A GIS appraisal of heavy metals concentration in soil

A GIS appraisal of heavy metals concentration in soil

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Mudassar Hassan Arsalan
Mudassar Hassan Arsalan
Cooperative Lecturer
University of Karachi, Pakistan
[email protected]

Spatial variation of environmental degradation within Karachi metropolis has been largely ignored mainly due to less comprehension and underestimation of spatial techniques. This paper highlights the methodology that is effective and feasible for exploring soil pollution patterns and monitoring its trends in Karachi metropolis. It also explores the consonance between the concentration levels of heavy metals in urban soil and urban land use

Although the long-term solution for pollution problems is to reduce the emission of pollutants, however, unearthing of spatial distribution and concentration of pollutants are task of great practical importance. The basic premises of GIS are location, spatial distribution and relationships between the basic elements and spatial objects. GIS has been widely used in environmental modelling and analyses (Zannetti, 1990 and Dent et al., 1998).

Pakistan stands within top ten populous countries of the world (PRB, 2001). Karachi is the biggest metropolis in Pakistan and one of the worst effected cities of the world due to environmental pollution (Drakakis-Smith, 2000). It is the capital of Sindh Province and former federal capital. Some fishermen and businessmen founded this city in 18th century along the coast of Arabian Sea. It has a population of more than 9.82 million (GOP, 2000). Karachi metropolis lies in between 24° 45′ N to 25° 37′ N and 66° 42′ E to 67° 34′ E. It is surrounded by Arabian Sea in the South, Lasbela District in the West , Dadu District in the North East and Thatta District in the East.

Karachi is the chief financial, commercial, and manufacturing centre of Pakistan and hence hub of transportation.

Most of the international trade of Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan passes through the port of Kiamari and Bin Qasim. Due to the fast pace of industrialisation the city has witnessed tremendous growth – nearly 25 times in the last 45 years and is growing at the rate of about 6% per annum, making it as one of the fastest growing cities in the world (Afsar, 2001).