Geology, soil and seismic risk

The heavy metal background maps of the Emilia-Romagna plain

Background Maps of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Sn, V, Zn of the Emilia-Romagna plain at 1:250.000 scale, 2nd edition (2019)

Heavy metalsAccording to the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (COM/2006/0231) soil is regarded as non-renewable resource. In an environmental perspective, the Italian Law (D.lgs 152/06) considers soils as environmental matrix, like air and water. Soil also has several different functions and represents an essential support to human activities and to ecosystem survival.

The Background Map of Emilia Romagna plain at 1:250,000 scale, now in its second edition, represents the areal distribution of the background content (according to ISO 19258, 2005 definition) of nine potentially toxic metals in agricultural soils: Arsenic [As], Cadmium [Cd], Chromium[Cr], Nickel [Ni], Zinc [Zn], Copper [Cu], Lead [Pb], Vanadium [V] and Tin [Sn].

It is a collaborative project between the National Centre of Research (CNR IBiMet, Florence) and the Geological, Seismic and Soil Survey of Emilia-Romagna.

The Background Content constitutes a first assessment of the qualitative state of soils in terms of diffuse contamination and then provides a picture of the impact of the agricultural and environmental management.

Available maps

Carta_Fondo_naturale_antropico_Cromo Chromium [Cr] (jpg80.5 KB)

Web mapping

Where to query and download heavy metal background maps.

  • Soils of Emilia-Romagna
    The website provides access to every soil map from 1:1Mk to 1:50k scales and to all derived thematic maps on Google Earth. (Note: you must have Google Earth installed on your computer, visit Google to download Google Earth for free).
  • Soil maps of Emilia-Romagna region
    The website provides access to 1:50k soil map (plain and hills), point data (heavy metal monitoring, extension service soil analyses, shallow water table measurement sites) and a selection of derived thematic maps. Historical maps, land use maps, geological maps and regional park maps are available as well. (Note: to view the website pop-up blocker has to be disabled).
  • Geo-Catalalog
    You can query and download metadata and data in open data format (shapefiles, WMS, CSV and TXT tables).




Geological, Seismic and Soil Survey

Nazaria Marchi

Phone: 0039 051-5274266, e-mail:

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last modified 2022-09-08T16:29:32+01:00
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