Soil contamination evaluation by Enrichment Factor (EF) and Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo)

  • Maurizio Barbieri
  • Angela Nigro
  • Giuseppe Sappa
Keywords: Enrichment Factor, Geoaccumulation Index, Soil


Heavy metals are natural constituents of soils and their concentration varies depending on parental materials. The soils were formed
by. In the last years, the content of heavy metal in soils has increased due to human activities as: distribution of fertilizers, pesticides,
industries, waste disposal and air pollution. Due to these activities the life capacity of soils decreased; especially where the natural
background is already high because of natural parental material richness in heavy metal. As a matter of fact it is very important to
distinguish between the natural background values and anthropogenic inputs, and to understand that the background values
change from area to area and with the scale of the area investigated. To evaluate the soil contamination rate different indexes like
Enrichment Factor (EF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo) can be applied. These indexes are used to assess the presence and
intensity of anthropogenic contaminant deposition on surface soil.