Background levels of some trace elements in weathered soils from the Brazilian Northern region

Valores de referência de alguns elementos-traço em solos intemperizados da região Norte brasileira

Soils formed from the Barreiras Group sediments, located mainly along the coast of Brazil Northern and Northeastern regions, generally present low concentrations of iron oxides and total organic carbon, high quantities of quartz in the sand fraction, and kaolinitic clay mineralogy. The objective of the present study was to quantify the pseudo total concentrations of Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, Mn, Ni, Zn and Fe in Xhantic Udox and Xhantic Udult soils derived from these sediments. The reference sites were covered by native vegetation and located in the States of Pará and Amapá, Brazil. Multiple linear regression analysis was applied to determine correlations between soil parameters and the levels of these metals. The best correlation was obtained between Fe, Mn, clay, and silt contents, and Cd, Co, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni. A correlation between pH and these metal levels was not found. Clay and sand contents showed a negative inverse correlation with the metal levels,of same magnitude but with a different sign; this was the reason for excluding one of the parameters in the regression model. In general, the contents of the elements were lower than those found in soils formed from other parent materials. The Mn content was included in the model of multiple linear regression for Cd and Co, due to its association with these last metals. Silt level showed to have a significant influence in the equations for Cr and Co, which is attributed to the presence of clay minerals and Fe and Mn oxides in ferruginous and clay aggregates of silt size. The equations obtained in this paper, are useful to predict, in general terms, the amounts of those heavy metals in an unknown soil sample, if the soil material were not contaminated or affected by land usage. Thus, they may be applied to evaluate soil contamination by the studied heavy metals.

Udox; Udult; heavy metals; metal soil estimation; multiple linear regression

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