This study investigates the geochemical characteristics and genesis of selenium (Se) in the soil in Xuancheng City, Anhui Province using the samples of surface and deep soil collected through a 1:250 000 multi-purpose geochemical survey. The results are as follows. The Se content in the surface soil in Xuancheng City is (0.12~8.80)×10-6, with an average of 0.44×10-6. Se-sufficient and Se-rich soils are widely distributed in the study area, accounting for 61.90% and 35.63%, respectively. Se-rich soils are mainly distributed in the Ningdun Town in Ningguo City-Fulingtown in Jixi County, Yangong Town in Jingxian County-Baikeshu area in Xuanzhou District, Chencun Village-Chikeng Mountain in Jingxian County, and Xinhang Town in Guangde County. The Se content in the soil is mainly controlled by parent rocks and soil-forming parent materials. Se content is high in soils in the distribution areas of carbonaceous shale and carbonaceous siliceous mudstones, such as the SinianLantian Formation and Cambrian Hetang and Yangliugang formations, as well as Permian, Triassic, Carboniferous, Cambrian, and Ordovician limestone distribution area. In contrast, Se content is low in Yanshanian intermediate-acid intrusive rocks and Quaternary distribution area. In terms of soil-forming parent materials, Se content is higher in soils with parent materials of carbonate, light clastic rocks, and epimetamorphic rocks than that in soils with parent materials of Late Pleistocene loess, alluvium, and acid rocks. In terms of soil type, Se content is higher in limestone soil, skeleton soil, stonysoil, and red soil than paddy soil, yellow-cinnamon soil, and fluvo-aquic soil. Se content in soil is correlated closely with physicochemical indices, such as V, Cd, Ba, Ag, Zn, Mo, U, Ni, Sb, P, S, and organic matter. Meanwhile, total Se content is correlated closely with bioavailable Se content. Furthermore, all the 47 rice samples collected in the study area are rich in selenium, with a selenium accumulation rate of 100%. However, tea and maize are not rich in Se, and some types of vegetables are rich in Se. Therefore, different types of crops have different absorption capacities of Se in the soil.
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