Lalor, Gerald C.; Vutchkov, Mitko K
Author Affiliation, Ana.
International Centre for Environment and Nuclear Sciences
Essential elements in Jamaican soils part 2: Cobalt
Jamaican Journal of Science and Technology
Date of Publication
12 and 13
The distribution of cobalt in Jamaican soils island-wide at a sample density of 1 in 64 km2, shows a range of 4.7-105 mg kg-1, and a mean of 28 mg kg-1. The higher values are found mainly in central Jamaica, and are significantly greater than those reported for contaminated soils worldwide. In the absence of anthropogenic sources these are presumed to be a consequence of the natural geochemistry of the country. The soil cobalt concentrations island-wide are well correlated with Al, Fe, (R2 > 0.7) less well so with As, Mn, Th, V, Cr, Ti, Zn, Sb (R2 = 0.47 - 0.38) but poorly with Cu, frequently occurs in cobalt ores. At the more intensive sampling density of one sample in 4 km2 in the parishes of St. Elizabeth and Manchester the range and mean were 1-112 mg kg-1 and 34 mg kg-1 respectively. The soils generally contain adequate amounts of this essential element for proper animal nutrition, and cobalt deficiency in farm animals ought not to be a problem but in some areas the high cobalt concentrations could contribute to deficiencies in other metals. Geochemical maps based on these data allow prediction of cobalt concentrations at any arbitrary point within the two parishes, with an accuracy of about ±50%. Such maps should be useful in land use planning for agriculture. The cobalt concentrations in 54 samples of a range of foods (condiments, fruits, root crops and vegetables), grown in St. Elizabeth and Manchester, appear higher than similar values reported in the United Kingdom, but insufficient data are now available to quantitatively examine the food/soil relationships for this element.....