Geografie 2008, 113, 253-268

Trace elements in soils in the northern and the central Tian-shan (Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan)

Luděk Šefrna1, Franco Previtali2, Roberto Comolli2, Davide Cantelli2, Mirjana Zdravkovič3

1Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43, Praha 2, Czechia
2Department of Environmental and Territorial Sciences, Earth Sciences - Geopedology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126 Milano, Italy
3Institute of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, Nemanjina 6, 11080 Zemun, Yugoslavia

The present paper examines and compares heavy metal contents in soils from two altitudinal sequences in the northern and the central Tian-Shan mountains. The soil horizons of 11 sites were described, sampled, analysed, interpreted and classified. Results show that pedological processes similar to those responsible for the development of steppe chernozems are active even at very high elevations. This is probably in part due to the presence of blankets of aeolian silt deposited recently and in the past. In order to verify the degree of accumulation and possible ecotoxicity, the distribution and mobility of Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn, Pb, and Ni within soil profiles were checked. Relationships among elements and other pedological parameters, such as organic carbon content, pH, texture, etc., were investigated. Lastly, the possible risk of contamination was assessed.