Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Mbe et al

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (5), pp. 412-416, May 2013.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 042413584


Experimental Investigation of Mercury Distribution in Polluted  Soils of  Owerri Area, Southeastern Nigeria


 Mbe J.O.1, Onyekwere I.N.1, Ano A.O.1, Onweremadu E.U.2* and Chukwu L.I.1


1Soil Science Laboratory, National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike.

2Department of Soil Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria.


*Corresponding Author’s Email: uzomaonweremadu @ yahoo. com


Mercury is a neurotoxic heavy metal, found in some polluted soils. A soil survey of Nekede mechanic village in Owerri area, Southeastern Nigeria polluted with automobile wastes was conducted. A transect was cut from the automobile service station outwards to link soils affected by automobile activities. Two profile pits, representing polluted and non-polluted sites were dug, described and sampled for laboratory analysis. Soil samples were collected based on differences in pedogenic horizons. The soil samples were analyzed in the laboratory for physical and chemical properties. Results of the physical properties showed that the bulk density of the soils ranged from 1.48-1.57 g cm-3, clay fraction ranged from 6-32 %, Silt fraction ranged from 2.0 to 8.0 % while sand fraction ranged from 62-80 %. Soil reaction ranged from 4.7 to 5.8, organic carbon ranged from 2 to 2.5 %, total nitrogen ranged from 2 to 23g/kg, CEC ranged from 2.9 to 6.9 cmol kg-1 and Hg ranged from 0.22 to 1.88 mg kg-1. The soil organic carbon, total nitrogen and mercury content of the soil decreased down the profile, while the bulk density increased down the profile.
Keywords: Coastal Plain Sands, Mercury, Pedon, Pollution, Tropical soils.

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