Geo-Spatial mapping of soil lead distribution in the area South East of Kabwe lead and Zinc Mine

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Mwanza, Obrian Chalo
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Urban and industrial development have in many places, reduced the environmental quality. One major problem has been that of the emission of heavy metals into the terrestrial environment for example, soil contamination resulting from mining activities has occurred in Zambia's Kabwe district. This study was conducted in order to determine (i) the spatial extent of soil Pb as a function of distance from the Kabwe Pb and Zn mine (ii) the strength and direction of any relationship between lead concentration and soil texture and soil pH. A total of 37 top soil (0-20cm) samples were collected by stratified random sampling from strata created at 7.5km, 9.5Km and 12.5Km south east of the mine. The sampling points were geo referenced using a handheld GPS and described by the soil Pb concentrations and the soil attribute data within GIS 9.2. All spatial data were projected in the coordinate system WGS 1984 UTM zone 35 south. Soil lead was determined by using the Aqua Regia method, pH by the electrometric method and soil texture by the hydrometer method. The soil attributes were correlated with Pb concentration in SPSS. The measured Pb concentration was found not to conform to the normal distribution for undisturbed environments. The results also showed that Pb concentration decreased with an increase in distance in the south eastern direction. Correlations showed that strong to moderate relationships existed between soil Pb concentration and the soil attributes pH and clay respectively. The results further showed that a positive strong relationship existed between the soil Pb concentration and silt and clay respectively. The area was found not to have been polluted and was therefore safe for land development and human settlement. It was recommended that physical tags in form of beacons be installed by the local authorities at 7.5Km to delineate the area safe for land development.
Soil Mapping-Zambia