Data are presented for 32 elements (Li, Be, B, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ge, As, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Hf, Tl, Pb, Bi) in organic-rich surface soils in Norway, based on samples from 464 sites. By considering geographical distributions based on isopleths, results from factor analysis, and ANOVA of median values from 12 different geographical regions, the contributions from natural and anthropogenic sources are estimated for each element. Long-range atmospheric transport of pollutants from areas out of Norway is a dominant source for Cd, Sb, Pb, and Bi and also a strongly contributing factor for Zn, As, Mo, and Tl. Also V, Ni, Cu, and Ge are somewhat affected, but other factors dominate for these elements. Local point sources of pollution provide significant contributions to soil concentrations of Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Mo, and Cd. The local bedrock is the overriding source of Li, Be, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Rb, Zr, Cs, Ba, REE, Hf, and probably of Ge and Ag. Surface enrichment by root uptake in plants and return to the soil surface by decaying plant material is particularly evident for Mn, Zn, Rb, Cs, and Ba. These elements show no clear difference between south and north in the country, indicating that their plant uptake does not depend on latitude. In the case of B and Sr, atmospheric deposition of marine aerosols is an important source. Rb and Ag, and to a less extent Mn, Ga, and Ba, appear to be depleted in soils near the coast presumably due to cation exchange with airborne marine cations.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Allen, R. O., & Steinnes, E. (1980). Contribution from long-range atmospheric transport to the heavy metal pollution of surface soil. In D. Drabløs & A. Tollan (Eds.), Ecological impact of acid precipitation (pp.102–103). Oslo: Ås.
Amundsen, C. E., Hanssen, J. E., Semb, A., & Steinnes, E. (1992). Long-range atmospheric transport of trace elements to southern Norway. Atmospheric Environment, 26A, 1309–1324.
Berg, T., & Steinnes, E. (1997). Recent trends in atmospheric deposition of trace elements in Norway as evident from the 1995 moss survey. Science of the Total Environment, 208, 197–206.
Berg, T., Røyset, O., Steinnes, E., & Vadset, M. (1995). Atmospheric trace element deposition: Principal component analysis of ICP-MS data from moss samples. Environmental Pollution, 88, 67–77.
Blaser, P., Zimmermann, S., Luster, J., & Shotyk, W. (2000). Critical examination of trace element enrichments and depletions in soils: As, Cr, Cu, Ni. Pb, and Zn in Swiss forest soils. Science of the Total Environment, 249, 257–280.
Goldschmidt, V. M. (1937). The principles of distribution of chemical elements in minerals and rocks. Journal of the Chemical Society of London, 1, 655–673.
Låg, J. (1968). Relationships between the chemical composition of the precipitation and the content of exchangeable ions in the humus layer of natural soils. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, 18, 148–152.
Njåstad, O., Steinnes, E., Bølviken, B., & Ødegård, M. (1994). National survey of element composition in natural soil. Results for samples collected in 1977 and 1985 obtained by ICP emission spectrometry. NGU-report 94.027. Trondheim: NGU (in Norwegian).
Reimann, C., Kashulina, G., de Caritat, P., & Niskavaara, H. (2001). Multi-element, multi-medium regional geochemistry in the European Arctic: Element concentration, variation and correlation. Applied Geochemistry, 16, 759–780.
Reiners, W. A., Marks, R. H., & Vitousek, P. M. (1975). Heavy metals in subalpine and alpine soils of New Hampshire. Oikos, 26, 264–275.
Ruhling, Å., & Steinnes, E. (1998). Atmospheric heavy metal deposition in Europe 1995–1996. NORD 1998:15. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.
Schaug, J., Rambæk, J. P., Steinnes, E., & Henry, R. C. (1990). Multivariate analysis of trace element data from moss samples used to monitor atmospheric deposition. Atmospheric Environment, 24A, 2625–2631.
Steinnes, E., & Friedland, A. J. (2006). Metal contamination of surface soils from long-range atmospheric transport: Existing and missing knowledge. Environmental Reviews, 14, 169–186.
Steinnes, E., & Njåstad, O. (1995). Enrichment of metals in the organic surface layer of natural soil: Identification of contributions from different sources. Analyst, 120, 1479–1483.
Steinnes, E., Rambæk, J. P., & Hanssen, J. E. (1992). Large scale multi-element survey of atmospheric deposition using naturally growing moss as biomonitor. Chemosphere, 35, 735–752.
Steinnes, E., Hanssen, J. E., Rambæk, J. P., & Vogt, N. B. (1994). Atmospheric deposition of trace elements in Norway: Temporal and spatial trends studied by moss analysis. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 74, 121–140.
Steinnes, E., Allen, R. O., Petersen, H. M., Rambæk, J. P., & Varskog, P. (1997a). Evidence of large-scale heavy-metal contamination of natural surface soils in Norway from long-range atmospheric transport. Science of the Total Environment, 205, 255–266.
Steinnes, E., Rühling, Å., Lippo, H., & Mäkinen, A. (1997b). Reference materials for large-scale metal deposition surveys. Accreditation and Quality Assurance, 2, 243–249.
Steinnes, E., Sjøbakk, T. E., Donisa, C., & Brännvall, M.-L. (2005). Quantification of pollutant lead in forest soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 69, 1399–1404.
Suchara, I., & Sucharova, J. (2002). Distribution of sulphur and heavy metals in forest floor humus of the Czech Republic. Environmental Pollution, 136, 289–316.
Tamminen, P., Starr, M., & Kubin, E. (2004). Element concentrations in boreal, coniferous forest humus layers in relation to moss chemistry and soil factors. Plant and Soil, 259, 51–58.
Tyler, G. (1972). Heavy metals pollute nature - may reduce productivity. Ambio, 1, 52–59.
About this article
Cite this article
Nygård, T., Steinnes, E. & Røyset, O. Distribution of 32 Elements in Organic Surface Soils: Contributions from Atmospheric Transport of Pollutants and Natural Sources. Water Air Soil Pollut 223, 699–713 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-011-0895-5
- Natural surface soils
- Trace elements
- Air pollution
- Natural sources