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Particle size partitioning of metals in humus horizons of two small erosional landforms in the middle Protva basin – a comparative study

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Partitioning of metals in soil particles of various size classes has been receiving greater significance due to the necessity to predict the behaviour and pathways of the potentially toxic elements in the environment. In this study the analysis of metals’ distribution in various particle size fractions was performed to characterize and compare geochemical features of the topsoil horizons of two small erosional landforms located in uncontaminated area of the central part of European Russia (the Middle Protva basin, mixed forest zone). The landforms represent two typical lithological types of gullies in the study area. Soil samples were fractionated and the concentrations of Fe, Mn, Ti, Zr, Ni, Co, Cr, Zn, Cu, Pb were determined in five particle size fractions: 1–0.25, 0.25-0.05, 0.05−0.01, 0.01–0.001 and <0.001 mm. The metals’ concentrations and their distribution in various particle sizes were found to be related to gully litho-type. The contribution of the clay to the total amount of metals was the greatest for Mn, Zn, Ni and Co in both systems. The highest mass loading for Ti, Zr and Cr came from the coarse silt, while for Cu and Pb it was made by different particle size fractions: the medium and fine silt or the coarse silt. The highest contribution of Fe also came from different fractions, either from the coarse sand or the clay depending on the system.

About the Authors

Olga A. Samonova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography, 

Leninskiye Gori, 1, Moscow, 119991

Elena N. Aseyeva
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography, 

Leninskiye Gori, 1, Moscow, 119991


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For citation:

Samonova O.A., Aseyeva E.N. Particle size partitioning of metals in humus horizons of two small erosional landforms in the middle Protva basin – a comparative study. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(1):260-271.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)