Treatment of polluted soil

Thanks to its absorbing power, its buffer capacity, and its intense biotic activity, the soil is prone to self-treatment, or at least, is able to reduce the negative effects deriving from the presence of pollutants. Of course the soil self-treatment capacity has some limits. If pollution goes over this limit, the soil can lose its “filter” function in an irreversible way, provoking many damages. Differently from the atmosphere and water, which decontaminate quite rapidly, the soil, although it has a high self-treatment capacity thanks to chemical, physical, and biological mechanisms, keeps contaminated for a long period. It was noticed that, in order to significantly reduce the content of heavy metals in a polluted soil, the quantity of water corresponding to tens of years of rain is not sufficient. The presence of polluting compounds in the soil, especially highly toxic ones, can represent a risk for human health and for the environment, and requires reclamation activities. The reclamation of a land can be based on the inactivation or degrade of pollutants (they are transformed into less dangerous or not dangerous substances) or their removal by using chemical, physical or biological treatments. Reclamations is normally done on agricultural land and areas close to industrial zones or abandoned dumps.

Special reports

  • 13 May 2013

    Small steps, great footprints

    Have you ever wondered how much space is taken up by an apple or a steak?...

    7 January 2010

    Alps and Appennines

    The term orogeny was born from the Greek words...

    18 May 2009

    Sauropods

    40 meters long and 17 high, huge...

  • 10 November 2011

    Landslides

    When studying landslide phenomena, it is opportune to distinguish...

    28 August 2020

    The Earth seen from above: signs of fires

    This image was taken by the ASTER sensor installed on the NASA TERRA satellite platform. The image was taken on…

    15 July 2020

    Earth viewed from above

    Remote satellite sensing: what it is and what it is used for In the scientific field, the images produced by…

  • 30 April 2019

    Urban woods

    When walking along a tree-lined avenue in a crowded and traffic-congested city, wrapped up in our daily commitments, we do…

    12 April 2019

    Easter with extinct friends

    Easter Island is shaped like a triangle with three extinct volcanoes placed at the vertices, and has a total area…

    26 September 2018

    Citizen science, research conducted by ordinary citizens

    When we think of scientists, we often imagine people wearing white coats, shut up in a laboratory working with test…

  • 13 May 2013

    Small steps, great footprints

    Have you ever wondered how much space is taken up by an apple or a steak?...

    7 January 2010

    Alps and Appennines

    The term orogeny was born from the Greek words...

  • 18 May 2009

    Sauropods

    40 meters long and 17 high, huge...

    10 November 2011

    Landslides

    When studying landslide phenomena, it is opportune to distinguish...

  • 28 August 2020

    The Earth seen from above: signs of fires

    This image was taken by the ASTER sensor installed on the NASA TERRA satellite platform. The image was taken on…

    15 July 2020

    Earth viewed from above

    Remote satellite sensing: what it is and what it is used for In the scientific field, the images produced by…

From the Multimedia section

Facts