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The impact of atmospheric deposition of non-acidifying substances on the quality of European forest soils and the North Sea

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Author: Hout, K.D. van den · Bakker, D.J. · Berdowski, J.J.M. · Jaarsveld, J.A. van · Reinds, G.J. · Bril, J. · Breeuwsma, A. · Groenenberg, J.E. · Vries, W. de · Pagee, J.A. van · Villars, M. · Sliggers, C.J.
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Place: Dordrecht, Netherlands
Institution: TNO Milieu, Energie en Procesinnovatie
Source:Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 1-4, 109, 357-396
Identifier: 234862
doi: doi:10.1023/A:1005083425852
Keywords: Environment · Critical load · Deposition · Heavy metals · Persistent organic pollutants · Soil quality · Water quality · Cadmium · Copper · Deposition · Environmental protection · Lead · Mathematical models · Seawater · Soil pollution · Water pollution · Water quality · Persistent organic pollutants · Soil quality · Environmental impact · Europe · North Sea


In the pilot study ESQUAD the impact of atmospheric deposition of three heavy metals (cadmium, copper and lead) and two persistent organic pollutants (benzo(a)pyrene and lindane) on the quality of European soils and seawater has been calculated. Calculations have been made of atmospheric transport and deposition using a detailed emissions database for Europe. This enabled deposition maps to be produced to a resolution of approximately 50 km. The distribution of pollutant concentrations in forest soils was calculated for each grid cell using a database of soil property parameters in Europe. For the North Sea, a model was used to map long-term concentrations in water and sediment, which are due to atmospheric deposition and other, non-atmospheric sources. The model calculations allowed detailed comparisons of deposition fluxes and concentrations of the substances studied with critical loads and environmental quality threshold values, including critical loads. Although significant uncertainties were identified, the study gives insight in how threshold exceedance rates in Europe relate to pollutant type, threshold type, environmental compartment and chemophysical phase (adsorbed, dissolved). For all pollutants and for all compartments exceedances were calculated for at least some of the quality thresholds that were chosen.