Special Issue "Geography of Soil Contamination for Polluted Sites Characterization and Precision Remediation"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Earth Sciences and Geography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Piero Manna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council - CNR, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean (ISAFoM), 80055 Portici (Napoli), Italy
Interests: applied pedology; soil hydrological modeling; land evaluation; crop zoning; precision agriculture; soil spatial variability; spatial decision support systems
Prof. Dr. Simona Vingiani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, via Università, 100, 80055 Portici (NA), Italy
Interests: PTE measurements (XRF handheld, ICP-OES); proximal sensors for soil spatial variability; soil survey and mapping; soil properties; andosols and landslides

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

A new Special Issue in the Applied Sciences Journal is now opening.

Soil contamination is a worldwide problem which degrades soils and comes with high costs for the community. Soil pollution has a direct impact on food security, human health, and the environment. Human activities are the primary source of most pollutants. Unsustainable farming practices, industrial activities and mining, and untreated urban waste have progressively contaminated soil, air, and water. Several actions have been adopted at EU level by the JRC (Joint Research Centre) and the EEA (European Environment Agency) to face this important soil threat and to identify indicators of soil pollution to be monitored. Several UN Sustainable Development Goals have targets which take into account soil pollution and degradation in relation to food security. The spatial variability of contamination is a crucial problem when evaluations are required to address reclamation or phytoremediation on agricultural or industrial contaminated sites, because location, content, nature, and form of potentially toxic elements (PTE) are usually little-known. Proper investigation tools are necessary to identify the geography of soil contamination, as well as the variability (in space and depth) of soil chemical, physical, and hydrological properties, because they affect the soil’s capacity to filter and buffer contaminants, and to degrade and attenuate the negative effects of PTE.

Under this perspective, the Special Issue wants to contribute to the research area, presenting the most relevant advances in this field related (but not limited) to the following topics:

  • Use of sensors and field techniques for soil spatial variability and pollution assessment;
  • Precision remediation actions applied to contaminated sites;
  • Modelling of soil hydrological properties as media to forecast and prevent groundwater pollution;
  • Contamination affecting soil ecosystem functions and services;
  • Spatial decision support systems as policy tools for monitoring and managing soil pollution.

Dr. Piero Manna
Prof. Simona Vingiani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • proximal sensors
  • pollution assessment
  • soil properties’ variability
  • soil contamination
  • precision remediation
  • soil hydrological properties’ modeling

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Technosols Development in an Abandoned Mining Area and Environmental Risk Assessment
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 6982; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11156982 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 295
Abstract
The study of Technosols development, spatial distribution and physicochemical characteristics is becoming more and more important in the Anthropocene Era. The aim of the present study was to assess soil features and potential heavy metal release risk of soils developed on different mine [...] Read more.
The study of Technosols development, spatial distribution and physicochemical characteristics is becoming more and more important in the Anthropocene Era. The aim of the present study was to assess soil features and potential heavy metal release risk of soils developed on different mine tailing types after the waste disposal derived from mining activity in Central Italy. Soils were analyzed for their morphological, physical and chemical properties, and a chemical sequential extraction of heavy metals was performed. The investigated soils were classified as Technosols toxic having in some layer within 50 cm of the soil surface inorganic materials with high concentrations of toxic elements. Our findings showed that the bioavailability of potentially toxic element concentrations in the soil changed according to the origin of the mine tailing. However, because of the acidic pH, there is a serious risk of metals leaching which was reduced where the soil organic matter content was higher. Full article
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Article
Land Suitability Mapping Using Geochemical and Spatial Analysis Methods
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5404; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125404 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 475
Abstract
Assessing the suitability of urban and agricultural land is essential for planning sustainable urban and agricultural systems. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the suitability of land in Ioannina plain (western Greece) concerning the soil contents of two potentially toxic [...] Read more.
Assessing the suitability of urban and agricultural land is essential for planning sustainable urban and agricultural systems. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the suitability of land in Ioannina plain (western Greece) concerning the soil contents of two potentially toxic elements, cadmium (Cd) and cobalt (Co). Geochemical and spatial analysis methods were applied to assess the distribution of Cd and Co in the soil of the Ioannina plain and identify their origin. The primary anthropogenic sources of Cd and Co in the topsoil of the study area can be attributed to traffic emissions, aircraft operations, vehicle crushing and dismantling activities. Element content is compared to international guidelines and screening values. Cadmium and Co concentration in the soil of the study area is well above the European topsoil mean. Thus, the urban and agricultural lands cover the vast majority (92%) of the total area. Cadmium concentration in soil of the study area with a mean (mg kg−1) 1.7 and 2.0 was observed in agricultural and urban land use, respectively. Cobalt content in soil of the area studied with a mean (mg kg−1) 30.8 and 37.1 was recorded in agricultural and urban land use, respectively. Land evaluation suitability by adopting criteria provided from the international literature is discussed. Full article
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Article
Potentially Toxic Trace Elements in the Urban Soils of Santiago de Compostela (Northwestern Spain)
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4211; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094211 - 06 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 382
Abstract
With the objective of increasing information inorganic pollutants in urban soils in Spain, we studied the presence of Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cr, and As in 55 soils in the city of Santiago de Compostela (northwestern Spain). The soils were developed over diverse [...] Read more.
With the objective of increasing information inorganic pollutants in urban soils in Spain, we studied the presence of Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cr, and As in 55 soils in the city of Santiago de Compostela (northwestern Spain). The soils were developed over diverse parent materials (granites, gneiss, schists, and amphibolites) and present different land uses, urban grasslands, urban forests, urban allotment gardens, and peri-urban agricultural soils. Total trace element concentrations, analyzed by XRF of ground samples, were correlated to physicochemical properties of the soils, and the influence of land use, lithology, and location on the degree of pollution was explored. In most soils, trace element concentrations followed the sequence Zn (55–484 mg kg−1) > Pb (20–566 mg kg−1) > Cr (17–277 mg kg−1) > Cu (17–188 mg kg−1) > As (13–205 mg kg−1) > Ni (11–91 mg kg−1). The concentrations were overall higher than regional backgrounds, but not high enough to class the soils as contaminated according to the Spanish regulation. Accordingly, the geoaccumulation index values indicate that most soils present low to moderate pollution levels. Among the elements studied, Cu, Pb, and Zn were correlated between them, with their highest concentrations happening in soils of the green areas in the city center; Cr and Ni concentrations were related to lithology of the parent material, with the highest concentrations in soils developed over amphibolite; finally, As concentrations are higher in two precise points without a clear connection to a known source of pollution. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Cu (II) on Swelling and Shrinkage Characteristics of Sodium Bentonite in Landfills
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3881; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093881 - 25 Apr 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Wastes in municipal landfills will release heavy metal cations over a long period of time. Therefore, the objective of this paper was to investigate the effect of copper (Cu) in the leachate from landfill on the swell-shrinking potential of bentonite liner. Copper sulfate [...] Read more.
Wastes in municipal landfills will release heavy metal cations over a long period of time. Therefore, the objective of this paper was to investigate the effect of copper (Cu) in the leachate from landfill on the swell-shrinking potential of bentonite liner. Copper sulfate solution with 4 different groups of concentrations (0 g/L, 2.5 g/L, 5 g/L, 10 g/L) were added to bentonite for conducting a series of swelling and shrinkage experiments. Then the Does Response model was used to describe the swelling and shrinkage process of bentonite in different copper sulfate solutions and the applicability of the model was evaluated. At the same time, clay mineral analysis experiments (XRD and XRF) were carried out to analyze the variation of interlayer space and element content of montmorillonite. The results show that the swell volume of bentonite decreases with the increase of the concentration of Cu (II). The rate of swelling was high and inversely proportional to the concentration of Cu (II). The shrinkage curve of bentonite could be divided into uniform velocity stage, variable velocity stage, and stable stage. The shrinkage rate at the uniform velocity stage and shrinkage at the stable stage decreased with the increase of the concentration of Cu (II). The model was suitable for describing swelling (or shrinkage) curves with smaller expansibility (or shrinkage). Results of XRD and XRF show that the erosion of Cu (II) led to the decrease of Na+ content in sodium bentonite, and then narrowed interlayer space of montmorillonite. When the solution concentration increases, both values of interlayer space of montmorillonite and Na+ content in sodium bentonite become lower, and that led to swelling and shrinkage of bentonite liner was getting smaller and smaller. Full article
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