In this study, 500 bottom soils and 7300 topsoils samples were collected to determine the major elements concentrations and to evaluate the correspondence of soil chemical contents and the local geology and to better identify background values. The <2 mm fraction of each sample was analysed for a total of 52 elements combining ICP-MS and ICP-ES techniques. This study focuses on the concentration and distribution of major elements: Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P and Ti. A combined methodological approach, which involved compositional data analysis, multifractal data interpolation, as well as enrichment factor analysis, was applied to the geochemical dataset. Results indicate that the compositional approach in the multivariate data analysis allows to better interpret the behaviour of elements in natural environment and in geochemical processes as compared to raw data and to improve the quality of related maps. The study has shown that the soils of the Campania region generally contain higher concentrations of investigated major elements than those assessed for European and Italian agricultural soils. In Campania, both bottom soils and topsoils contain higher concentrations of Al, K, Na, P and Ti in volcanic areas. Limestone and dolostone are responsible for higher Ca and Mg contents, while soils formed on siliciclastic deposits generally contain higher levels of Fe and Mn. P and Na concentrations are higher in volcanic soils, but the contribution of fertilizers, which is evident in some areas, should not be underestimated. Weathering processes play an essential role in the distribution of elements in soils, and this appears very evident mostly in volcanic areas. The observations are consistent with the results of the enrichment factors analysis.
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