Barnett, C.L. et al

Elemental concentrations (Ca, Cs, K, Mg, Sr) in a range of crops and associated soils from the UK and Spain

Data comprise elemental concentrations of Ca, Cs, K, Mg, Sr, NH4-N and NPOC (Non-Purgeable Organic Carbon) measured by ICPMS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), ICPOES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy) or high temperature combustion catalytic oxidation. Samples include a range of freeze-dried crops (grass, radish, potato, strawberry, lettuce, courgette, chard) relevant to the human food chain, soil, soil pore waters and irrigation water. All samples were obtained following two plant growth studies conducted at CEH Lancaster during spring/summer 2018 and 2019 and a study conducted at the University of Extremadura (Cáceres) in the summer of 2018.

The study was conducted as part of the CONFIDENCE project which is part of the CONCERT EJP, which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 662287.

Publication date: 2019-12-03

Get the data

This dataset will be available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the dataset : Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Barnett, C.L.; Wells, C. ; Beresford, N.A.; Guillén, J.; Gómez Polo, F.M.; Thacker, S.; Lawlor, A.J.; Keenan, P.O. (2019). Elemental concentrations (Ca, Cs, K, Mg, Sr) in a range of crops and associated soils from the UK and Spain. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.



Study area
Temporal extent
2018-03-01    to    2019-07-31

Provenance & quality

Prior to analysis crop samples were freeze-dried, re-weighed and then finely ground (<2mm, using either an agate mill or a pestle and mortar); soil samples were air (~20 oC) or oven dried (~60 oC) prior to being finely ground (<2mm, using an agate mill).
In preparation for ICMPS/ICPOES analysis the finely ground soil and crop samples were re-weighed and digested in aqua regia reagent (3:1 mixture of concentrated HNO3 and HCl ‘Aristar’ grade acids) at 175°C for 12 minutes using a microwave digestion system (CEM, MarsXpress). A second sub-sample of the soil samples was also extracted using 0.1M BaCl2 followed by centrifugation (see Lofts et al. 2001. Filtered (0.45 µm pore size) and acidified (1% v/v HNO3, ultra-pure) pore waters and irrigation waters were analysed directly. All samples were then diluted 100-fold prior to analyses. Analysis of the digests, extracts and pore waters was conducted by ICPMS for Cs and Sr (Perkin Elmer, NeXION 300D) or ICPOES for Ca, K and Mg (Perkin Elmer, Optima 7300 DV).
ICPMS and ICPOES quantitative measurements were made using external calibration after spiking the digests with 10 µg l-1 Ga, In and Re as internal standards to compensate for instrumental drift and matrix effects. ICPMS and ICPOES instrument limits of detection (LOD) were calculated by using the mean and three standard deviation measurements for the digestion reagent blank. Total method LODs for each element were then calculated to take account the sample mass and the dilution arising from the digestion procedure.
A Shimadzu TOC-L analyser, equipped with a TNM-L module, was used to measure NPOC. Before analysis, samples were acidified with 1M HCl and then purged with Zero grade air for six minutes to remove any inorganic carbon. The sample was then injected into the analyser and the remaining carbon, as NPOC, measured by combustion at 720°C, with a catalyst, which converted all carbon to carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide was measured by an infra-red detector.
Data were recorded into Microsoft Excel workbooks from laboratory notebooks and instrument reports. A proportion of the data (approximately 20%) has been validated by somebody other than the person making the initial entry.

Correspondence/contact details

Cath Barnett
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg
United Kingdom


Barnett, C.L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Wells, C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Beresford, N.A.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Guillén, J.
LARUEX, University of Extremadura
Gómez Polo, F.M.
LARUEX, University of Extremadura
Thacker, S.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lawlor, A.J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Keenan, P.O.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biota , Environment
Chard,  Courgette,  Element,  Environmental survey Grass,  Human Food Chain,  ICPMS,  ICPOES,  Lettuce,  NH4-N,  NPOC,  Plant Growth Study,  Pore water,  Potato,  Radioecology Radish,  Soil Soil,  Strawberry
European Union’s Horizon 2020 Award: No 662287
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated
04 December 2019 12:03