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W. Bohemia Museum Pilsen
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Fractionation of toxic trace elements in soils around Mo-Ni black shale-hosted mines, Zunyi region, southern China: Environmental implications.
Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 81, issue 3; pages: 197 - 206; Received 10 April 2006; Accepted in revised form 15 September 2006;
Keywords: metals in soils, extraction analyses, metal-rich black shales, environmental implications, south China,
AbstractThis paper examines the influence of Lower Cambrian metal-rich black shales and locally mined black shale-hosted Ni-Mo ore layers of southern China on the concentrations of selected toxic trace elements in soils. In order to better understand the mobility of toxic trace elements, and to evaluate the potential risk of environmental contamination, a sequential extraction analysis from soil horizons A, B, C1 and C2 in the area of the Jiepo-Ling Mo-Ni mine (Zunyi region) was carried out. Geochemical analyses confirmed significant enrichments of As, Mo, V and slightly lower proportions of Pb and Ni in the A-horizon relative to a local reference sample of uncontaminated soil. This contamination is anthropogenic, probably caused by the release of metal-rich black shale particles during mining operations. Conversely, the distribution of V and Cr in soils is controlled by the host rock. The results of sequential extraction analyses from individual soil horizons showed that almost all As, Ni, V, Cr and Zn are bound to the residual fraction. Some of the Mo (15.13-39.75%) was found to be associated with the organic matter/sulphide fraction. The distribution of Pb and Hg is erratic, indicating considerable mobility of these elements in the soil profile. In Hg-enriched horizons (B and C1) most Hg (78.21-78.95% of the total content) occurs in the organic matter/sulphide fraction. The concentrations of Mo, Ni, Cr, V, Zn and Hg found in different parts of selected agricultural plants (e.g., tobacco leaves, corn grains, corn leaves, and corn stalks) exceed normal values given by Kabata-Pendias & Pendias (1984). We emphasise that long-term consumption of these products could result in serious health problems for the human population and domestic animals. Arsenic and lead concentrations were found to be within the range of normal values given for agricultural plants.
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