ASSESSMENT OF URBAN SOIL CONTAMINATION USING MAGNETIC PROPERTIES IN THE SHU’AIBA AREA, BASRAH GOVERNORATE, SOUTH IRAQ
The Basrah City and surrounding areas are reported to be seriously contaminated by emissions of oil industry and power plants. Magnetic measurements are carried out in this study for ninety surface soil samples from the Shu’aiba area near the Basrah City, southern Iraq. Detailed magnetic concentration parameters are measured to characterize the potentially polluted areas and explore their sources. These parameters include magnetic susceptibility (χ), frequency dependent-susceptibility (κfd%), Anhysteretic Remanent Magnetization (χARM), Saturated Isothermal Remanent Magnetization (IRM) and temperature-dependent susceptibility. The results indicate that the magnetic minerals assemblage in the surface soil is heavily influenced by relatively high concentration of ferro(i)magnetic minerals, such as magnetite. The anhysteretic remanent magnetization (χARM) and Saturated Isothermal Remanent Magnetization (SIRM) are significantly correlated with magnetic susceptibility (R2= 0.94) and (R2= 0.88) respectively, indicating a high contribution of ferro(i)magnetic minerals. This means that the magnetic mineral contents (such as magnetite and hematite) are enriched in the soil samples leading to increase in their magnetic properties which suggest contamination from fly ash produced by burning fossil fuel in the area.