Metal retention in a thin karstic soil, Christian County, Missouri


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Publication Date

January 1999


The response of a Wilderness cherty loam series soil to repeated dosages of metals (as sewage sludge) using a two-step sequential extraction procedure was investigated. Variations in metal content between amended and control soils were related to organic matter, clay content, and clay mineralogy. Of the four metals investigated, Cu was found to accumulate in the top 20 cm of amended soils; Pb and Zn were present in even smaller amounts with respect to the control soils, and Cr concentrations were unaffected with respect to both depth and amendment. None of the metals indicated accumulation in deeper (>20 cm) parts of the soil profile. Overall, results suggest that the metals remobilize in the top 20 cm, being readily uptaken by the fescue grass growing in this lot. Precipitation of insoluble forms of metal into deeper parts of the soil profile was proven unlikely based on the distribution of metal concentrations throughout the profile.


Karst, Heavy Metals, Soil Contamination, Sequential Extraction

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Environmental Geology, Vol. 37, no. 1,2 (1999).