The purpose of the present study is to analyse the distribution of arsenic in the soils of the Verkhnekamskoe potassium salt deposit (Perm Krai, Russia). The danger of arsenic pollution is determined by its high toxicity and carcinogenic hazard. Being a technophilic element, arsenic enters the environment primarily as a result of mining activities. Mining and processing sites for arsenic-containing ores are the most prone to technophilic arsenic accumulation. Solid wastes from potash production also contain elevated concentrations of arsenic. The content of arsenic in soils was determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Statistical methods were used to analyse the features of arsenic distribution in soils of background areas and potash mining areas near production facilities. Three types of landscapes were studied within each territory, which were each distinguished by the leading processes of substance migration. Arsenic concentrations in both the background areas and the potash mining territories vary considerably, ranging from n × 10−1
to n × 10. The study found no statistically significant differences in arsenic concentrations in soils of potash mining areas and background areas. Arsenic concentrations in soils from various types of landscapes also do not differ statistically. Arsenic concentrations in soils of saline areas were found to be higher than in the rest of the territories. Outside of saline areas, the identified patterns of arsenic distribution in the soils of the Verkhnekamskoe potassium salt deposit indicate that potash operations are not a determinant in the technophilic accumulation of arsenic.
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