Application of multivariate statistical methods to indicate the origin and geochemical behavior of potentially hazardous elements in sediment around the Sarcheshmeh copper mine, SE Iran
Environmental Earth Sciences, 2012, 66(2): 589-605.
Multivariate statistical techniques, i.e., correlation coefficient analysis, principal components analysis (PCA), and hierarchical cluster analysis (CA), were applied to the total and water-soluble concentrations of potentially hazardous metals in sediments associated with the Sarcheshmeh mine, one of the largest Oligo-Miocene porphyry copper deposits in the world. The samples were analyzed for hazardous metal concentration levels by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry method. Results indicate that the contaminant metals As, Cd, Cu, Mo, S, Sb, Sn, Se, Pb, and Zn were positively correlated with the total concentrations. These hazardous metals also have strong association in the PCA and CA results. Different anthropic versus natural sources of contaminant metals were distinguished by using CA method. Water-soluble fraction of hazardous metals showed that the hydro-geochemical behavior of these metals in sediments is different considerably. Elements such as Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, S, and Zn are readily water soluble from contaminated samples, especially from evaporative mineral phases, while the release of As, Mo, Sb, and Pb into the water is limited by adsorption processes. Results obtained from the application of multivariate techniques on the water-soluble fraction data set show that the hazardous metals are categorized into three groups including (1) Ni, S, Co, Cu, Cr, and Fe; (2) Se, Mn, Cd, and Zn; and (3) Sb, As, Mo, and Sn. This classification describes the hydro-geochemical behavior of hazardous metals in water-sediment environments of the Sarcheshmeh porphyry copper mine and can be used as a basis in remedial and treatment strategies.
Multivariate statistical techniques; Hazardous metals; Sarcheshmeh porphyry copper mine; Water-sediment environment