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Geochemical atlas of European agricultural and grazing land soil (GEMAS Project)

By Clemens Reimann, Manfred Birke, Alecos Demetriades and Christopher C. Johnson

Abstract

The geochemical atlas of agricultural and grazing land soils (GEMAS) is a collaborative project of the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group and the European Association of Metals (Eurometaux). The new European Chemicals Regulation (REACH), adopted in December 2006, and the proposed EU Soil Protection Directive, require additional knowledge about ‘soil quality’ at the European scale. The GEMAS project will deliver good quality and comparable exposure data of inorganic elements in agricultural and grazing land soil; in addition, soil properties, known to influence the bioavailability and toxicity of inorganic elements, will be determined. As inorganic elements occur naturally, industry dealing with natural resources requires this information to prove that it can produce its substances safely, which is a REACH requirement. Soil samples were collected at a density of one site per 2000 km2, according to an agreed field protocol. In total, 2211 samples of agricultural soil (0-20 cm), and 2118 samples from land under permanent grass cover (0 -10 cm) were collected. All samples were prepared in the same laboratory , and for the production of comparable results, they were analysed for the same suite of determinands in the same laboratory. A strict quality control programme was installed, and upon receipt of analytical results their quality was examined before their acceptance, and appropriate reports written. The mapped element distribution patterns are dominated by natural sources, geology and climate combined play ing a key role. The documentation of anthropogenic impact needs mapping at a much more detailed scale.\ud 1 www

Topics: Earth Sciences, Agriculture and Soil Science
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:19486

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