VIOLETA-MONICA RADU, ALEXANDRU ANTON IVANOV, PETRA IONESCU, GYORGY DEAK, ELENA DIACU, IRINA-ELENA CIOBOTARU, GINA GHITA, ECATERINA MARCU MULTIVARIATE STATISTICAL CHARACTERISATION OF SOIL QUALITY IN THE LOWER DANUBE RIVER RIPARIAN AREAS
Increasing anthropogenic influences on the environment has caused negative changes in natural ecosystems and soil contamination with potentially toxic metals has become a worrying issue at global level, due to the negative impact on the environment and human health. For the purpose of assessing soil contamination in the riparian areas of the Lower Danube River, a number of 144 soil samples were collected twice a year, in the period of June 2013 – December 2016, from 9 monitoring locations, from 0.05 m and 0.3 m depths, and the following indicators: Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn, including Ca, Mg, Corg, SO42- and humus content have been monitored. The soil was sampled, conserved and analysed according to the European standards in force. Metal concentrations were determined using flame (FAAS) and graphite furnace (GFAAS) atomic absorption spectrometry after “aqua regia” digestion of dried, homogenised and 0.5 mm sieved soil sub-samples. Comparing the average concentration values of the analysed potentially toxic metals, a decreasing tendency following the order Cr>Pb>Ni>Cu>Zn>Mn was observed and by reporting the average values at the normal limits, the order Zn>Cu>Mn>Ni>Pb>Cr of magnitude was obtained. To investigate possible correlations and interdependencies of potentially toxic metals content in the riparian soil, multivariate statistical methods were used. After applying Principal Component Analysis (PCA), 3 main components were identified, with a combined share of about 74 % of the original data-set variance. It was observed that during the monitoring period the average values of the all monitored elements from the studied soils were slightly below the normal reference values, according to the national legislation.
Keywords: heavy metals, soil pollutants, statistical analysis, Danube River