Geological, seismic and soil survey

Heavy metals in soil

What the Region does

Contaminazione: Le diverse pratiche agricole ed industriali rischiano di contaminare il suolo The soil is recognized by the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (COM 2006/231) as a substantially non-renewable resource. It performs many functions essential to human activities and ecosystems survival: one of the main threats reported by the Thematic Strategy is its degradation by contamination. The content of heavy metals in soils is due to natural factors and human activities; in the absence of anthropogenic inputs the content detected is mainly the result of the mineralogical composition, grain size of the parent material and their weathering linked to pedogenetic processes. The knowledge of the spatial distribution of natural and natural-anthropogenic concentration of heavy metals in soils allows for assessment in a realistic way the state of contamination.
The Geological, Seismic and Soil Survey since 2004 has started, in collaboration with the University of Bologna and the CNR of Florence IRPI, a mapping project to start the process of understanding the contents of some potentially toxic metals (Chromium, Nickel, Lead , Copper, Tin, Zinc) in agricultural soils of Emilia-Romagna plain that finished in 2012.
The project called "Pedogeochemical Map of Emilia-Romagna plain at 1:250,000 scale" led to the drafting of the "Pedogeochemical Map of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn", of the "Map of the geochemical anomalies of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn" (the latter contained in the notes and available as PDF ) and the "Background Map of As, Cr,Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Sn, V, Zn".

The purposes of this mapping are mainly three:
• to describe the content of heavy metals in soils of Emilia-Romagna plain

• to provide the basis for assessing the impact of agricultural and environmental management as well as pave the way for correct choices of territorial management
• to identify areas to be subjected to more detailed investigations

The methodology and the definitions used for the preparation of the "Pedogeochemical Map" and the "Background Map" refer to the DIN ISO 19258:2005 "Soil quality - Guidance on the determination of background values".


Geological, seismic and soil survey

viale della Fiera 8 - 40127 Bologna
Phone: 051 527 4792 fax 051 527 4208

Dott. Marchi Nazaria
phone: 0039 051 5274266,


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Published May 09, 2014 — last modified Jan 29, 2018
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Regione Emilia-Romagna (CF 800.625.903.79) - Viale Aldo Moro 52, 40127 Bologna - Centralino: 051.5271

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