Major- and trace-element concentrations in soils from two continental-scale transects of the United States and Canada

Open-File Report 2005-1253

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This report contains major- and trace-element concentration data for soil samples collected from 265 sites along two continental-scale transects in North America. One of the transects extends from northern Manitoba to the United States-Mexico border near El Paso, Tex. and consists of 105 sites. The other transect approximately follows the 38th parallel from the Pacific coast of the United States near San Francisco, Calif., to the Atlantic coast along the Maryland shore and consists of 160 sites. Sampling sites were defined by first dividing each transect into approximately 40-km segments. For each segment, a 1-km-wide latitudinal strip was randomly selected; within each strip, a potential sample site was selected from the most representative landscape within the most common soil type. At one in four sites, duplicate samples were collected 10 meters apart to estimate local spatial variability. At each site, up to four separate soil samples were collected as follows: (1) material from 0-5 cm depth; (2) O horizon, if present; (3) a composite of the A horizon; and (4) C horizon. Each sample collected was analyzed for total major- and trace-element composition by the following methods: (1) inductively coupled plasmamass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICPAES) for aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, bismuth, cadmium, calcium, cerium, cesium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, indium, iron, lanthanum, lead, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, scandium, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tellurium, thallium, thorium, tin, titanium, tungsten, uranium, vanadium, yttrium, and zinc; (2) cold vapor- atomic absorption spectrometry for mercury; (3) hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry for antimony and selenium; (4) coulometric titration for carbonate carbon; and (5) combustion for total carbon and total sulfur.

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Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Major- and trace-element concentrations in soils from two continental-scale transects of the United States and Canada
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Version 1.0
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Minnesota Water Science Center
ii, 20 p.
Canada, United States
Online Only (Y/N):
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