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Elements in North American Soils, Second Edition, 1-884940-33-1
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by James Dragun and Khaled Chekiri
2005, 274 pp. ISBN: 1-884940-33-1

The amount of literature and data on the subject of element concentrations in soils is extensive. Data on background element concentrations in soils from specific geographic regions is scattered throughout many different journals and government documents. This book updates the data presented in the book titled “Elements in North American Soils” (Dragun J and Chiasson A, 1991). The tables presented in this book summarize background concentrations for 84 elements that were published in 144 technical publications and books. The authors reviewed over 300 papers and books related to background concentrations of elements in soil. Each paper and book was reviewed to ensure that the background concentrations that were reported for a particular element represent background concentrations in that particular locality and were not influenced by anthropogenic (i.e., man made) contributions. If the paper or book did not contain this statement, these data were omitted from consideration. This book does not deal with detailed discussions of soil chemistry or the theory of element behavior in soils; these subjects are well treated elsewhere (Adriono, 1986; Dixon and Weed, 1989; Dragun, 1998). This book begins with a discussion of soils and soil formation along with some basic concepts and general principles helpful in understanding the data presented in the tables. For more detailed discussions of soils and soil formation processes, the reader is directed to other works including Singer and Munns (1991), Dixon and Weed (1989), and Dragun (1998). It should be emphasized that the data presented in this book are for comparison purposes only and should not necessarily replace rigorously developed state or regulatory requirements regarding the development of site-specific background concentrations of a particular element in soil. However, we do hope this book serves the particular needs of the reader and helps to save time and money by providing a baseline for comparing what is the “normal” concentration of a particular element in soil.