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Sci Total Environ. 2012 Mar 15;420:250-62. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.01.036. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Geochemical patterns in the soils of Cyprus.

Author information

1
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia. d.cohen@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

The soil geochemical atlas of Cyprus is a recent addition to the series of national to continental-scale geochemical mapping programmes implemented over the last two decades for environmental and resource applications. The study has been conducted at the high sampling density of 1 site per 1km(2), with multi-element and multi-method analysis performed on samples of top soil (0-25cm) and sub soil (50-75cm) from a grid of over 5350 sites across a major portion of Cyprus. Major and most trace elements display sharp concentration changes across the main geological boundaries but a high degree of spatial continuity and consistency of values within those boundaries. Some elements display one to two orders of magnitude difference in median concentrations between the soils developed over ultramafic or mafic units and those developed over sedimentary rocks or alluvial units. The ratio of aqua regia-extractable to total metal contents provides an indication of the general mineralogical host for a number of trace elements. The majority of soils are near-neutral to alkaline with the small proportion of areas with soil pH<5 largely restricted to the major Cu deposits. There is strong correlation between top soil and sub soil geochemical values. Where the concentrations of some elements (including Pb, Hg and Sn) are indicative of contamination, the values are typically higher in the top soil samples in these areas. Variations in the concentration of elements with strong redox controls on mobility are linked to changes in sedimentary environment between deep and shallow marine conditions. Some element patterns can be related to the effects of urbanisation and sulphide mining operations; however the dominant control on soil geochemistry is the parent geology and regolith forming processes. The atlas demonstrates the effectiveness of high-density sampling in mapping local to regional-scale features of the geochemical landscape.

PMID:
22330424
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.01.036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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