Metals distribution in the organic and inorganic fractions of soil: a case study on soils from Sicily

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The content of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn, has been determined in the organic and inorganic fractionof eight soil samples from Sicily. A modified type-Tessier sequential extraction procedure has been used torecognize metals in five different fractions categorised as follows: (a) exchangeable metals, (b) metals bound tocarbonates, (c) metals bound to iron and manganese oxides, (d) metals bound to organic matter, and (e) metalsin residual fraction. The mineralogical composition of soils samples was characterized by X-ray diffraction.Humic substances were extracted by means of an alkaline extraction procedure. It has been found that both themineralogical composition and the different content of humic fraction of organic matter in the soils investigatedare responsible for the observed trace metal distribution. The obtained data show that a significant amount oftrace metals is bound to the organic fraction where different binding sites are present simultaneously. Inparticular, Pb and Cu seem to be the elements more tightly linked to the organic fraction of soils, whilstcadmium is mostly concentrated into the iron and manganese oxides fraction. The presence of clay minerals insoil is significant for metal distribution, playing a fundamental role in binding metal ions. Besides, it has beenobserved that the calcophile metal mobility is strongly dependent on the presence of sulfide phases. Applyingthe Risk Assessment Code to the analyzed soils, it appears that they contain, generally, less than 30% of metalsin the exchangeable and carbonate fractions. Calcic brown soil from Piano Zucchi exhibits a medium up to veryhigh risk for Pb, Cd, Co, Zn and Mn. It also been recognized the elevated presence of Cd in the exchangeableand carbonate fractions of andic brown soil on volcanites from Pachino.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)83-93
Numero di pagine11
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1500.1504???
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