Trace element concentrations of soils, plants and waters caused by a copper smelting plant and other industries, Northeast Turkey

CUBUKCU A., Tuysuz N.

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY, vol.52, no.1, pp.93-108, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00254-006-0462-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.93-108
  • Keywords: Samsun, Tekkekoy, Karadeniz copper industries smelting plant, fertilizer industry, the industrial park facilities, pollution, soil, plants, water
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The study area is situated in a large agricultural field which produces tobacco, maize, and other yearly cultivated vegetables in Tekkekoy, Samsun (NE-Turkey). In addition, a significant part of this area to the north along the Black Sea coast is occupied by several industrial plants such as a copper smelting plant (KBI), a fertilizer plant (Tugsas) and industrial park facilities (IPF). In order to reveal their environmental impacts, heavy metal analyses were conducted on soil, plant leaves and water samples collected within an area of approximately 30 km(2) around these plants. Soil samples within an area of 10 km(2) around these facilities are found to be highly polluted with Cu, Zn, Pb, Fe and Mn. Pollution occurs at surface and sharply dies out at 20 cm downwards in soil profile. Since the region is polluted mostly with base metals, the copper smelting factory appears to be the main source of pollution as it processes the massive sulfidic ores of the Black Sea area. Plants show Cu, Pb, Zn and Fe pollution around KBI and Tugsas and Cu and Pb around IPF. Pollutants observed in tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum) are Cu, Pb, Zn, Fe and S; in maize (Zea mays) Cu, Zn and Fe; and in cabbage (Brassica oleracea) Cu, Pb, Fe and S. The analyses of water samples collected from the study area reveal that Pb and, to a lesser degree, Cu and Fe pollution stem from KBI; Cu, Fe and Mn pollution from Tugsas; Pb and minor amounts of Fe and Mn pollution from IPF. Factor analyses from analyzed metals and anionic complexes in water show three distinct groups: (a) an association of heavy metals with Na, K and Mg referring to pollution and acid leaching of soil, (b) an association of NH4, Fe, SO4, Cl and Br indicating agricultural pollution and sea-water invasion in land near the shore line, and (c) HCO3 behaving in a different manner in heavy metal precipitation.