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Spatial distribution of heavy metals and arsenic in soils of Aragón (northeast Spain): controlling factors and environmental implications

AutorNavas Izquierdo, Ana ; Machín Gayarre, Javier
Palabras claveHeavy metals
Base levels
Natural soils
Spatial distribution
Geochemical mapping
NE Spain.
Fecha de publicaciónago-2002
CitaciónApplied Geochemistry 17 (8):961-973 (2002)
ResumenLegal regulation of heavy metal contents is a main issue in many European countries, where still do not exist laws establishing the heavy metal levels permitted in soils. As a first step to determine the reference levels of heavy metals, it is required to know their contents in soils under natural conditions. To achieve this goal in the Autonomous Community of Aragón, a total of 133 sites have been sampled. A balanced allotment of the sampling sites, according to soil spatial distribution in the region, has been carried out by selecting 9 soil types that represent 97.5% of its surface area. Fifteen elements (Cr, Cu, Ba, As, Sb, Hg, Sn, Mn, Fe, Al, Zn, Ni, Co, Cd and Pb) have been analysed by ICP-AES after a partial acid extraction. The content of analysed elements has been correlated to some soil parameters such as organic matter, pH, and granulometric fractions. Results of the statistical analyses have shown a large variety and complexity in some of these relationships. The main factors of variation in the heavy metal contents are both the soil type and the lithology. Gypsisols and Calcisols developed on sedimentary rocks have the lowest contents while Leptosols overlying metamorphic and igneous rocks have the highest contents. The spatial distribution of heavy metal contents shows a large variability with the highest contents in the mountain ranges (Iberian and Pyrenees) and the lowest in the plains of the central Ebro valley.
Descripción15 Pag., 5 Tabl., 5 Fig. The definitive version is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08832927 5 Tabl., 5 Fig.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0883-2927(02)00006-9
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