Assessment of trace metal distribution and contamination in surface soils of Hong Kong

T. B. Chen, Jonathan W C WONG, H. Y. Zhou, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

322 Citations (Scopus)


An intensive investigation was conducted to study the distribution of trace metals in surface soils of Hong Kong and to assess the soil environmental quality. From results of cluster analysis, and comparisons among soil types and areas, it is clearly shown that increases in trace metal concentrations in the soils were generally extensive and obvious in urban and orchard soils, less so in vegetable soils, whilst rural and forest soils were subjected to the least impact of anthropogenic sources of trace metals. However, some of the forest soils also contained elevated levels of As, Cu, and Pb. Urban soils in Hong Kong were heavily polluted by Pb from gasoline combustion. Agricultural soils, both orchard and vegetable soils, usually accumulated As, Cd, Cu, and Zn originating from applications of pesticides, animal manures, and fertilizers. In general, trace metal pollution in soils of the industrial areas and Pb pollution in the soils of the commercial and residential areas were obvious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Forest soils
  • Orchard soils
  • Rural soils
  • Trace metals
  • Urban soils
  • Vegetable soils


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