Legacy of war: Pedogenesis divergence and heavy metal contamination on the WWI front line a century after battle

Journal article


Williams, O. and Rintoul-Hynes, N. 2022. Legacy of war: Pedogenesis divergence and heavy metal contamination on the WWI front line a century after battle. European Journal of Soil Science. 73 (4), p. e13297. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejss.13297
AuthorsWilliams, O. and Rintoul-Hynes, N.
Abstract

In Europe, the First World War left a legacy on the environment due to the extensive and intense use of artillery during this period. This study examined a small wooded area in the Pas-de-Calais region in France which was subject to considerably less intense fire than previously studied WWI battlefields. In a process named “bombturbation,” significant physical changes have occurred to the landscape subject to artillery fire, resulting in a divergent soil development in craters. Cratering led to higher organic matter and electrical conductivity values, but—unlike other studies—no significant difference in soil pH. Soil heavy metal concentrations did not differ within craters compared to the flat landscape. However, lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) enrichment was observed above the baseline values for the region. Despite the average concentrations of Cu and Pb being within legal limits for soils in the UK and European Union, it is likely that enrichment of Cu and Pb in the concentrations observed has caused detrimental ecotoxicological and human health effects.

KeywordsContamination; Copper; Lead; Pedogenesis; Soil; War
Year2022
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Journal citation73 (4), p. e13297
PublisherWiley
ISSN1351-0754
1365-2389
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/ejss.13297
Official URLhttps://bsssjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejss.13297
Publication dates
Print17 Aug 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted29 Jul 2022
Deposited24 Aug 2022
Publisher's version
License
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/92159/legacy-of-war-pedogenesis-divergence-and-heavy-metal-contamination-on-the-wwi-front-line-a-century-after-battle

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