Contents of Potentially Toxic Metals and Magnetic Susceptibility of Soils Along a Rural – Urban – Rural Gradient in Bratislava City (Slovakia)

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Abstract

The concentrations of potentially toxic metals (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn and Fe) and the values of magnetic susceptibility in surface soils were measured along NW-SE gradient in Bratislava city (rural – urban – rural soils). The results indicate that both the contents of potentially toxic metals (PTMs) and the values of magnetic susceptibility decrease with increasing distance from the city centre in both directions. Urban soils are enriched mainly in Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn. Their elevated concentrations in soils within the city are due to accumulation from anthropogenic activities. There was a statistically significant and positive correlation between the mean values of Tomlinson pollution load index (PLI) and the mean values of magnetic susceptibility in soil samples. This correlation shows that the monitoring of magnetic properties of soils can be used as a rapid and non-destructive tool for the effective determination of environmental pollution in urbanized regions affected by anthropogenic activities.

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