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Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2002 year, number 1

Mercury in the Soils of the Usolye Industrial Region (upper Angara Region)



Pedological-geochemical studies have been carried out in the zone of influence of the Usolye industrial unit - "Usolyekhimprom", a powerful source of technogenous emission of mercury into the environment - is situated. The degree of mercury contamination  of adjacent soils of the left bank of the Bratsk reservoir has been investigated. Patterns of lateral and vertical distribution of mercury in soils of auto-and hydromorphic genesis have been established.  In order to elucidate the degree of anthropogenous transformation of soil properties, the group fraction humus composition has been established with direct estimation of mercury in humic acid extracts. Changes in the fraction composition of the soil humus system have been found, the maximal variation of the mercury/carbon ratio being found in the third fraction of humic acids which is the most strongly attached to the mineral part of the soil and possesses a high sorption capacity for mercury.