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OLIVEIRA, Sonia M.B. de; PESSENDA, Luiz C.R.; GOUVEIA, Suzy E.M.  and  FAVARO, Deborah I.T.. Heavy metal concentrations in soils from a remote oceanic island, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2011, vol.83, n.4, pp.1193-1206.  Epub Oct 07, 2011. ISSN 0001-3765.

This paper examines the role of parent rock, pedogenetic processes and airborne pollution in heavy metal accumulation in soils from a remote oceanic island, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. We studied five soil profiles developed from different volcanic rocks. Mineralogical composition and total concentrations of major and trace elements were determined in 43 samples. The obtained concentrations range for heavy metals were: Co: 26-261 ppm; Cu: 35-97 ppm; Cr: 350-1446 ppm; Ni: 114-691 ppm; Zn: 101-374 ppm; Hg: 2-150 ppb. The composition of soils is strongly affected by the geochemical character of the parent rock. Pedogenesis appears to be responsible for the accumulation of Zn, Co, and, to a lesser extent, of Ni and Cu, in the upper, Mn- and organic carbon-enriched horizons of the soil profiles. Pedogenic influence may also explain the relationship observed between Cr and the Fe. Hg is likely to have been added to the soil profile by long-range atmospheric transport. Its accumulation in the topsoil was further favoured by the formation of stable complexes with organic matter. Clay minerals do not appear to play an important role in the fixation of heavy metals.

Keywords : heavy metals; soils; anthropogenic mercury; Fernando de Noronha.

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