Fractionation of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in floodplain soils from Egypt, Germany and Greece
1 Department of Soil & Water Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kafrelsheikh 33 516- Kafr El-Sheikh, EGYPT
2 Institute for Soil Engineering, Water- and Waste-Management, Soil- and Groundwater-Management, Department D, University of Wuppertal, 42285 Wuppertal, GERMANY
3 National Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute of Soil Mapping and Classification, 1 Theophrastos street, 413 35 Larissa, GREECE
Trace elements are potentially toxic to human life and the environment. Element toxicity depends on chemical associations in soils. Therefore, determining the chemical form of an element in soils is important to evaluate its mobility and bioavailability. Initial soil development in river floodplains influences soil properties, processes and therefore behavior of trace elements. In this study, three different floodplain soils sampled at three rivers (Nile/Egypt, Elbe/Germany and Penios/Greece) were used to link soil development and properties to the geochemical fractions and mobility of some trace elements. Sequential extraction was used to fractionate five trace elements (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) into five operationally defined groups: water soluble + exchangeable, carbonate, Fe-Mn oxide, organic, and residual. German soil showed the highest total concentration of the studied elements (except Ni). The Greek soil had the greatest amount of Ni. The residual fraction was the abundant pool for the studied elements examined in the Egyptian and Greek soils while the non-residual fraction was the dominant pool for all elements in the German soil. A significant amount (71- 94%) of all elements was present in German soil in the potentially available fraction: non-residual fraction, while the amount of this fraction ranged between 9 and 39 % in Greek soil and between 9 and 34 % in Egyptian soil. These suggest that the potential availability of the studied trace elements was extremely high in German soil compared to the Egyptian and Greek soil. In the German soil, most of the non-residual Cd, Ni and Zn were bounded with the Fe-Mn oxide fraction, while Cu and Pb distributed in the organic fraction. While in the Egyptian and Greek soils Fe-Mn oxide fraction was the abundant pool for the studied elements except for Cd, in which the exchangeable and the carbonate fractions had the greatest amount of Cd. Assuming that mobility and bioavailability of these elements are related to their solubility and geochemical forms, and that they decrease in the order of extraction sequence, the apparent mobility and potential bioavailability for the studied elements in the soils were: Cu > Cd > Ni ≥ Pb = Zn in Egyptian soil, Cd > Cu > Pb> Ni = Zn in Greek soil and Cd > Zn> Pb> Cu > Ni in German soil.
Key words: Trace Elements / Speciation / Potential Availability / Floodplain Soils
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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