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The content of heavy metals in soils of the Yamal peninsula and the Bely Island


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Abstract

In 2012, for the first time the Government of the Yamal-Nenets region in conjunction with the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute ofRosHydromet, performed the first comprehensive expedition for the examination of the Yamal Peninsula (KAEMB Arctic Yamal-2012). As key observation plots there were selected: settlement Novy Port, Ust Yuribey and the Island Bely. To the last section now there is attracted the maximum attention of the public, because it is selected for the starting of the program for the cleaning up Arctic from the debris and the wastes accumulated during the process of the functioning ofpolar infrastructure. Soil samples were selected from the prospecting pits in August, 2012. Heavy metals, as well as the content of oxides of silicon, aluminum, iron, titanium, manganese were detected with X-ray fluorescent analyzer «Spectroscan-MAX. The values obtained were compared with the Approxible Permissible Concentrations and Maximum Allowable Concentrations adopted in Russia. Since the accumulation of heavy metals is related with their fixation by soil organic matter, concomitantly there was evaluated the content of organic carbon and nitrogen with the use of the device VARIO EL III. The application of the profile approach to the study of the chemical composition of soils helped to establish mid-ground and deep supra permafrost accumulation maximums of priority inorganic toxicants and other heavy metals. This is most likely related to the development of two groups of soil processes: eluvial-illuvial and cryogenic mass exchange. As a result of the eluvial-illuvial processes, some heavy metals are redistributed along the profile, and accumulating in the middle part of the profile. Meanwhile, in the tundra soils dominant processes are cryogenic mass exchange, leading to a strong mixing of the soil column and the accumulation of certain components in the chemical composition in the supra permafrost or suprapermafrostgley horizon. This is the main reason for the second peak of the content of heavy metals in the bottom of the soil profiles. Performed studies show that although most heavy metals are accumulated in the upper soil horizons, in the case of tundra, soil profile redistribution processes lead to the fact that in the case of the surface sampling, there is underestimation of the total reserves of substances in the soil profile.


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