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Factors and features of the hydrocarbon status of soils

Gennadiev, A. N., Pikovskii, Yu. I., Zhidkin, A. P., Kovach, R. G., Koshovskii, T. S., Smirnova, M. A., Khlynina, N. I., Tsibart, A. S.
Eurasian soil science 2015 v.48 no.11 pp. 1193-1206
forests, hexane, humus, landscapes, oil fields, parent rock, pollutants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, soil air, soil formation, soil sampling, steppes, Russia
The hydrocarbon status (HCS) of soils has been characterized using a set of quantitative parameters, which can be obtained in the routine laboratory studies of soil samples. This is a general quantitative and qualitative characterization of hexane bitumoids and individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons prevailing in natural objects. Field survey of soil air has been performed in order to determine the composition and content of gaseous hydrocarbons. The features and factors of soil HCS formation have been studied in soils of eight key sites in forest, steppe, and dry-steppe landscapes of European Russia. Along with zonal diversity, the presence of any local anomalous natural or technogenic factor capable of affecting the soil HCS (gas emanations from the deep lithosphere, specific parent rocks, pollutant fallout from the atmosphere, confinement to an oil field, etc.) has been used as the criterion of their selection. It has been shown that, just as the humus and salt statuses of soils have become their important integrated characteristics, so the study of soil HCS allows reaching a new level of knowledge of the nature of soils and their processes. The parameters of soil HCS adequately reflect the features of bioclimatic and topolithological factors of pedogenesis, the properties of soils, and the level of technogenic impact on the soil cover. Accumulation of new factual data and refinement of soil-geographical studies are necessary for more thorough study of soil HCS.