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Journal of Hazardous Materials
Vol. 310, 2016, Pages: 20–29

Taxonomy of factors which influence heavy metal build-up on urban road surfaces

An Liu, Chandima Gunawardana, Janaka Gunawardena, Prasanna Egodawatta, Godwin A. Ayoko, Ashantha Goonetilleke

College of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, People’s Republic of China.

Abstract

Heavy metals build-up on urban road surfaces is a complex process and influenced by a diverse range of factors. Although numerous research studies have been conducted in the area of heavy metals build-up, limited research has been undertaken to rank these factors in terms of their influence on the build-up process. This results in limitations in the identification of the most critical factor/s for accurately estimating heavy metal loads and for designing effective stormwater treatment measures. The research study undertook an in-depth analysis of the factors which influence heavy metals build-up based on data generated from a number of different geographical locations around the world. Traffic volume was found to be the highest ranked factor in terms of influencing heavy metals build-up while land use was ranked the second. Proximity to arterial roads, antecedent dry days and road surface roughness has a relatively lower ranking. Furthermore, the study outcomes advances the conceptual understanding of heavy metals build-up based on the finding that with increasing traffic volume, total heavy metal build-up load increases while the variability decreases. The outcomes from this research study are expected to contribute to more accurate estimation of heavy metals build-up loads leading to more effective stormwater treatment design.

Keywords: Heavy metals; Traffic volume; Stormwater quality; Stormwater pollutant processes; Multivariate analysis.

 
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