Comparison of chromium mobility at naturally enriched and anthropogenically polluted sites: A column leaching experiment

Dajčl J., Tejnecký V., Němeček K., Borůvka L., Drahota P., Drábek O. (2022): Comparison of chromium mobility at naturally enriched and anthropogenically polluted sites: A column leaching experiment. Soil & Water Res., 17: 100−112.

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This study aims to compare the chromium (Cr) mobility in two soils with different Cr sources. The first one is an anthropogenically contaminated soil from an area of a piston ring production factory, and the second one is a serpentine soil with a naturally increased Cr level from the National Nature Reserve Mohelno serpentine steppe in the Czech Republic. To assess the influence of naturally occurring environmental factors on the Cr mobility, two sets of column leaching experiments were constructed, namely an acidified water treatment (AW) and a simulated root exudate treatment (SRE). It was found that the anthropogenically contaminated soil leached out many times more Cr for both (the AW and SRE) treatments in comparison with the serpentine soil. Generally, all the samples showed enhanced leaching from the bottom layer, respectively the horizon, for both treatments. Only the anthropogenic soil showed some differences in the bottom layer, which was more susceptible to the AW treatment than to the SRE one. These findings show the high dependence of the leachability of Cr on the Cr content origin. It has been proven that naturally enriched sites where elevated levels of Cr originate from the bedrock are more resistant to Cr leaching than anthropogenically contaminated soils. Feasible causes of these differences are discussed in this study.

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