Monitoring of Trace Elements in Snow of the Northern City Agglomeration

IJEP 42(4): 408-414 : Vol. 42 Issue. 4 (April 2022)

A.Yu. Kozhevnikov1*, N.A. Shutskiy1 and A.V. Malkov1,2

1. Core Facility Centre Arktika, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Laboratory of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Arkhangelsk, Russia
2. Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, N. Laverov Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research, Arkhangelsk, Russia


The study of snow for the content of various contaminants is one of the methods for monitoring the state of the atmosphere. In urban agglomerations, the study of the content of trace elements is relevant. The purpose of this study is to analyze the pollution and distribution of trace elements in a large city in Northern Europe – Arkhangelsk. The snow samples were collected in March 2015, 2019 and 2020. The snow samples were collected at 14 crossroads with maximum transport load. The concentration of trace elements was assessed in melt snow water using total external reflection x-ray fluorescence analysis. The obtained values of the concentrations of trace elements were evaluated in comparison with the standard values established as the maximum permissible in the Russian Federation and the EU and the calculation and comparison of the total pollution indices and pollution indices according to Nemerow were carried out. The results indicate that in 2015, an excess of the MPC level was recorded for such elements as iron (exceeding from 1.9-92.0 MPC levels), zinc (exceeding from 1.6-36.0 MPC levels) and manganese (exceeding from 1.1-1.2 MPC levels). The situation improved in 2019 and 2020, but the zinc content was still well above the maximum permissible content. We also calculated the total pollution indices. We found that in 2015 all the crossroads of the city of Arkhangelsk belong to the heavily polluted V class in terms of trace elements content. In 2020, these indices have dropped significantly. Statistically comparing the data obtained, it was found that the studied trace metal has a single source.


Trace elements, Snow, Pollution, Total reflection x-ray fluorescence spectrometry


  1. Lebedev, A.T., et al. 2018. Semi volatile organic compounds in the snow of Russian Arctic islands: Archipelago Novaya Zemlya. Env. Poll., 239: 416-427. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.03.009.
  2. Grannas, A.M., et al. 2007. An overview of snow photochemistry: Evidence, mechanisms and impacts. Atmos. Chem. Physics. 7: 4329-4373. DOI: 10.5194/acp-7-4329-2007.
  3. Cereceda-Balic, F., et al. 2012. Impact of Santiago de Chile urban atmospheric pollution on anthropogenic trace elements enrichment in snow precipitation at Cerro Colorado, Central Andes. Atmos. Env., 47: 51-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011. 11.045.
  4. Siudek, P., et al. 2015. Trace element distribution in the snow cover from an urban area in Central Poland. Env. Monitor. Assess., 187: 225. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-015-4446-1.
  5. Carolin, C.F., et al. 2017. Efficient techniques for the removal of toxic heavy metals from aquatic environment: A review. J. Env. Chem. Eng., 5: 2782-2799. DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2017.05.029.
  6. Dinis, M.D.L. and A. Fiuza. 2011. Exposure assessment to heavy metals in the environment: Measures to eliminate or reduce the exposure to critical receptors. Env. Heavy Metal Poll. Effects Child Mental Develop., pp 27-50. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0253-0_2.
  7. Masindi, V. and K.L. Muedi. 2018. Environmental contamination by heavy metals. Heavy Metals. 10: 115-132. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.76082.
  8. Petrova, E.E. and E.V. Raikhert. 2013. Effect of vehicles on the accumulation of lead and zinc in soils and their biological absorption by soft wheat (Triticum aestivum) in roadside agricultural lands (in the Alei zone, Altai territory). Biol. Sci., 3-2(79): 41-46. DOI: 10.14258/izvasu(2013)3.2-07.
  9. Controsceri, G.F., et al. 2020. Optimization of analytical procedures applied to skimmed and pasteurized goat’s and cow’s milk for the total determination of Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, K, Na and Zn by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. Atomic Spectroscopy. 38: 133-141.
  10. Rajabi, M., et al. 2020. Magnetic dispersive micro-solid phase extraction merged with micro-sampling flame atomic absorption spectrometry using (Zn-Al LDH)-(PTh/DBSNa)-Fe3O4nanosorbent for effective trace determination of nickel (II) and cadmium (II) in food samples. Microchem. J., 159: 105450. DOI: 10.1016/j. microc.2020.105450.
  11. Praetorius, A., et al. 2017. Single-particle multi-element fingerprinting (spMEF) using inductively-coupled plasma time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ICP-TOFMS) to identify engineered nanoparticles against the elevated natural background in soils. Env. Sci. Nano. 4: 307-314. DOI: 10.1039/C6EN0-0455E.
  12. Wang, H., et al. 2017. A facile droplet-chip-time-resolved inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry online system for determination of zinc in single cell. Anal. Chem., 89: 4931-4938. DOI: 10.1021/acs. analchem.7b00134.
  13. Pilecka, J., et al. 2017. Heavy metal contamination and distribution in the urban environment of Jelgava. Res. Rural Develop., 1: 173-179. DOI: 10.22616/rrd.23.2017.026.
  14. Baysal, A., et al. 2017. Chemical characterization of surface snow in Istanbul (NW Turkey) and their association with atmospheric circulations. Env. Monitor. Assess., 189: 275. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-017-5982-7.
  15. Bondarevich, E.A. 2019. Assessment of technoge-nic pollution of the urban environment in Chita by the snow cover state. Led. I. Sneg. 59: 389-400. DOI: 10.15356/2076-6734-2019-3-393.
  16. Malkov, A.V., et al. 2017. Determination of Ni, Co and Cu in seawater by total external reflection x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. J. Anal. Chem., 72: 608-616. DOI: 10.1134/S1061934817060107.
  17. HSRF. 2007. Maximum permissible concentrations (MPC) of chemicals in the water of water bodies for drinking and domestic water use. Hygiene Standard Russian Federation. GN
  18. Kloke, A. 1979. Content of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, fluorine, lead, mercury and nickel in plants grown on contaminated soils. United Nations-ECE Symposium, Geneva. pp 51-53.
  19. Zhong, S., et al. 2015. Risk assessment and prediction of heavy metal pollution in groundwater and river sediment: A case study of a typical agricultural irrigation area in Northeast China. Int. J. Anal. Chem., 921539. DOI: 10.1155/2015/921539.