Landscape geochemical investigations in the vicinity of a lead deposit near Snertingdal, southern Norway
Woerns, Norbert M.
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Landscape geochemical investigations were conducted upon portions of a natural uniform landscape in southern Norway. This consisted of sampling both soil profile samples and spruce tree twigs for the analysis of twelve chemical elements. These elements were cobalt, copper, nickel, lead, zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium and aluminum which were determined by atomic absorption analysis on standardized extraction techniques for both organic and inorganic materials. Two "landscape traverses" were chosen for a comparative study of the effects of varying landscape parameters upon the trace element distribution patterns throughout the landscape traverses. The object of this study was to test this method of investigation and the concept of an ideal uniform landscape under Norwegian conditions. A "control traverse" was established to represent uniform landscape conditions typical of the study area and was used to determine "normal" or average trace element distribution patterns. A "signal traverse" was selected nearby over an area of lead mineralization where the depth to bedrock is very small. The signal traverse provided an area of similar landscape conditions to those of the control traverse with significant differences in the bedrock configuration and composition. This study was also to determine the effect of the bedrock mineralization upon the distribution patterns of the twelve chemical elements within the major components of the two landscape traverses (i.e. soil profiles and tree branches). The lead distribution within the soils of the signal traverse showed localized accumulations of lead within the overburden with maximum values occurring within the organic A horizon of soil profile #10. Above average concentrations of lead were common within the signal traverse, however, the other elements studied were not significantly different from those averages determined throughout the soils of the control traverse. The spruce twig samples did not have corresponding accumulations of lead near the soil lead anomaly. This is attributable to the very localized nature of the lead dispersion pattern within the soils. This approach to the study of the geochemistry of a natural landscape was effective in establishing: a) average or "normal" trace element distribution patterns b) local variations in the landscape morphology and c) the effect of unusually high lead concentrations upon the geochemistry of the landscape (i.e. within the soil profiles and tree branches). This type of study provides the basis for further more intensive studies and serves only as a first approximation of the behaviour of elements within a natural landscape.