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TitleGeochemical variability of soils in the maritime provinces of Canada and the New England states of the United States
AuthorGrunsky, E C; Woodruff, L G; Drew, L J; Friske, P W B; Sutphin, D M
SourceNational Environmental Monitoring Conference 2011, presentations; 2011 p. 1-25
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110417
MeetingNational Environmental Monitoring Conference 2011; Bellevue; US; August 15-19, 2011
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNew Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island
NTS11D; 11E; 11F; 11K; 11L; 20P; 21A; 21B; 21E; 21F; 21G; 21H; 21I; 21J; 21K; 21N; 21O; 21P
AreaCape Breton; Halifax; Saint John; Bathurst; Fredericton; Charlottetown; Vermont; Maine; New Hampshire; Massachusetts; Boston; Cape Cod; Rhode Island; New Haven; Connecticut; New York; Suracuse; Rochester; Buffalo
Lat/Long WENS-78.0000 -59.5000 48.0000 40.5000
Subjectsmathematical and computational geology; geochemistry; mineralogy; soils science; surficial geology/geomorphology; geochemical statistics; soil geochemistry; soil samples; soil surveys; tills; glacial deposits; trace element geochemistry; statistics; statistical analyses; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; plots
ProgramProgram management and Transition Activities, Environmental Geoscience
USA was initially part of the North American Soil Geochemistry Landscapes Project. Soil samples were collected from 0-5 cm depth (regardless of horizon), A, and C horizons. The 0 to 5 cm depth interval represents the soil of interest in health risk assessments and is here termed the PH (Public Health) horizon.
The use of multivariate statistical methods of the log-centred geochemistry from the three soil horizons reveals distinctive inter-element relationships from the C horizon upwards into the A and PH horizons. Statistical dispersion of several elements increases upwards in the soil profile. Maximum data dispersion occurs in the PH and A-horizon soils. Elements including Cd, S, P, Pb, Bi, Sb, Mo, Be, Zn and Cu are relatively enriched in the PH and A horizons (correlated with increasing organic carbon content) while elements including Ni, Mg, Cr, V, Co, Fe and Sc are relatively enriched in the C horizon, representing a mafic component of the protolith. The felsic component of the protolith is expressed as a relative enrichment of K, Rb, Zr, (REE), Li and Al. The relative associations among elements revealed in the first two principal components enable recognition of the underlying protolith, the effects of weathering, and meteoric water and groundwater interactions. The sources of these element associations can be attributed to underlying geology, soil-forming processes, and anthropogenic activity, or combinations of all three factors. With the multivariate approach, we can identify the combined influence of bedrock geology, climate, and geomorphology, all of which are encompassed in ecoregion classifications. Thus, with this multivariate approach we are able to characterize regional soil background variability for environmental and population health risk assessments.