GEOCHEMISTRY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METALS IN SURFACE SOIL IN AL-HAWIJA, SOUTHWEST KIRKUK
Soil pollution adversely affects the safety and health of the human being. The main objective of the study is to determine the concentrations of heavy metals (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb and Zn) in surface soil in Al-Hawija, southwestern Kirkuk. Twenty-one samples were collected and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to measure the content of heavy metals and assess the soil pollution by using the contamination factor, degree of contamination, geoaccumulation index, pollution load index and ecological risk index (RI). The results indicate that there is high pollution by lead, chromium and copper (78.8, 87.4 and 53.8 mg/kg) respectively, in industrial areas due to anthropogenic sources with the presence of significant ecological risk (Er) of the lead (116) in site S7, due to its high concentrations, while size fraction analysis indicated that all heavy metals are concentrated in the fine parts as a result of adsorption processes by clay minerals.