Environmental Occurrence of Selenium

  • Raymond J. Shamberger
Part of the Biochemistry of the Elements book series (BOTE, volume 2)


Selenium is very widely distributed in the earth’s crust, but is rarely present in any material in concentrations exceeding 500 (xg/g. The amount of selenium in any soil is dependent upon a number of factors: first, the presence or absence of selenium in the parent material of the soil; second, the possible removal of selenium by leaching during soil formation; and third, processes subsequent to soil formation added selenium or removed it. Figure 6-1 shows a simplified geochemical cycle of selenium, from molten rocks to igneous rocks or to the atmosphere, which can be converted to sediments, or to the hydrosphere, which can be taken up by plants and soils. From plants and soils selenium can enter the food chain of humans and animals.


Igneous Rock Selenium Concentration Selenium Content Total Selenium Molten Rock 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond J. Shamberger
    • 1
  1. 1.The Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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