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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Morales Del Mastro A.,Comisio n Nacional de Energi a Ato mica | Morales Del Mastro A.,University of Buenos Aires | Pereyra M.,CONICET | Londonio A.,Comisio n Nacional de Energi a Ato mica | And 8 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2014

A study was undertaken to assess the chemical profile of soil collected in Bahi´a Blanca (Argentina). In this industrial city, semiarid soils are affected by different industrial and agricultural activities, the presence of a saltpeter extraction facility, traffic and increasing urbanization. Sixteen soil samples (superficial and sub-superficial) were collected. Samples were sieved in two fractions (A < 37 μm, and 37 < B < 50 μm) before elemental analysis. Major, minor and trace elements namely, Al, As, Ba, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Ti, V and Zn were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES). Anions (Cl-, F-, SO4 2-) and cations (K+, Na+ and NH4 +) were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) after an aqueous extraction. As expected, crustal elements namely, Al, Ca, Fe, Mg and Ti exhibited the highest concentrations. Mean elemental concentration ranged from <0.3 μg g-1 (Sb) to 14.6 ± 0.6% (Ca). Ions concentrations in the soluble fraction measured at mg g-1 levels were in the order Cl- > Na+ ≅ SO4 2- > K+ > NO3 -. Three indicators, namely, (i) coefficient of variation, (ii) coefficient of divergence and (iii) ratio of elemental concentration with respect to Ca were used to assess chemical, spatial and inter-profile variability. Chloride > Ca > Na+ > Mo > SO4 2-, dominated the variability indicating that these are key chemical markers for future assessment of crustal contribution to airborne particles in the area. The ratios Xi/Ca allowed discriminating the soil of the semi-arid region surrounding Bahi´a Blanca. The chemical profiles obtained in this study, particularly those of topsoil, will be a key input to characterize soil resuspension and its contribution to airborne particulate matter in a forthcoming receptor model analysis. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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