Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

The vulnerability of soils to pollution by heavy metals. - OC9325

Description
Concerns regarding negative health effects associated with dietary consumption of heavy metals necessitate the determination of soil types most vulnerable to heavy metal pollution. This study will involve an integrated programme of research into the vulnerability of UK soils to pollution by metals (including As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn). An inventory of heavy metal inputs to soils from sewage sludge, fertilisers, lime, agrochemicals, manures and atmospheric deposition will be produced, using information already held by ADAS and other published data. Total atmospheric deposition will be monitored at 25 locations in England and Wales. An investigation will be conducted into the forms and bioavailability of selected heavy metals in agricultural soils of different types at a range of representative sites, to determine the key parameters influencing the environmental activity of the metals in soil. Replicated field experiments will also be conducted at 5 sites with elevated concentrations of heavy metals, to evaluate the effects of soil acidification on the uptake of metals by a test crop of ryegrass and on the activity of the microbial biomass. A GIS approach will be used to combine data on the occurrence of heavy metals with the environmental activity parameters derived from this study and elsewhere to produce soil vulnerability maps in colour format.
Project Documents
• Final Report : The vulnerability of soils to pollution by heavy metals.   (8866k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1997

Cost: £363,699
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Water Research Centre, University - Reading, ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Soil Protection