Main content area

Soil vulnerability to pollution in Europe

Batjes, N.H., Bridges, E.M.
Soil use and Management 1993 v.9 no.1 pp. 25-29
soil pollution, absorption, soil heterogeneity, land use, acidification, climate change, geographic information systems, pollutants, chemical substances, buffering capacity, risk, Europe
Pollution by inorganic and organic substances is increasingly disrupting the natural functions of soils. Some soils seem capable of receiving and holding chemical compounds, at the same time retaining their ecological flexibility, but others are readily damaged and should be regarded as vulnerable to particular pollution scenarios. At the request of the Chemical Time Bombs (CTB) Project, the International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC) organized an international workshop to assess the feasibility of increasing awareness of 'soil vulnerability' by a mapping exercise for Europe (SOVEUR), at a scale of 1:5 M, with reference to selected organic and inorganic contaminants. The workshop participants outlined procedures for a GIS-based approach to determining areas where vulnerable soils occur, and formulated proposals for the implementation phase of the SOVEUR programme. Funding is now sought for continuation of the work outlined in this paper.