Environmental Status of the Arctic Soils
Nikitina M., Popova L., Korobitcina J., Efremova O., Trofimova A., Nakvasina E., Volkov A.
The Arctic region is under an ever-increasing anthropogenic influence. The nature in the Arctic is extremely vulnerable to the effects of pollutants, which may eventually lead to certain irreversible ecological processes. Heavy metals occupy a special place among priority pollutants. Therefore, the aim of this study has been to assess the ecological status and the degree of contamination with heavy metals of the soils of Arctic and sub-Arctic areas. Arctic soils were studied in the region of the White Sea and the Barents Sea during the Arctic Floating University, a research expedition held in July 2012 by M. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University. During the expedition, samples were collected and the landscapes (topography, vegetation) were described. In order to assess the impact of environmental contamination, the total content of heavy metals in soils was evaluated by X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF). The level of soil contamination was assessed according to the maximum permissible concentrations (MPC), temporary permissible concentrations (TPC), chemical substance factor (Kc) and the total pollution index (Zc). Our analysis of the experimental data showed a wide-range change in the soil agrochemical parameters. It has been demonstrated that the investigated soils of the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas represent different soil properties, are affected by different climatic conditions and belong to different texture taxonomic classes, e.g. the grain-size distribution varies from sand to clay loam; the pH ranges from strongly acid to neutral and the content of organic substances can be very low to high. According to the total pollution index, almost all the soils present an acceptable heavy metal contamination level. In most of the studied soils, the heavy metals in terms of amounts accumulated can be ordered as follows: Co > Pb > Cu > Zn > As > Ni > V > Mn.
Nikitina M., Popova L., Korobitcina J., Efremova O., Trofimova A., Nakvasina E., Volkov A. 2015. Environmental Status of the Arctic Soils. J. Elem., 20(3): 643-651, DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2014.19.4.743
arctic soils, agrochemical parameters, heavy metals