Mbe et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 3 (5), pp. 412-416, May 2013.
ISSN: 2276-7770 © 2011 Greener Journals
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.