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Magnetic screening of a pollution hotspot in the Lausitz area, Eastern Germany: correlation analysis between magnetic proxies and heavy metal contamination in soils


This investigation was carried out within the scope of EU-FP5 project MAGPROX. In parallel with the work of Kalinski et al. (2004, submitted), in which the magnetic signatures of the same soil profiles were analysed in more detail. The ‘hot spot’ under investigation was situated in the Lausitz area, Eastern Germany, between two major power plants, Schwarze Pumpe and Boxberg. This heavily industrialized region is known as the Black Triangle, named after the large lignite deposits and the old-technology power plants, among other petrochemical plants, refineries, textile manufacturing and glasswork industries. The relationship between magnetic parameters and heavy metal concentrations (Fe, Mn, Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, Cd, Co and Ni) in soil profiles was determined statistically using linear regression analysis. Strong positive correlation was observed between heavy metal concentrations as viewed preliminarily from the heavy metal and magnetic susceptibility distributions with depth (soil profiles), and from the correlation coefficients obtained.

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This study was carried out as part of the MAGPROX EU FP5 RTD Project no. EVK2-CT-1999-00019. We would like to thank the Polish partners of the project at the Institute of Environmental Engineering in Zabrze, for their help for the chemical analysis.

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Correspondence to V. Hoffmann.

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MAGPROX team–FP5 RTD Project No. EVK2-CT-1999-00019

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Spiteri, C., Kalinski, V., Rösler, W. et al. Magnetic screening of a pollution hotspot in the Lausitz area, Eastern Germany: correlation analysis between magnetic proxies and heavy metal contamination in soils. Environ Geol 49, 1–9 (2005).

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  • Magnetic proxies
  • Heavy metals
  • Soil pollution
  • Lausitz area
  • Germany