Friday, 14 July 2006

Fluorine and Some Associated Elements in Termite Mounds from the Endemic Fluorosis Region of Talupula, Ananatapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

A. Nagaraju, S V University, Department of Geology, Andhra Pradesh, India and A. Swathi, Sree Vidyaniketan Engg. College (JNT University), A. Rangampet, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Talupula area lies in Anantapur District in the southwestern region of Andhra Pradesh state. The important geological formations in this area are granites, gneisses and schistose rocks of Archaeans. The entire source of fluoride in the natural water can be traced to the occurrence of fluorine-rich granitic rocks and soils derived from these rocks. Termite mounds are among the most conspicuous figures of many tropical ecosystems. Termites process considerable quantities of material in their mound building activities, strongly influencing the soil properties as compared to surrounding soils. In the study area, the termites build conspicuous earthen mounds that are found in various topographical conditions, viz., plains, valleys, slopes, and tops of high altitude and on the bunds of agricultural lands. They are conical, elongate, bald, rounded and irregular. The termites penetrate through the fissures and fractures of the sub surface geological formations, carry mineral particles and ground water for the construction of their mounds and to maintain high relative humidity. About ten pairs of termite soil and adjacent surface soil samples were collected analysed for F, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cr and Ni. From this analytical data, it may be seen that the accumulation of these elements have been concentrated in more amounts in termite soils than the adjacent surface soils. Fluorine concentration is ranged from 6.4 ppm to 11.5 ppm in termite affected soils. Further, it may be noted that mound-building termites and their associated microorganisms control the translocation of different elements, there by playing a significant role in the biogeochemical cycling of elements in the tropics.

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