Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Baseline Concentrations of 11 Elements as a Function of Land Uses in Surface Soils of the Katangese Copperbelt Area (D.R. Congo)

Version 1 : Received: 12 August 2021 / Approved: 13 August 2021 / Online: 13 August 2021 (15:07:34 CEST)

How to cite: Tushiminine Mpinda, M.; Ngobola Kisimba, T.; Mulembo Mwamba, T.; Lenge Mukonzo Kasongo, E.; Tshamala Kaniki, A.; Bazirake Mujinya, B. Baseline Concentrations of 11 Elements as a Function of Land Uses in Surface Soils of the Katangese Copperbelt Area (D.R. Congo). Preprints 2021, 2021080299 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0299.v1). Tushiminine Mpinda, M.; Ngobola Kisimba, T.; Mulembo Mwamba, T.; Lenge Mukonzo Kasongo, E.; Tshamala Kaniki, A.; Bazirake Mujinya, B. Baseline Concentrations of 11 Elements as a Function of Land Uses in Surface Soils of the Katangese Copperbelt Area (D.R. Congo). Preprints 2021, 2021080299 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0299.v1).

Abstract

The Katangese Copperbelt area (KCA) located south-eastern of D.R. Congo presents high concentration of metal trace elements (MTE) in several soils due to a rich natural geochemical background, and intense mining activities, causing serious health issues to humans and animals. However, the lack of data on specific baseline concentrations makes it difficult to properly assess and monitor the environmental quality of soils in the region. In this study, the baseline concentration of 11 potentially toxic MTE (i.e., Mn, Zn, Cu, Co, Cr, Pb, Cd, Ti, Ni, Al, and Fe) was assessed in topsoils of the KCA, and the possible influence of land uses (croplands, forest and mining areas) was examined. Results showed the following baseline concentrations, i.e. lower and upper limits (mg.kg-1) in cropland soils : Al (18.4–162.0), Cd (0.0–0.1), Co (0.1–3.5), Cu (0.8–17.7), Cr (0.0–0.2), Fe (4.7–233.8), Mn (3.5–575.6), Ni (0.1–1.9), Pb (0.2–2.4), Zn (0.1–20.3), Ti (0.0–392.6); in forests: Al (18.8–1167.1), Cd (0.02–0.48), Co (0.20–18.1), Cu (3.6–42.7), Cr (0.1–33.7), Fe (86.4–283.3), Mn (4.9–1538.9), Ni (0.05–24.2), Pb (0.3–13.7), Zn (2.0–7.0), Ti (0.2–0.8); and in mining areas: Al (7.4–241.2), Cd (0.01–164.8), Co (0.2–211.3), Cu (2.4–5485.4), Cr (0.03–0.4), Fe (5.9–481.6), Mn (7.1–95.9), Ni (0.1–1.9), Pb (0.2–390.8), Zn (1.5–5629.3), Ti (0.1–1.3). Cu and Zn were highest in mining areas demonstrating a prevalent influence of mining activities in altering the natural background of metals concentrations in the region. By contrast, croplands and forest shared a similar trend of Al and Mn contents, suggesting a mild influence of agricultural activity. Intriguingly, higher Cu and Co contents were found in forest compared to croplands. For all the three studied land uses, no straightforward relation was found between metal concentrations and soil total acidity. This study is the first attempt to establish reference values of MTE contents in the KCA soils and thus provides valuable information for legislative purposes and for soil quality assessment.

Keywords

contamination; trace elements; metal concentration; environmental pollution

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