Urban Ecology pp 156-158 | Cite as

Heavy Metals: Chemical Time Bombs in Urban Soils

  • Thomas Held


Soils in conurbations are characterised by an accumulation of heavy metals. According to data given by Späte and Werner (1991) for North Rhine-Westphalia, allotments are a type of land use with an above average heavy metal load. Zn, Pb, Cu, As, and Cd are accumulated especially. Considerable amounts of the stored heavy metals can be released by a change in environmental factors which influence the Capacity Controlling Properties (CCPs) (Hekstra 1993), e.g. pH-value, organic matter content, redox-property and soil texture. Any change within this very complex system of CCPs, caused either by environmental factors and/or human impact, influences the sink function of soils in one or the other way. Pollutants which can be triggered by changing environmental factors are called Chemical Time Bombs (CTBs) (Stigliani et al. 1991). The extent of the human impact on the load and the CCPs of soils via land use must be investigated further.


Heavy Metal Human Impact Urban Soil Urban Forest Ronmental Factor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Held
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyRuhr University BochumBochumGermany

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