The influence of parent material on topsoil geochemistry in eastern England

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Rawlins, B. G., Webster, R. and Lister, T. R. 2003. The influence of parent material on topsoil geochemistry in eastern England. Earth Surface Processes And Landforms. 28 (13), pp. 1398-1409.

AuthorsRawlins, B. G., Webster, R. and Lister, T. R.

The topsoil of around 10000 km(2) in eastern England has recently been sampled intensely at 4609 sites to characterize its geochemistry. The parent materials, which include both solid geology and Quaternary sediments, range in age from Permian to Holocene. The distributions of the concentrations of major and trace elements have been characterized geostatistically, and the role of parent material on their spatial structure (anisotropy) and their spatial relationships (coregionalization) have been investigated. Analysis of variance with the sites grouped by major parent material type showed that this classification accounted for 14 to 48 per cent of the variance for the various elements. Global variograms of 13 elements (Al, As, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, Ti, and U) have been computed and modelled. Eleven of the variograms seem to comprise two structures, both of which we modelled with spherical functions, one of short range, 3.5 to 9 km, and the other with a range of 15 to 23 km. The models included a nugget variance, which varied from 27 per cent (for As, Fe, and Mg) to 63 per cent (for P) of the total. The long-range structures are related to the separations of the major parent materials. The variograms of several elements showed appreciable anisotropy, most notably that of Mg. Anisotropy is evident at short ranges of less than 5 kin. This accords with the geological structure of the beds which dip from west to east so that their outcrops are elongated from north to south. A linear model of coregionalization fitted to the data emphasized several important geochemical associations, which we interpret. Elements commonly associated with clay minerals (Mg, AI) and the clay size fraction (Ti) are dominated by the long-range structure of the coregionalization, whilst several trace elements (As, Cr, Ni and U) are spatially correlated with Fe over short distances, through adsorption of the former on the surfaces of Fe oxyhydroxides. The topsoil around large urban areas is enriched in lead, but it is not clear whether anthropogenic sources are responsible for this metal's anomalous spatial relationships with other elements. Crown copyright (C) 2003. Reproduced with the permission of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Published by John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

KeywordsGeography, Physical; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Year of Publication2003
JournalEarth Surface Processes And Landforms
Journal citation28 (13), pp. 1398-1409
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code445
Research in statistics relevant to biological processes
Publisher's version

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