid digestion (HF, HClO4, HCl and HNO3). Quality control was achieved using reference samples, and the results (presented below) confirmed the high levels of pollutants in the original (2004) sample. It was therefore decided that a detailed survey of topsoil geochemistry throughout the South Park sports ground was required.
Period of time covered (begin) 2006-01-01
Period of time covered (end) 2006-12-31