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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #250918

Title: Preliminary study on using rare earth elements to trace non-point source phosphorous loss

item Liang, Tao - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item Kleinman, Peter

Submitted to: Society of Environmental Geochemistry and Health International Conference O
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: The environmental fate of phosphorus (P) is of concern as P is a primary cause of freshwater eutrophication. Rare earth elements (REEs) have been successfully used in the analysis of soil erosion and pollutant sources, as well as in the analysis of mineral genesis. To better understand the potential for REE use in tracing non-point sources of P, we examined the combined fate of REEs and P in Chinese soils amended with REEs and documented the formation of REE-P compounds. Laboratory leaching experiments and artificial simulated rainfall experiments were conducted. Vertical leaching transfers of REEs and P were relatively small, with transport depths less than 6 cm for most REEs and P. Export of applied REEs in leachate accounted for less than 5% of inputs. The vertical mobility order of REEs and P in Chinese soils was greatest for purple soil, followed by terra nera soil, then red soil, followed by cinnamon soil, and finally loess soil. Losses of rare earth elements and P in surface runoff exhibited a parabolic relationship to simulated rainfall intensity. With greater exogenous La application, the amount of water soluble P, bicarbonate-extractable P and hydroxide-extractable P decreased significantly, while acid-extractable and residual forms of P increased significantly. Results suggest a new use of REEs as amendments to minimize non-point source pollution and as tracers of particulate P.