Metal Contaminated Dredged Sediment Derived Soils: A Case Of Diffuse Contamination
1 Ghent University, Department of Applied Analytical and Physical Chemistry, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Ecochemistry, Coupure Links 265, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
2 Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 109, box 1, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
Significant areas in Flanders, Belgium exhibit moderate contamination with trace metals caused by deposition or disposal of contaminated sediments. After disposal, the sediments develop into a soil-like material, on which vegetation is planted or develops spontaneously. Behaviour, cycling and ecosystem impacts of trace metals in calcareous dredged sediment disposal sites in Flanders was investigated. Although soil physico-chemical properties favour a low metal bioavailability, pore water concentrations can be elevated compared to pore water in uncontaminated soils. While metal leaching is not considered to be of concern, several plants accumulate elevated levels of Cd and Zn in leaves. Also metal levels in soil dwelling organisms and small mammals, particularly Cd, are elevated compared to reference situations. This raises concern for an enhanced transfer of metals to the food chain. A comprehensive knowledge of metal behaviour in these sites is essential for developing appropriate management options for these sites.
Key words: trace elements / plant uptake / soil biota / dredged sediment disposal
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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