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Soil heavy metal contamination and acid deposition: experimental approach on two forest soils in Hunan, Southern China

Bo-han, Liao and Zhaohui, Guo and Probst, Anne and Probst, Jean-Luc Soil heavy metal contamination and acid deposition: experimental approach on two forest soils in Hunan, Southern China. (2005) Geoderma, 1 (1-2). 91-103. ISSN 0016-7061

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/J.GEODERMA.2004.11.019


In 1985, a tailing dam collapsed in Hunan province (southern China) leading to soil contamination by heavy metals from the tailings waste. Moreover, acid deposition becomes more and more serious in this area. In this context, two forest soils (a red soil and a yellow red soil, typically and commonly found in southern China) were collected from Hunan. The objectives are (i) to determine releases and changes in speciation fractions of heavy metals (especially Cd, Cu, and Zn) when the soils are contaminated with heavy metals and affected by simulated acid deposition, and (ii) to study effects of soil heavy metals and acid deposition on releases of soil Ca2+, Mg2+, and Al3+. The soil samples were soaked in the solutions of CdCl2, CuCl2, and ZnCl2 for 15 days to make contaminated soils containing 200 mg kg1 of Cd, Cu, and Zn. Then the contaminated soils and the original soils were extracted with five simulated acid deposition solutions (pH ranged from 5.6 to 3.0 and total dissolved salts increased). The experimental results indicate that acid deposition leads to great releases of soil heavy metals due to complicated soil chemical processes, mostly cation exchange and partly dissolution of minerals at pH lower than 4.2. These released heavy metals come mainly from soil exchangeable pools and other labile fractions. Releases of heavy metals are closely controlled by pH values or, in some cases, total cation contents in acid deposition; meanwhile, concentrations of heavy metals are negatively related to the relevant pH values in soil equilibrium solutions when pH values are in a range of 4.2–5.1. From the point of view of heavy metal releases, Zn is the most sensitive to acid deposition, followed by Cd and Cu. Compared with the original soils, the contaminated soils could probably release more base cations Ca2+ and Mg2+ and less Al3+. Greater amounts of Cd, Cu, Zn, and Al released from Soil B show that this soil is more sensitive to acid deposition, and we could expect serious environmental contamination in Soil B area if mining activities and acid deposition are not under control in the future.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier. The definitve version is available on http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00167061
HAL Id:hal-04256760
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Hunan Agricultural University - HUNAU (CHINA)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Central South University - CSU (CHINA)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:26 Mar 2010 15:21

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