The use of FPXRF in the determinations of selected trace elements in historic mining soils in the Holy Cross Mts., south-central Poland

Zdzisław Migaszewski, Agnieszka Gałuszka, Sabina Dołęgowska


In this study, concentrations of As, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn were determined in 231 samples of mine soils and spoils by field portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF), and by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) as a comparison method. The use of both spectrometric methods allows for comparison of the total and aqua regia-extractable contents of elements. The study areas encompassed three historic metal-ore mining sites and one abandoned mine tailings site in the Holy Cross Mountains, in south-central Poland. Sample collection in these areas, which are characterized by various bedrock mineralogy and lithology and different anthropogenic impacts, enabled us to test the FPXRF performance for a wide range of element concentrations. The results of FPXRF and ICP-MS determinations were found to be significantly correlated with the highest r2 (coefficient of determination) value of 0.987–0.991 for Pb, irrespective of the soil mineralogy, bedrock lithology or concentration levels of this element. Overall, the FPXRF showed excellent performance in determining selected trace elements in contaminated soils.


historic mining sites; mine soils; trace metals; FPXRF; ICP-MS

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