This study aimed at establishing the spatial distribution of iron (Fe) in soils and vegetation cover within the periphery of the Kgwakgwe Manganese (Mn) oxides ore abandoned mine in Botswana. Four hundred soil samples and two hundred vegetation samples were obtained from a 4 km2 area close to the mine. Determination of Fe concentrations after acid digestion of samples was performed using an atomic absorption spectrometer equipped with a deuterium background correction. Tests for soil pH and soil colour were complementary to soil chemical analysis. Results were processed using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) techniques with integrated Land and Water Information System (ILWIS), Geosoft Oasis Montaj, ArcGIS and Microsoft Excel software packages. Concentrations of Fe in soils was from 1116.59 to 870766.00 μg g-1 with a mean of 17593.52 μg g-1 and for leaves, levels were from 101.2 to 3758.09 μg g-1 with a mean of 637.07 μg g-1. Soil pH values ranged from 2.92 to 7.26 and soil colour shades ranged from yellowish red to very dark grey. Gridded soils and vegetation maps show Fe anomalies in different parts of the study area. Values were low in areas located at the mine workings and in the Northwestern part of the study area and high in the north and southern part. Where concentrations of Fe were high in soils, correspondingly high figures were obtained for vegetation cover. Similar trends were obtained for soil pH distribution in the study area. Bedrock geology, topography, Mn mineralization, soil acidity and prevailing oxidizing conditions were governing factors that influenced the concentration and spatial distribution of Fe in the soils and vegetation. The findings further confirm that Fe distribution and its chemistry in the soils and environment around the Kgwakgwe abandoned Mn oxides ore mine have affected the vegetation cover. PDFFulltextXMLReferencesCitation
How to cite this article
Georges Ivo E. Ekosse, 2008. Spatial Distribution of Iron in Soils and Vegetation Cover Close to an Abandoned Manganese Oxide Ore Mine, Botswana. Journal of Applied Sciences, 8: 14-25.