An Integrated Geochemical and Mineralogical Approach for the Evaluation of Zn Distribution in Long-Term Sludge-Amended Soil


This research work was designed to compare the Zn distribution in a long-term sludge-amended soil with that in a control soil. Two complementary approaches were performed: 1) a geochemical approach at the metric scale of the bulk soil horizons and 2) a mineralogical approach at the micrometric scale of the primary minerals weathering microsites. The geochemical approach revealed that Zn in the control soil was inherited from the weathering parent-rock. Its concentration was always lower than in the amended soil where Zn was supplied at the surface by the spread sludges and moves downwards. The mineralogical approach showed that the clay minerals, produced by the weathering of the primary minerals (amphiboles and plagioclases), or filling the fissure network were made up of smectites (saponite and montmorillonite) at the bottom and kaolinite at the top of the two soil profiles. Each clay mineral, with its specific sorption capacity, controlled the Zn distribution within the soil: the smectites produced by the amphiboles had high sorption capacity and favored Zn retention in the upper horizons of the soil. Conversely, the kaolinites produced by the plagioclases had lower sorption capacity, did not retain Zn in the surface horizons, and allowed it to migrate to deeper horizons where it was sorbed onto the montmorillonites.

Share and Cite:

Proust, D. (2015) An Integrated Geochemical and Mineralogical Approach for the Evaluation of Zn Distribution in Long-Term Sludge-Amended Soil. Open Journal of Soil Science, 5, 251-265. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2015.511024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Planquart, P., Bonin, G., Prone, A. and Massiani, C. (1999) Distribution, Movement and Plant Availability of Trace Metals in Soils Amended with Sewage Sludge Compost: Application to Low Metal Loadings. Science of the Total Environment, 241, 161-179.
[2] Baize, D. and Sterckeman, T. (2001) Of the Necessity of Knowledge of the Natural Pedo-Geochemical Background Content in the Evaluation of the Contamination of Soils by Trace Elements. Science of the Total Environment, 264, 127-139.
[3] Horckmans, L., Swennen, R., Deckers, J. and Maquil, R. (2005) Local Background Concentrations of Trace Elements in Soils: A Case Study in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Catena, 59, 279-304.
[4] Sterckeman, T., Douay, F., Baize, D., Fourier, H., Proix, N. and Schvartz, C. (2006) Trace Elements in Soils Developed in Sedimentary Materials from Northern France. Geoderma, 136, 912-929.
[5] Huang, B., Kuo, S. and Bembenek, R. (2004) Availability of Cadmium in Some Phosphorous Fertilizer s to Field-Grown Lettuce. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 158, 37-51.
[6] Mbila, M.O., Thompson, M.L., Mbagwu, J.S.C. and Laird, D.A. (2001) Distribution and Movement of Sludge-Derived Trace Metals in Selected Nigerian Soils. Journal of Environmental Quality, 30, 1667-1674.
[7] Hernandez, L., Probst, A., Probst, J.L. and Ulrich, E. (2003) Heavy Metal Distribution in Some French Forest Soil: Evidence for Atmospheric Contamination. Science of the Total Environment, 312, 195-219.
[8] Kraepiel, A.M.L., Keller, K. and Morel, F.M.M. (1999) A Model for Metal Adsorption on Montmorillonite. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 210, 43-54.
[9] Srivastava, P., Singh, B. and Angove, M. (2005) Competitive Adsorption Behavior of Heavy Metals on Kaolinite. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 290, 28-38.
[10] Zhu, J., Cozzolino, V., Pigna, M., Huang, Q., Caporale, A.G. and Violante, A. (2011) Sorption of Cu, Pb and Cr on Na-Montmorillonite: Competition and Effect of Major Elements. Chemosphere, 84, 484–489.
[11] Farrah, H., Hatton, D. and Pickering, W.F. (1980) The Affinity of Metal Ions for Clay Surfaces. Chemical Geology, 28, 55-68.
[12] Wahba, M.M. and Zaghloul, A.M. (2007) Adsorption Characteristics of Some Heavy Metals by Some Soil Minerals. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 3, 421-426.
[13] Wilson, M.J. (2004) Weathering of the Primary Rock-Forming Minerals: Processes, Products and Rates. Clay Minerals, 39, 233-266.
[14] Caillaud, J., Proust, D. and Righi, D. (2006) Weathering Sequences of Rock-Forming Minerals in a Serpentinite: Influence of Microsystems on Clay Mineralogy. Clays and Clay Minerals, 54, 87-100.
[15] Proust, D., Caillaud, J. and Fontaine, C. (2006) Clay Minerals in Early Amphibole Weathering: Trito Dioctahedral Sequence as a Function of Crystallization Sites in the Amphibole. Clays and Clay Minerals, 54, 351-362.
[16] Keller, C., McGrath, S.P. and Dunham, S.J. (2002) Trace Metal Leaching through a Soil-Grassland System after Sewage Sludge Application. Journal of Environmental Quality, 31, 1550-1560.
[17] Martinez Cortizas, A., Garcia-Rodeja Gayoso, E., Novoa Munoz, J.C., Pontevedra Pombal, X., Burman, P. and Terribile, F. (2003) Distribution of Some Selected Major and Trace Elements in Four Italian Soils Developed from the Deposits of the Gauro and Vico Volcanoes. Geoderma, 117, 215-224.
[18] Atteia, O., Thélin, P., Pfeifer, H.R., Dubois, J.P. and Hunziker, J.C. (1995) A Search for the Origin of Cadmium in the Soil of the Swiss Jura. Geoderma, 68, 149-172.
[19] Hardy, M. and Cornu, S. (2006) Location of Natural Trace Elements in Silty Soils Using Particle-Size Fractionation. Geoderma, 133, 295-308.
[20] Camuti, K.S. and McGuire, P.T. (1999) Preparation of Polished Thin Sections from Poorly Consolidated Regolith and Sediment Materials. Sedimentary Geology, 128, 171-178.
[21] Fialin, M., Rémy, H., Richard, C. and Wagner, C. (1999) Trace Element Analysis with the Electron Microprobe: New Data and Perspectives. American Mineralogist, 84, 70-77.
[22] Baize, D. (1997) Teneurs totales en Eléments Traces métalliques dans les sols (France). INRA, Paris, 408 p.
[23] Scokart, P.O., Meeus-Verdinne, K. and De Borger, R. (1983) Mobility of Heavy Metals in Polluted Soils. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 20, 451-463.
[24] Arslan, M., Abdioglu, E. and Kadi, S. (2010) Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Origin of Bentonite in Upper Cretaceous Pyroclastic Units of the Tirebolu Area, Giresun, Northeast Turkey. Clays and Clay Minerals, 58, 120-141.
[25] Karakaya, M.C., Karakaya, N. and Kupeli, S. (2011) Mineralogical and Geochemical Properties of the Na- and Ca-Bentonites of Ordu (NE Turkey). Clays and Clay Minerals, 59, 75-94.
[26] Jeong, G.Y. (2000) The Dependence of Localized Crystallization of Halloysite and Kaolinite on Primary Minerals in the Weathering Profile of Granite. Clays and Clay Minerals, 48, 196-203.
[27] Papoulis, D., Tsolis-Katagas, P. and Katagas, C. (2004) Progressive Stages in the Formation of Kaolin Minerals of Different Morphologies in the Weathering of Plagioclase. Clays and Clay Minerals, 52, 275-286.
[28] Coles, C.A. and Yong, R.N. (2002) Aspects of Kaolinite Characterization and Retention of Pb and Cd. Applied Clay Science, 22, 39-45.
[29] Eloussaief, M. and Benzina, M. (2010) Efficiency of Natural and Acid-Activated Clays in the Removal of Pb(II) from Aqueous Solutions. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 178, 753-757.
[30] Farrah, H. and Pickering, W.F. (1977) Influence of Clay-Solute Interactions on Aqueous Heavy Metal Ion Levels. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 8, 189-197.
[31] Veli, S. and Alyüz, B. (2007) Adsorption of Copper and Zinc from Aqueous Solutions by Using Natural Clay. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 149, 226-233.
[32] Kirkham, M.B. (2006) Cadmium in Plants on Polluted Soils: Effects of Soil Factors, Hyperaccumulation, and Amendments. Geoderma, 137, 19-32.
[33] Ayari, F., Srasra, E. and Trabelsi-Ayadi, M. (2005) Characterization of Bentonitic Clays and Their Use as Adsorbent. Desalination, 185, 391-397.
[34] Srodon, J. and McCarty, D.K. (2008) Surface Area and Layer Charge of Smectite from CEC and EGME/H2O-Retention Measurements. Clays and Clay Minerals, 56, 155-174.
[35] Ferris, A.P. and Jepson, W.B. (1975) The Exchange Capacities of Kaolinite and the Preparation of Homoionic Clays. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 51, 245-259.
[36] Ma, C. and Eggleton, R.A. (1999) Cation Exchange Capacity of Kaolinite. Clays and Clay Minerals, 47, 174-180.
[37] Hizal, J. and Apak, R. (2006) Modeling of Copper (II) and Lead (II) Adsorption on Kaolinite-Based Clay Minerals Individually and in the Presence of Humic Acid. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 295, 1-13.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.