To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Soil is one of the most important constituents of an ecosystem, playing a crucial role in many environmental reactions and processes. Despite the fact that many environmental studies were conducted in the vicinity of Longyearbyen, very little is known about the physical and chemical properties as well as mineralogy of soils occurring in this town. Thus, the main aims of this study were: (1) to determine the texture, chemical properties and mineralogy of the topsoil horizons of urban soils occurring in the Longyearbyen area (Spitsbergen, Norway); and (2) to determine and explain their spatial distribution within the area of Longyearbyen. In general, the topsoils are characterised by loamy texture; acidic reaction; quite high content of total organic carbon (TOC); high content of Si, Al and Fe; and low content of K, Na, Ca, Mg and P. Quartz, K-feldspar, plagioclase, mica and chlorite are the prevailing minerals. Differences in the concentration of TOC, total nitrogen and elements in the topsoils are mainly related to the diversity of texture and mineralogy of the local parent material and the development of vegetation cover. The results indicate that topsoils in Longyearbyen are characterised by the natural properties and are not strongly transformed by human activity. However, pollution of soil with trace elements related to coal mining should be checked.
An assessment of topsoil (5–20cm) metal/metalloid (hereafter referred to as metal) concentrations across Glasgow and the Clyde Basin reveals that copper, molybdenum, nickel, lead, antimony and zinc show the greatest enrichment in urban versus rural topsoil (elevated 1.7–2.1 times; based on median values). This is a typical indicator suite of urban pollution also found in other cities. Similarly, arsenic, cadmium and lead are elevated 3.2–4.3 times the rural background concentrations in topsoil from the former Leadhills mining area. Moorlands show typical organic-soil geochemical signatures, with significantly lower (P<0.05) concentrations of geogenic elements such as chromium, copper, nickel, molybdenum and zinc, but higher levels of cadmium, lead and selenium than most other land uses due to atmospheric deposition/trapping of these substances in peat. In farmland, 14% of nickel and 7% of zinc in topsoil samples exceed agricultural maximum admissible concentrations, and may be sensitive to sewage-sludge application. Conversely, 5% of copper, 17% of selenium and 96% of pH in farmland topsoil samples are below recommended agricultural production thresholds. Significant proportions of topsoil samples exceed the most precautionary (residential/allotment) human-exposure soil guidelines for chromium (18% urban; 10% rural), lead (76% urban; 45% rural) and vanadium (87% urban; 56% rural). For chromium, this reflects volcanic bedrock and the history of chromite ore processing in the region. However, very few soil types are likely to exceed new chromiumVI-based guidelines. The number of topsoil samples exceeding the guidelines for lead and vanadium highlight the need for further investigations and evidence to improve human soil-exposure risk assessments to better inform land contamination policy and regeneration.
Topsoil is essential to abandoned mines and has to be stock-piled separately for post-mining land reclamation. If the storage period exceeds the 'shelf life' of the topsoil, it cannot be preserved by technical reclamation only. Opencast coal mining production in India is predicted to increase from the present level of 180 million tonnes per year to approximately 256 million tonnes per year by the year 2000. At that time about 60 km2 of land per year would be damaged by direct coal mines and 75 km2 per year would be affected by external overburden dumps and topsoil dumps. A large opencast coal mine was studied to evaluate the effect of stock-piling topsoil. Soil characteristics of soil dumps of six different ages (1, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10 years old) were compared with those of surrounding unmined sites. Soil profiles were found to change greatly with age. Physico-chemical characteristics of soil dumps were found to deteriorate with respect to unmined soil. It was observed that, as the age of soil dumps increased from one to 10 years, the concentrations of suitable plant growth nutrients in soil gradually decreased and, after six years, the soils were found to be stagnant. This may be considered to be the 'shelf life' of topsoil. Biological reclamation must be adopted to preserve the topsoil if the storage period exceeds the shelf life period. The methodology provides guidelines for assessing the shelf life of topsoil in other areas.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.