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Highlight Not just dirt: the importance of soil
Soil is connected to almost all aspects of our lives, yet we often take it for granted. To mark the International Day of Soil on December 5, we interviewed several project managers at the European Environment Agency (EEA) about this precious resource.
Located in News
Figure Overview of activities causing soil contamination in Europe
The graph shows a breakdown of the main sources causing soil contamination in Europe as % of the number of sites where preliminary investigations have been completed
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Overview of economic activities causing soil contamination in some WCE and SEE countries (pct. of investigated sites)
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Overview of progress in management of soil contamination in WCE and some SEE countries
SOER2010-title: Contamited sites in Europe, 2006. The graphs shows the status of identification and clean‑up of contaminated sites in Europe as reported to the European Environment Agency through the Eionet priority data flows on contaminated sites. While trends vary across Europe, it is clear that the remediation of contaminated sites is still a significant undertaking.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Folder Photos
Located in The Environmental Atlas Environmental Atlas of Europe Windbreaks
Figure Physical degradation in Europe, 1993
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Principle areas of irrigation
The Global Map of Irrigation Areas was developed by combining sub-national irrigation statistics with geospatial information on the position and extent of irrigation schemes to compute the fraction of 5 arc minute cells that was equipped for irrigation, which is called irrigation density.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Probable problem areas of local contamination in Europe
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Indicator Assessment Progress in management of contaminated sites (LSI 003/CSI 015) - Assessment published Aug 2007
Soil contamination requiring clean up is present at approximately 250000 sites in the EEA member countries, according to recent estimates. And this number is expected to grow. Potentially polluting activities are estimated to have occurred at nearly 3 million sites (including the 250000 sites already mentioned) and investigation is needed to establish whether remediation is required. If current investigation trends continue, the number of sites needing remediation will increase by 50% by 2025. By contrast, more than 80000 sites have been cleaned up in the last 30 years in the countries where data on remediation is available. Although the range of polluting activities (and their relative importance as localised sources of soil contamination) may vary considerably across Europe, industrial and commercial activities as well as the treatment and disposal of waste are reported to be the most important sources. National reports indicate that heavy metals and mineral oil are the most frequent soil contaminants at investigated sites, while mineral oil and chlorinated hydrocarbons are the most frequent contaminants found in groundwater. A considerable share of remediation expenditure, about 35% on average, comes from public budgets. Although considerable efforts have been made already, it will take decades to clean up a legacy of contamination.
Located in Data and maps Indicators Progress in management of contaminated sites
Figure Projected changes in soil organic carbon for cropland 1990-2080
Predicted changes in soil organic carbon for croplands 1990–2080. The image on the left shows changes due to climate change only while the map on the right shows changes as a result of variations in net primary production and the advent of new technologies related to crop management (e.g. machinery, pesticides, herbicides, agronomic knowledge of farmers) and breeding (development of higher yielding varieties through improved stress resistance and/or yield potential) that result in yield increases.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100