Department of Geology, Bu Ali Sina University, Mahdieh St., Hamedan, Iran
Faculty of Chemistry, Bu Ali Sina University, Mahdieh St., Hamedan, Iran
The aim of the study is to determine the major source and extent of metal pollution in the vicinity of Dashkasan gold mine. Dashkasan mine has resulted in extensive contamination of soils by Arsenic (As) and potentially toxic ore-related elements including Mercury (Hg), Antimony (Sb) and Cadmium (Cd). Soils samples were collected and analyzed for As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Sb. The concentration of each heavy metal is controlled by different parameters (soil pH, iron and aluminum oxide content, clay content, organic matter and cation exchange capacity). The maximum content in the soils were 485, 3.2, 100, 2710 and 640 mg/kg for As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Sb, respectively. In particular, the extracted concentration of As, Cd, Hg and Sb are in excess of the tolerable levels. Positive correlation with organic matter and clay content but not with pH has been observed for most of elements analyzed in this study. Enrichment factor (EF) analysis and cluster analysis (CA) highlighted the lithogenic origin of heavy metals. It also revealed the need for detailed geochemical surveys in the future in order to decrease the uncertainty of discrimination between lithogenic and anthropogenic origin of metals of interest.