Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 125–133 | Cite as

Magnetic evidence for heavy metal pollution of topsoil in Shanghai, China

  • Guan Wang
  • Yuan Liu
  • Jiao Chen
  • Feifan Ren
  • Yuying Chen
  • Fangzhou Ye
  • Weiguo Zhang
Research Article


This study presents the results obtained from magnetic susceptibility and heavy metal (Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cr) concentration measurements of soil profiles collected from arable land and urban parks in Baoshan District, an industrial district of Shanghai, China. The study focuses on the investigation of vertical variations in magnetic susceptibilities and heavy metal concentrations and on correlations between magnetic susceptibilities and heavy metal concentrations in soil profiles. The results demonstrate that magnetic enhancement in the surface layer of the soil profile is associated with increased heavy metal pollution. The enrichment factors (EF) and the Tomlinson Pollution Load Index (PLI-EF) are calculated for estimating the level of heavy metal pollution of soil profiles in the study. The significant positive correlations between heavy metal contents, enrichment factors (EF), Tomlinson pollution load index (PLI-CF), modified Tomlinson pollution load index (PLI-EF), and magnetic susceptibility (c) indicate that much of the heavy metal contamination in the study area is linked to combustion derived particulate emissions. The results confirm that the combined magnetic measurement and heavy metal concentration analysis could provide useful information for soil monitoring in urban environments. However, the use of magnetic technique to locate the heavy metal pollution boundary in the soil profile of this studied area should be confirmed by further geochemical analysis.


soil pollution magnetic susceptibility heavy metals Shanghai 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41001331), The Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to University (111 Project) and the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (Grant No. 15ZR1428700). The authors thank Professor Lu Ming and Zhou Limin of East China Normal University for their help with geochemical analysis. Thanks to Cashion for the language modification.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuan Liu
    • 3
  • Jiao Chen
    • 1
  • Feifan Ren
    • 4
  • Yuying Chen
    • 1
  • Fangzhou Ye
    • 3
  • Weiguo Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Urban Construction and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal ResearchEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of GeographyEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of Geotechnical Engineering, College of Civil EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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