Application of Multivariate Statistics for the Identification of Possible Sources of Metal Elements in Soil of Waste Disposal Site in Khulna


School of Civil Engineering, Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Khulna-9203, Bangladesh


The main focus of present study was to demonstrate the possible generation sources of metal contamination in soil. The only authorized waste disposal site at Rajbandh located at Khulna in Bangladesh. To this endeavors, total sixty soil samples were collected at a depth of 0-30 cm from the existing ground surface and the relevant metal elements of Al, As, Ba, Ca, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sc, Sr, Ti, V and Zn were measured through standard methods in laboratory. Desired results for normality test obtained from normal QQ plot using XLSTAT. Almost all the metal elements were normally distributed in both the seasons. Multivariate statistics such as Pearson’s correlation, principal component analysis (PCA) and agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) were performed using XLSTAT to show the correlation between metal elements and their possible generation sources. Results of multivariate statistics revealed that almost all the metal elements were strongly correlated indicating same generation sources. In addition, results of PCA and AHC depicted that almost all the metal elements in soil derived from anthropogenic/human activities; least number of metal elements from natural sources as well as from both the natural and anthropogenic sources. Proper identification and control of possible generation sources of metal elements may reduce the threat of soil contamination due to metal elements in waste disposal site.


  1. Nriagu, J.O. and Pacyna, J.M. (1988). Quantitative assessment of worldwide contamination of air, water and soils by trace metals, Nature Vol. 333, pp.134–139.
  2. Tahir, N.M., Chee, P.S. and Maisarah, J. (2007). Determination of heavy metals content in soils and indoor dusts from nurseries in dungun,The Malay. J. Analy. Sci., Vol. 11, pp. 280-286.
  3. Rafizul, I.M., Howlader, M.K. and Alamgir, M. (2012).  Construction and evaluation of simulated pilot scale landfill lysimeter in Bangladesh, Waste Management, ScienceDirect, ELSEVIER, Vol. 32 (11), pp. 2068-2079.
  4. Zou, J., Dai, W., Gong, S. and Ma, Z. (2015). Analysis of Spatial Variations and    Sources of Heavy Metals in Farmland Soils of Beijing Suburbs, Vol. 10(2): e0118082.
  5. Marina, I., Margherita, L., Angela, N. and Alfredo, P. (2003). Toxicity identification evaluation of leachates from MSW landfills: a multispecies approach, Chemo., Vol. 52, pp. 85–94.
  6. Murtaza, M.G., 2002. Solid waste management in Khulna city. Plan Plus, 1(1): 6-15.
  7. Royston, P. (1991). Estimating departure from normality, Stat Med., 10(8):1283–93.
  8. Olawoyin, R., Oyewole, S.A. and Grayson, R. L.(2012). Potential risk effect from elevated levels of soil heavy metals on human health in the Niger delta, Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf., Vol.85(1), pp. 120–130.