Beata Klojzy-Karczmarczyk
Instytut Gospodarki Surowcami Mineralnymi i Energią Polskiej Akademii Nauk

The aim of the work was to evaluate the content of mercury in soils in the immediate vicinity of the southern Krakow ring road with reference to the grain size composition of the samples. Variability of this element was shown depending on the soil fraction, subsequently an analysis was conducted concerning the relationship between the content of the silty clay fraction and mercury content in the soil samples. The study was conducted on samples collected in 2006 and 2012. Soil samples were collected after removing the plant cover, directly from the surface and from two depths of subsurface horizons: 0.4–0.6 m and 0.8–1.0 m below ground level. The observed total mercury content was comparable in all the samples regardless of the grain size composition. The averaged mercury content in the collected samples was around 0.04 mg/kg dry mass. Laboratory studies of soil samples collected in the immediate vicinity of the southern Krakow ring road indicated a great diversity in the mercury content of the individual soil fractions. No matter the time, place and the depth of sampling. The highest mercury content was found in a separate fraction of the finest particles of a diameter of d < 0.063 mm. The mercury content in this fraction of soils range from 0.0274 to 0.1071 mg/kg of dry sample mass. Mercury content in the fraction with the coarsest grain diameter of d > 1.000 mm was much lower. The mercury content of this fraction range from 0.0051 to 0.0397 mg/kg of dry sample mass. It may be assumed, and it is confirmed in literature on the subject, that the larger the particle diameter, the lower the mercury content. The presence of clay minerals and organic matter is the primary factor affecting the potential of mercury accumulation in soils. The majority of mercury is undoubtedly associated with the fraction of separate medium- and finest-grained particles with high mercury content. However, in coarse-grained soils the presence of mercury associated with the coarser fractions can not be ignored. Due to a high proportion of sandy fraction in these samples, most mercury is associated with just such a grain size range despite low content in the coarser fractions.

Słowa kluczowe
środowisko gruntowe, frakcje gruntu, zawartość rtęci

Variability of Mercury Content in Various Fractions of Soils from the Vicinity of Krakow Ring Road Section

Key words
soil environment, soil fraction, mercury content

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