Mobility of Pb, Zn, Cu and As in disturbed forest soils affected by acid rain
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Early efforts at remediation of contaminated soils involve overturn or removal of the uppermost soil horizons. We find that such disruption is counterproductive, as it actually increases the mobility of the heavy metals involved. In our study, we sought to replicate in a controlled manner this commonly used remediation strategy and measure Pb, Zn, Cu and As concentrations in all soil horizons—both prior to and 1 year after disruption by trenching. BCR analyses (sequential leaching) indicate that Pb is affected to the greatest degree and is most highly mobile; however, Zn and As remain insoluble, thus partially ameliorating the detrimental effect. Differences in vegetation cover (i.e. spruce vs. beech forest) have little influence on overall element mobility patterns. The Krušné hory (Ore Mts., Czech Republic) study area is one of the more heavily contaminated areas in Central Europe, and thus the results reported here are applicable to areas affected by brown-coal-burning power plants.
KeywordsForest soils Hazardous elements Načetín Contamination Mobility BCR sequential extraction
We are indebted to Marie Fayadová for help with trace elements analyses, Ondřej Šebek for ICP-OES measurements. Dr. John M. Hora is thanked for revision of the English in the manuscript. We are grateful to anonymous reviewer and Dr. J. A. Elvir for editorial handling.
This study was funded by the Czech Science Foundation (13-17501S) and Operational Programme Prague—Competitiveness (Project CZ.2.16/3.1.00/21516). MU was supported by the Grant Agency of the Charles University in Prague project No. 338811.
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