Elemental quantification, chemistry, and source apportionment in golf course facilities in a semi-arid urban landscape using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer
- 1Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
- 2Soils, Water and Environment Research Institute (SWERI), Agricultural Research Center (ARC), Giza, Egypt
- 3Department of Land, Water, and Environment, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
Abstract. This study extends the application of the portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry to the examination of elements in semi-arid urban landscapes of the Southern High Plains (SHP) of the United States, focusing on golf courses. The complex environmental challenges of this region and the unique management practices at golf course facilities could lead to differences in concentration and in the chemistry of elements between managed (irrigated) and non-managed (non-irrigated) portions of these facilities. Soil samples were collected at depths of 0–10, 10–20, and 20–30 cm from managed and non-managed areas of seven different facilities in the city of Lubbock, Texas, and analyzed for a suite of soil properties. Total elemental quantification was conducted using a PXRF spectrometer. Findings mostly indicated no significant differences in the concentration of examined elements between the managed and non-managed areas of the facilities. However, strong positive relationships (R = 0.82−0.91, p < 0.001) were observed among elements (e.g., Fe on the one hand and Cr, Mn, Ni, and As on the other; Cu and Zn; As and Cr) and between these elements and soil constituents or properties such as clay, calcium carbonate, organic matter, and pH. The strengths of these relationships were mostly higher in the non-managed areas, suggesting a possible alteration in the chemistry of these elements by anthropogenic influences in the managed areas. Principal component and correlation analyses within the managed areas suggested that As, Cr, Fe, Mn, and Ni could be of lithogenic origin, while Cu, Pb, and Zn could have anthropogenic influences. Only one possible, likely lithogenic, source of the elements was identified within the non-managed areas. As evidenced by the study, the PXRF spectrometer can be a valuable tool for elemental quantification and rapid investigation of elemental interaction and source apportionment in semi-arid climates.