EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - HS18 Persistent organic pollutants in soils: sources, sinks, and processing

Event Information
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are ubiquitously distributed in the environment and, due to their physico-chemical properties, accumulate in particular in soils. The enrichment of pollutants in the soils may cause a risk of transfer of the pollutants to other compartments such as air and groundwater, respectively. Hence, soils can act as a secondary source even if the use of chemicals has ceased decades ago. For instance, pesticides could break through the unsaturated zone and reach groundwater some time after authorities ban them, and recent findings indicate that chemicals can re-volatilise from the soils to the air. However, there is a lack of knowledge concerning the storage capacities of the soils with respect to POPs and it is not clear, over what time-scales equilibrium between the different compartments (soil groundwater air) may be established.

The goal of the proposed session is to bring together scientists working on the processes related to the fate of POPs in the environment, and to assess the role of soils as sink and secondary source for diffuse groundwater and air pollution, respectively. However, one of the biggest challenges in this field of research is to quantify the primary releases of the pollutants into the environment, hence the session will also focus on methods of source assessment of POPs from primary sources. Field and lab studies on accumulation of pollutants in soil as well as transfer from soil to atmosphere and groundwater at different scales are welcome (column studies chamber and tank experiments lysimeter studies catchment studies). Last but not least, recent model developments focussing on the long-term fate of POPs in the atmosphere-soil-groundwater system are invited.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers


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