Regional Geochemical Characteristics and Influence Factors of Soil Elements in the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, China


Soil heavy metal pollution is one of the main environmental problems in Pearl River Delta Economic Zone of China. Based on multi-purpose regional geochemical survey, regional eco-geochemical assessment, local eco-geochemical assessment and comprehensive appraisal, the eco-geochemical survey and assessment in Pearl River Delta Economic Zone of 41,698 km2 were completed. Samples from soils were collected in accordance with the two-layer grid method. Totally 54 elements and indicators for soils were determined. Compared to deep soils, the sampled surface soils are enriched in OrgC, N, P, Cd, SHg, Ag, B, Au, S and poor with As, Ni, I, Co, Cr, V, MgO, Sc, Al2O3, Fe2O3 etc. The characteristics of geochemical reference value of element in soil that inherited soil parent material and regional elements combined features reflected that the elements enriched in the soil was interrelated with acid rock, sandstone and shale. The spatial distribution characteristics of element regional geochemistry were conditional by regional environmental geological conditionsand effected by human activities. The Pearl River Delta plain is a typical geochemical landscape area with regional anomaly of multiple-elements. The north, western and eastern parts of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone are quite different in geochemical features due to regional geological background, soil parent materials, geomorphic characteristics and human activities. Environment quality evaluation results show that the grade I and grade II soil accounted for 19.9% and 57.3% of the total area. Many samples that widely distributed in the economic developed of Pearl River Delta Plain area reached the third-grade of national soil environment standard. The soil enriched in Cd, Hg, As, and the area ratio accounting for 22.8% of the total area. It is mainly controlled by the geochemical background, the Pearl River Delta formation evolution process, especially the marine transgression process lead to Cd, Cu, Zn and Pb enrichment in Pearl River Delta plain. At the same time, under the influence of higher pressure of human activities, all kinds of exogenous input material carrying heavy metal pollutants on soil environmental quality also could not to ignore.

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Dou, L. and Li, T. (2015) Regional Geochemical Characteristics and Influence Factors of Soil Elements in the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, China. International Journal of Geosciences, 6, 593-604. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2015.66046.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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