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Characteristics of lead geochemistry and the mobility of Pb isotopes in the system of pedogenic rock–pedosphere–irrigated riverwater–cereal–atmosphere from the Yangtze River delta region, China

Wang, Cheng, Wang, Jianhua, Yang, Zhongfang, Mao, Changping, Ji, Junfeng
Chemosphere 2013 v.93 pp. 1927-1935
carbonates, equations, fertilizers, geochemistry, irrigation, isotopes, lead, parent rock, rice, river deltas, roots, soil profiles, tillage, China, Yangtze River
Knowledge of the characteristics of Pb and its isotopic transfer in different compartments is scant, especially for the mobility of Pb isotopes in the geochemical cycle. The present study characterizes differential Pb transport mechanism and the mobility of Pb isotopes in the pedogenic parent rock–pedosphere–irrigated riverwater–cereal–atmosphere system in the Yangtze River delta region, by determining Pb concentration and Pb isotopic ratios of pedogenic parent rocks, fluvial suspended particle matter, tillage soils, soil profiles, irrigated riverwater, fertilizer, Pb ore, cereal roots and grains. The results show that Pb isotopes in the geochemical cycle generally follow the equation of 208Pb/206Pb=−1.157×206Pb/207Pb+3.46 (r2=0.941). However, Pb isotopes have different mobility in different environmental matrixes. Whereas in the pedosphere, the heavier Pb (208Pb) usually shows stronger mobility relative to the lighter Pb, and is more likely to transfer into soil exchangeable Pb fraction and carbonates phase. The lighter Pb shows stronger transfer ability from soil to cereal grain via root compared to the heavier Pb. However, the cereal grains have lower 206Pb/207Pb and higher 208Pb/206Pb ratios than root and tillage soil, similar to the airborne Pb and anthropogenic Pb, implying that a considerable amount of Pb in cereal grains comes from the atmosphere. The estimate model shows that 16.7–52.6% (average: 33.5%) of Pb in rice grain is the airborne Pb.