Central Nile Valley agriculture soil content and distribution of rare earth elements (REEs), Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


1 Geological sciences department, National Research Centre

2 Geological Sciences Dept., National Research Centre

3 Geology Dept, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Assiut branch

4 National Research Centre


The Nile Valley hosted the world's oldest civilizations because of the quality of the agricultural soil and the waters of the Nile River. Despite the importance of the Egyptian agricultural soil, there is a scarcity of information about its chemical and mineral composition. Therefore, this research is concerned with the soil content of rare earth elements (REEs), as it has become one of the elements with a harmful effect and considered emerging contaminants. The concentration of only 6 REEs were recorded in the agricultural soil of Assiut Governorate; Sc, Y, La, Ce, Sm and Nd with concentrations 26.6, 22.2, 33, 62.2, 8 and 30.6 µg/g, respectively. However, the average REEs (182.6 µg/g) was higher than the upper continental crust (179.4 µg/g), world soil (145.3 µg/g), Chinese soil background (163.86 µg/g). This indicates the enrichment of the Egyptian soil with these elements. This enrichment may be due to the nature of the source rocks or the applied fertilizers. Where phosphate fertilizers (rich in elements) are applied frequently to improve soil productivity.


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