Coupling soil transfer from hillslope to riparian zone through natural fingerprint in a catchment with tobacco crop

  • Fábio L. Melquiades
  • Rodrigo O. Bastos
  • Leonardo S. Andreoni
  • Edivaldo L. Thomaz
  • Valdemir Antoneli
Soils, Sec 5 • Soil and Landscape Ecology • Research Article



Studies on soil provenance are important to evaluate the impacts generated in agricultural soil and in the micro basin environment intending to point out solutions to erosion control. This study has been accomplished to evaluate the soil transport in a hillslope where there is a tobacco crop and its connectivity with the riparian zone, correlating the location and depth profile of the samples with their chemical signature.

Materials and methods

Easy sample preparation, non-destructive analytical methods, and multivariate statistics for soil discrimination in different position and depths were performed for chemical element quantification. The micro basin studied is in the center of Parana State, in Brazil. Eleven soil profiles were sampled comprising hillslope, riparian zone, connection zone, and control area. The profiles were collected at five depths: 0–10, 10–20, 20–30, 30–40, and 40–50 cm. The analytical techniques applied were gamma spectrometry, to determine eU, eTh, K, and 137Cs, and portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Sr, and Zr quantification.

Results and discussion

137Cs was identified on the surface of the control area, confirming that this zone has not been disturbed since the last global fallout. Individual analysis per metal and principal component analysis (PCA) with the average values per depth and location were performed and interpreted together with the results of the 137Cs. Samples collected in the connection area shows chemical similarity to the superficial samples of the riparian zone, either for the control area or the deposition zone.


The sediments generated by the tobacco crop have a similar chemical signature compared to the undisturbed soil for the analyzed natural elements. This is product of the natural pedogenesis process occurring in the toeslope micro basin riparian zone. The predominant influence in the PCA’s responses is related to the local topography. The chemical signature of the hillslope soil is changing while it moves to the deposition.


Connectivity Fingerprint Multivariate analysis Soil erosion 


Funding information

National Council for Scientific and Technological Development–CNPq for the support of project 472324/2013–6 and CNPq project 481919/2010-4 and for the grants 301665/2017-6 and 304722/2017-0. Also to CAPES for the student scholarship. This study is also part of the project INCT-FNA 464898/2014-5.

Supplementary material

11368_2018_2181_MOESM1_ESM.doc (130 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 130 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Nuclear Physics Laboratory, Department of PhysicsUniversidade Estadual de Londrina, UELLondrinaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversidade Estadual do Centro-OesteGuarapuavaBrazil
  3. 3.Post Graduation Program in Applied ChemistryUniversidade Estadual do Centro OesteGuarapuavaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of GeographyUniversidade Estadual do Centro-OesteGuarapuavaBrazil
  5. 5.Department of GeographyUniversidade Estadual do Centro-OesteIratiBrazil

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