Preliminary report on arsenic and heavy metals contents in soils and stream bed sediments of Cornia, Bruna and Alma coastal plains (Southern Tuscany)
Department of Earth Science, University of Florence, Via La Pira 4, Firenze, ITALY
The Department of Earth Sciences of University of Florence has conducted over the past ten years, numerous studies about the distribution of arsenic and heavy metals in mineralized areas of Tuscany, particularly in the Pecora basin. The area hosts several polymetallic ore bodies and a pyrite ore deposit. The studies have identified several geochemical anomalies (As, Cu, Pb, Zn…) both in the areas which host the ore bodies and in the coastal plain (Scarlino Plain). To increase the knowledge concerning the distribution of As and heavy metals in other Tuscan coastal plains, research is under way in the alluvial plains of the Bruna, Cornia and Alma rivers. The preliminary analysis have focused on soils and stream sediments, to better understand the correlations between the downstream transport of rivers and the soils. We have made physic-chemical analysis, particle size analysis, mineralogical analysis for X-ray powder diffraction, chemical analysis for the determination of major element (X-ray Fluorescence) and for the determination of 35 minor elements and traces (AAS and ICP).Preliminary data show high concentrations of several elements (As, Zn, Co…). The concentrations of these elements in soils and stream bed sediments are not always consistent; in particular we have found higher concentrations in soils than in stream bed sediments in Cornia Plain, while the opposite happens in the Bruna basin. Therefore the natural processes of rocks weathering does not seem to have affected uniformly. The distribution of As and heavy metals in soils and stream bed sediments of the all three basins of interest are still under investigation.
Key words: Heavy metals / coastal plains / Southern Tuscany / soils
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