With the rapid industrialization and urbanization, more attention is turning to heavy metal contamination in the soil environment. To assess the potential environmental risk on soil, a comprehensive geochemistry study on heavy metal was performed in Laizhou, eastern China, using 3834 surface soil samples (0–20 cm, regular grid of 1 × 1 km2
) and 60 layered soil samples (0–200 cm) were analyzed. The average concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Zn and Pb were 7.60 mg·kg−1
, 0.15 mg·kg−1
, 45.50 mg·kg−1
, 19.10 mg·kg−1
, 18.70 mg·kg−1
, 51.40 mg·kg−1
and 29.00 mg·kg−1
, which were lower than the threshold levels of the Grade II criteria of China national environment quality standard for soil, but the contents of As, Cd, Hg, and Pb were higher than background values of eastern Shandong Province surface soil. Fractionation analysis showed that the potential bioavailability in surface soils decreases in the order of Cd > As > Cu > Ni > Zn > Cr > Pb > Hg. Soil assessments with enrichment factor, contamination factor, Nemerow composite index, geo-accumulation index and potential ecological risk index, indicate the soil in Laizhou is contaminated strongly with As, Cd and Hg and a moderately Cr, Ni, Cu and Zn. The level of Pb pollution is between moderate to high. Multivariate analyses suggest that Cr and Ni were derived mainly from natural sources, and As, Cd, Pb, while Hg mostly came from anthropogenic sources. Cu and Zn were from a mixture of anthropogenic and natural sources. Our results demonstrate that more attention should be paid to monitoring soil quality in the heavily polluted site.
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