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A method for the estimation of copper in soils and its application in British Columbia Clark, John Stitt

Abstract

The dithizone titration technique devised by Grubitsch and Sinigoj was adapted for the determination of total and available copper in soils. The proposed procedure was short and simple and its accuracy when tested by recovering copper added to soils and solutions was found to be satisfactory. The proposed procedure was used to determine total copper in the surface soils and parent materials of 38 uncultivated soil profiles from the Peace River Area, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the central and southern Interior of British Columbia. The total copper content of the soils ranged from 12 to 98 p.p.m. Considerable variation was noted in soils from the same geographic area and no overall trends could be noted between the four areas. The total copper content of the soils compares favorably with those reported for other countries. Copper extracted with 0.1N hydrochloric acid from a number of soils from the Fraser Valley was determined by the dithizone method. The acid extractable copper ranged from 0.65 to 2.72 p.p.m. Total copper was determined in the horizons of two soil profiles from the Fraser Valley, three from Vancouver Island and four from the Peace River Area. It was noted that soil development had a marked influence on the distribution of copper in the profiles. In the brown podsolic coastal soils podsolization resulted in a significant and consistent removal of copper from the A and B horizons. In the northern podsols the element was strongly leached from the A₂ and slightly from the B₁ horizons while it was accumulated in the A₀₋₁ and retained in the B₂ horizons. Copper was accumulated in the A₁ and B₂ horizons of the degraded black profiles and removal was restricted to the A₂ horizons. Poorer drainage position in the coastal soils favoured a greater retention of copper in the solum. The reverse was true in the Peace River profiles.

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