Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Surface soils (0–15 cm) were sampled at 10–20 km intervals along two transects in Venezuela. One (1162 km, 70 samples) ran west to east parallel with the Caribbean coastline, the other (920 km, 92 samples) ran south to north from the frontier with Brazil to the Caribbean shore. Sampling took place in both a wet and a dry season. Trace metals were extracted from dried, sieved (〈2 mm) soil with boiling aqua regia followed by analysis by ICP or flame AAS. Metal values did not differ significantly between the two seasons and dates were averaged. Geometric mean values for the west–east transect were: Cr = 41.5, Cu 17.9, Cs 3.6, Li = 13.9, Mn = 294, Ni = 21.3, Pb = 17.4, Sr = 39.4, V = 60.4 and Zn = 83.7 μg g−1, respectively. Similarly, for the south–north transect Cr = 21.3, Cu = 4.3, Cs = 1.1, Li = 2.0, Mn = 55.7, Ni = 4.4, Pb = 6.1, Sr = 13.3, V = 28.2 and Zn = 16.7 μg g−1, respectively. A classification of samples by lithology showed surface soil composition to be related to rock composition. Metal values were low in the soils in the south of the country, in the Guyana highlands (Gran Sabana). Low Zn contents were prevalent. Lead contents were affected by roadside fallout from vehicles using leaded petrol except that high Pb contents of soils in the Gran Sabana were of more complex origin.
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