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Elements in North American Soils, Second Edition

by James Dragun and Khaled Chekiri


US $34.95, 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.

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