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Geochemical studies to delineate topsoil contamination around an ash pond of a coal-based thermal power plant in India

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In the present study, an attempt was made to delineate soil contamination around the ash pond of a coal-based thermal power plant. The topsoil in the study area was found to be contaminated to varying degrees from ash disposal. The soil drawn from various profiles was largely contaminated by ash fall out, predominantly in the prevalent wind direction. Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn, Cr, V and Ba were found to be enriched in the topsoil around the ash pond with respect to the crust as well as the background, while Mn, V, Cr, Co and Ni were enriched compared to their maximum permissible concentrations prescribed for agricultural soils. These observations have been further strengthened from the contamination index map and lognormal distribution pattern of the elements. As a consequence of this contamination, many of the important physicochemical properties of topsoil in the direction of the wind have been modified significantly. Electronic Supplementary Material

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