The geochemical composition of bedrock is the key feature determining elemental concentrations in soil, followed by anthropogenic factors that have less impact. Concerning the latter, harmful effects on the trophic chain are increasingly affecting people living in and around urban areas. In the study area of the present survey, the municipalities of Cosenza and Rende (Calabria, southern Italy), topsoil were collected and analysed for 25 elements by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in order to discriminate the different possible sources of elemental concentrations and define soil quality status. Statistical and geostatistical methods were applied to monitoring the concentrations of major oxides and minor elements, while the Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) algorithm was used for unsupervised grouping. Results show that seven clusters were identified—(I) Cr, Co, Fe, V, Ti, Al;(II) Ni, Na;(III) Y, Zr, Rb;(IV) Si, Mg, Ba;(V) Nb, Ce, La;(VI) Sr, P, Ca;(VII) As, Zn, Pb—according to soil elemental associations, which are controlled by chemical and mineralogical factors of the study area parent material and by soil-forming processes, but with some exceptions linked to anthropogenic input.
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