Lead and lead isotopes in agricultural soils of Europe - The continental perspective

The GEMAS Project Team

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103 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lead isotopes are widely used for age dating, for tracking sources of melts, sediments, Pb products, food and animals and for studying atmospheric Pb contamination. For the first time, a map of a Pb isotope landscape at the continental-scale is presented. Agricultural soil samples (Ap-horizon, 0-20cm) collected at an average density of 1 site/2500km2 were analysed for Pb concentration and Pb isotopes (206Pb, 207Pb, 208Pb). Lead concentrations vary from 1.6 to 1309mg/kg, with a median of 16mg/kg. Isotopic ratios of 206Pb/207Pb range from 1.116 to 1.727 with a median of 1.202. The new data define the soil geochemical Pb background for European agricultural soil, providing crucial information for geological, environmental and forensic sciences, public health, environmental policy and mineral exploration. The European continental-scale patterns of Pb concentrations and Pb isotopes show a high variability dominated by geology and influenced by climate. Lead concentration anomalies mark most of the known mineralised areas throughout Europe. Some local Pb anomalies have a distinct anthropogenic origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-542
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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