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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Extent and Distribution of Soil Heavy Metal Contamination near a Nickel Smelter at Coniston, Ontario1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 8 No. 2, p. 219-222
    Received: Aug 28, 1978

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  1. G. K. Rutherford and
  2. C. R. Bray2



The extent of contamination in surface soils and profiles by sulphur compounds and the heavy metals nickel, copper, zinc, and iron up to a distance of 3.5 km in the southeast quadrant from the smelter at Coniston, Ontario, has been examined. Total and sulphate sulphur were measured, as well as total, available, and exchange heavy metals. Strong contamination by Ni, Cu, total S, and sulphate, and mild contamination by Zn and Fe, was recorded for the upper Soil horizons. The Mean pH value for these soils is about 3.7.

The distribution of contaminants in surface soil was examined by use of a site-specific soil classification and by analyses of site variables using linear regression and SYMAP. Site variables of most import were: distance from the smelter, exposure of the site with respect to the smelter, and soil drainage status.

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