Heavy metal pollution is one of the most important problems in Morocco and causes serious effects to humans and animals. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the spatial distribution of heavy metals in Draa Lasfar mine area in Marrakech city and understand the characteristics of the pollution generated by this mine activity. A total of 120 soil samples were collected from Ouled Bou Aicha and Tazakourte along with two soil control samples. The edaphologic soil parameters pH and electrical conductivity (EC) and carbonate content were measured according to standard methods, whilst heavy metals concentration was done by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Contamination factors (CF) and pollution index (IP) were calculated in order to estimate the anthropogenic contribution of target pollutants determining As, Se, Pb and Zn as the main pollutants in this region. The results show that the polluted areas at the vicinity of the mine, especially two rural communities (Ouled Bou Aicha and Tazakourte) of about 5790 ha, is probably linked to increasing mine activities and the lack of appropriate measures to counteract its effects causing a progressive pollution of soil with heavy metal emissions in this studied region.
Key words: Contamination, heavy metals, soils, mine area, mine tailings, Marrakech – Morocco.
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