GEMAS: Establishing geochemical background and threshold for 53 chemical elements in European agricultural soil

The GEMAS Project Team

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Abstract

The GEMAS (geochemical mapping of agricultural soil) project collected 2108 Ap horizon soil samples from regularly ploughed fields in 33 European countries, covering 5.6 million km2. The <2 mm fraction of these samples was analysed for 53 elements by ICP-MS and ICP-AES, following a HNO3/HCl/H2O (modified aqua regia) digestion. Results are used here to establish the geochemical background variation and threshold values, derived statistically from the data set, in order to identify unusually high element concentrations for these elements in the Ap samples. Potentially toxic elements (PTEs), namely Ag, B, As, Ba, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, U, V and Zn, and emerging ‘high-tech’ critical elements (HTCEs), i.e., lanthanides (e.g., Ce, La), Be, Ga, Ge, In, Li and Tl, are of particular interest. For the latter, neither geochemical background nor threshold at the European scale has been established before. Large differences in the spatial distribution of many elements are observed between northern and southern Europe. It was thus necessary to establish three different sets of geochemical threshold values, one for the whole of Europe, a second for northern and a third for southern Europe. These values were then compared to existing soil guideline values for (eco)toxicological effects of these elements, as defined by various European authorities. The regional sample distribution with concentrations above the threshold values is studied, based on the GEMAS data set, following different methods of determination. Occasionally local contamination sources (e.g., cities, metal smelters, power plants, agriculture) can be identified. No indications could be detected at the continental scale for a significant impact of diffuse contamination on the regional distribution of element concentrations in the European agricultural soil samples. At this European scale, the variation in the natural background concentration of all investigated elements in the agricultural soil samples is much larger than any anthropogenic impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-318
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Volume88
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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chemical element
agricultural soil
Chemical elements
Soils
Contamination
soil horizon
digestion
Lanthanoid Series Elements
power plant
rare earth element
Poisons
spatial distribution
Rare earth elements
agriculture
Agriculture
Spatial distribution
metal
Power plants
Metals
Europe

Cite this

@article{986ecfbf31354677b99c9c0701b15ae3,
title = "GEMAS: Establishing geochemical background and threshold for 53 chemical elements in European agricultural soil",
abstract = "The GEMAS (geochemical mapping of agricultural soil) project collected 2108 Ap horizon soil samples from regularly ploughed fields in 33 European countries, covering 5.6 million km2. The <2 mm fraction of these samples was analysed for 53 elements by ICP-MS and ICP-AES, following a HNO3/HCl/H2O (modified aqua regia) digestion. Results are used here to establish the geochemical background variation and threshold values, derived statistically from the data set, in order to identify unusually high element concentrations for these elements in the Ap samples. Potentially toxic elements (PTEs), namely Ag, B, As, Ba, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, U, V and Zn, and emerging ‘high-tech’ critical elements (HTCEs), i.e., lanthanides (e.g., Ce, La), Be, Ga, Ge, In, Li and Tl, are of particular interest. For the latter, neither geochemical background nor threshold at the European scale has been established before. Large differences in the spatial distribution of many elements are observed between northern and southern Europe. It was thus necessary to establish three different sets of geochemical threshold values, one for the whole of Europe, a second for northern and a third for southern Europe. These values were then compared to existing soil guideline values for (eco)toxicological effects of these elements, as defined by various European authorities. The regional sample distribution with concentrations above the threshold values is studied, based on the GEMAS data set, following different methods of determination. Occasionally local contamination sources (e.g., cities, metal smelters, power plants, agriculture) can be identified. No indications could be detected at the continental scale for a significant impact of diffuse contamination on the regional distribution of element concentrations in the European agricultural soil samples. At this European scale, the variation in the natural background concentration of all investigated elements in the agricultural soil samples is much larger than any anthropogenic impact.",
keywords = "Agricultural soil, Background variation, Continental scale, Europe, Geochemical threshold",
author = "Clemens Reimann and Karl Fabian and Manfred Birke and Peter Filzmoser and Alecos Demetriades and Philippe N{\'e}grel and Koen Oorts and J{\"o}rg Matschullat and {de Caritat}, Patrice and {The GEMAS Project Team} and S. Albanese and M. Anderson and R. Baritz and Batista, {M. J.} and A. Bel-Ian and D. Cicchella and {De Vivo}, B. and {De Vos}, W. and E. Dinelli and M. Ďuriš and A. Dusza-Dobek and Eggen, {O. A.} and M. Eklund and V. Ernsten and Flight, {D. M.A.} and S. Forrester and U. F{\"u}gedi and A. Gilucis and M. Gosar and V. Gregorauskiene and {De Groot}, W. and A. Gulan and J. Halamić and E. Haslinger and P. Hayoz and J. Hoogewerff and H. Hrvatovic and S. Husnjak and F. J{\"a}hne-Klingberg and L. Janik and G. Jordan and M. Kaminari and J. Kirby and V. Klos and P. Kwećko and L. Kuti and A. Ladenberger and A. Lima and J. Locutura and P. Lucivjansky and A. Mann and D. Mackovych and M. McLaughlin and Malyuk, {B. I.} and R. Maquil and Meuli, {R. G.} and G. Mol and P. O'Connor and Ottesen, {R. T.} and A. Pasnieczna and V. Petersell and S. Pfleiderer and M. Poňavič and C. Prazeres and S. Radusinović and U. Rauch and I. Salpeteur and R. Scanlon and A. Schedl and A. Scheib and I. Schoeters and P. Šefčik and E. Sellersj{\"o} and I. Slaninka and Soriano-Disla, {J. M.} and A. Šorša and R. Svrkota and T. Stafilov and T. Tarvainen and V. Tendavilov and P. Valera and V. Verougstraete and D. Vidojević and A. Zissimos and Z. Zomeni and M. Sadeghi",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
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doi = "10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.01.021",
language = "English",
volume = "88",
pages = "302--318",
journal = "Applied Geochemistry",
issn = "0883-2927",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

GEMAS: Establishing geochemical background and threshold for 53 chemical elements in European agricultural soil. / The GEMAS Project Team.

In: Applied Geochemistry, Vol. 88, 01.01.2018, p. 302-318.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - GEMAS: Establishing geochemical background and threshold for 53 chemical elements in European agricultural soil

AU - Reimann, Clemens

AU - Fabian, Karl

AU - Birke, Manfred

AU - Filzmoser, Peter

AU - Demetriades, Alecos

AU - Négrel, Philippe

AU - Oorts, Koen

AU - Matschullat, Jörg

AU - de Caritat, Patrice

AU - The GEMAS Project Team

AU - Albanese, S.

AU - Anderson, M.

AU - Baritz, R.

AU - Batista, M. J.

AU - Bel-Ian, A.

AU - Cicchella, D.

AU - De Vivo, B.

AU - De Vos, W.

AU - Dinelli, E.

AU - Ďuriš, M.

AU - Dusza-Dobek, A.

AU - Eggen, O. A.

AU - Eklund, M.

AU - Ernsten, V.

AU - Flight, D. M.A.

AU - Forrester, S.

AU - Fügedi, U.

AU - Gilucis, A.

AU - Gosar, M.

AU - Gregorauskiene, V.

AU - De Groot, W.

AU - Gulan, A.

AU - Halamić, J.

AU - Haslinger, E.

AU - Hayoz, P.

AU - Hoogewerff, J.

AU - Hrvatovic, H.

AU - Husnjak, S.

AU - Jähne-Klingberg, F.

AU - Janik, L.

AU - Jordan, G.

AU - Kaminari, M.

AU - Kirby, J.

AU - Klos, V.

AU - Kwećko, P.

AU - Kuti, L.

AU - Ladenberger, A.

AU - Lima, A.

AU - Locutura, J.

AU - Lucivjansky, P.

AU - Mann, A.

AU - Mackovych, D.

AU - McLaughlin, M.

AU - Malyuk, B. I.

AU - Maquil, R.

AU - Meuli, R. G.

AU - Mol, G.

AU - O'Connor, P.

AU - Ottesen, R. T.

AU - Pasnieczna, A.

AU - Petersell, V.

AU - Pfleiderer, S.

AU - Poňavič, M.

AU - Prazeres, C.

AU - Radusinović, S.

AU - Rauch, U.

AU - Salpeteur, I.

AU - Scanlon, R.

AU - Schedl, A.

AU - Scheib, A.

AU - Schoeters, I.

AU - Šefčik, P.

AU - Sellersjö, E.

AU - Slaninka, I.

AU - Soriano-Disla, J. M.

AU - Šorša, A.

AU - Svrkota, R.

AU - Stafilov, T.

AU - Tarvainen, T.

AU - Tendavilov, V.

AU - Valera, P.

AU - Verougstraete, V.

AU - Vidojević, D.

AU - Zissimos, A.

AU - Zomeni, Z.

AU - Sadeghi, M.

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - The GEMAS (geochemical mapping of agricultural soil) project collected 2108 Ap horizon soil samples from regularly ploughed fields in 33 European countries, covering 5.6 million km2. The <2 mm fraction of these samples was analysed for 53 elements by ICP-MS and ICP-AES, following a HNO3/HCl/H2O (modified aqua regia) digestion. Results are used here to establish the geochemical background variation and threshold values, derived statistically from the data set, in order to identify unusually high element concentrations for these elements in the Ap samples. Potentially toxic elements (PTEs), namely Ag, B, As, Ba, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, U, V and Zn, and emerging ‘high-tech’ critical elements (HTCEs), i.e., lanthanides (e.g., Ce, La), Be, Ga, Ge, In, Li and Tl, are of particular interest. For the latter, neither geochemical background nor threshold at the European scale has been established before. Large differences in the spatial distribution of many elements are observed between northern and southern Europe. It was thus necessary to establish three different sets of geochemical threshold values, one for the whole of Europe, a second for northern and a third for southern Europe. These values were then compared to existing soil guideline values for (eco)toxicological effects of these elements, as defined by various European authorities. The regional sample distribution with concentrations above the threshold values is studied, based on the GEMAS data set, following different methods of determination. Occasionally local contamination sources (e.g., cities, metal smelters, power plants, agriculture) can be identified. No indications could be detected at the continental scale for a significant impact of diffuse contamination on the regional distribution of element concentrations in the European agricultural soil samples. At this European scale, the variation in the natural background concentration of all investigated elements in the agricultural soil samples is much larger than any anthropogenic impact.

AB - The GEMAS (geochemical mapping of agricultural soil) project collected 2108 Ap horizon soil samples from regularly ploughed fields in 33 European countries, covering 5.6 million km2. The <2 mm fraction of these samples was analysed for 53 elements by ICP-MS and ICP-AES, following a HNO3/HCl/H2O (modified aqua regia) digestion. Results are used here to establish the geochemical background variation and threshold values, derived statistically from the data set, in order to identify unusually high element concentrations for these elements in the Ap samples. Potentially toxic elements (PTEs), namely Ag, B, As, Ba, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, U, V and Zn, and emerging ‘high-tech’ critical elements (HTCEs), i.e., lanthanides (e.g., Ce, La), Be, Ga, Ge, In, Li and Tl, are of particular interest. For the latter, neither geochemical background nor threshold at the European scale has been established before. Large differences in the spatial distribution of many elements are observed between northern and southern Europe. It was thus necessary to establish three different sets of geochemical threshold values, one for the whole of Europe, a second for northern and a third for southern Europe. These values were then compared to existing soil guideline values for (eco)toxicological effects of these elements, as defined by various European authorities. The regional sample distribution with concentrations above the threshold values is studied, based on the GEMAS data set, following different methods of determination. Occasionally local contamination sources (e.g., cities, metal smelters, power plants, agriculture) can be identified. No indications could be detected at the continental scale for a significant impact of diffuse contamination on the regional distribution of element concentrations in the European agricultural soil samples. At this European scale, the variation in the natural background concentration of all investigated elements in the agricultural soil samples is much larger than any anthropogenic impact.

KW - Agricultural soil

KW - Background variation

KW - Continental scale

KW - Europe

KW - Geochemical threshold

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85014061871&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.01.021

DO - 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.01.021

M3 - Article

VL - 88

SP - 302

EP - 318

JO - Applied Geochemistry

JF - Applied Geochemistry

SN - 0883-2927

ER -