Assessment of cement’s dust impact on the soil using principal component analysis and GIS

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To evaluate the impact of the cement’s dust emitted by the eastern Moroccan cement factory (Oujda Holcim) and deposited on the soil of the Ain Lahjar commune, 58 samples of soil were collected around the factory on a radius of 3 km approximately. The physicochemical analyses of the upper 3 cm of the soil surface samples correspond to the pH, electrical conductivity, the chlorides and the oxides of Ca, Al, Fe, K, Mn, S and Si which were analyzed by the fluorescence of X-rays. The preliminary results demonstrate that this dust are especially basic and contain a high free lime (43% CaO). The principal component analysis (applied on the 58 samples of soil) allows deducting that the free lime and the sulfur oxide are the tracer elements of this form of pollution. Furthermore, the spatial projection of the factor scores of the principal component analysis using the geographical information system permits to determine the spatial distribution of more polluted areas of soils as well as to estimate their surface (63.3% of the survey zone).

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