The suitability of a reference element or normalizer used in assessing soil contamination levels using enrichment factor (EF) is important for soil quality assessment and monitoring. This study evaluated the results of using three reference elements Ti, Fe, and Zr for EF determination of Rb and Sr in soils within treated wastewater discharge vicinity, Central Botswana. The upper continental crust (UCC), world average values (WAV), and the local background values (LBV) were used in EF assessment of eight pedons. The elemental concentrations of the soils were determined with portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzer. Relationships between the elements were strongly significant between Rb and Ti (r = 0.600, p < 0.01), Rb and Fe (r = 0.735, p < 0.01), Sr and Ti (r = 0.545, p < 0.01), and Sr and Fe (r = 0.841, p < 0.01). Second-level correlation analysis between contamination factor (CF) and EF levels showed Zr as the best reference element for Rb and Sr in the soils. Results from this study provide baseline knowledge necessary for contamination assessment and monitoring of soils with similar environmental conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law