Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 397–419

Urban Geochemistry: A Multimedia and Multielement Survey of a Small Town in Northern Europe

  • Pasi Peltola
  • Mats Åström

DOI: 10.1023/B:EGAH.0000004553.56489.0c

Cite this article as:
Peltola, P. & Åström, M. Environmental Geochemistry and Health (2003) 25: 397. doi:10.1023/B:EGAH.0000004553.56489.0c


The concentrations and distributions of chemical elements (Ag, Al, As, Au, Ba, Bi, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ga, Hg, K, La, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, S, Sb, Sc, Se, Sr, Te, Th, Ti, Tl, U, V, W and Zn) were studied in till, humus and urban soil in Jakobstad, a small town (20,000 inhabitants) in W. Finland. The analyses were performed with ICP-MS after aqua regia leaching of till (n = 37), urban topsoil (n = 32) and subsoil (n = 32), and HNO3 leaching of humus (n = 37). The till and humus samples, collected at the same sites, were divided into urban and rural samples. The urban till was not significantly enriched in metals. In contrast, a majority of the elements occurred in higher concentrations in the urban than the rural humus samples. Statistical and spatial interpretations of the humus data revealed that traffic (Pb, V and Ni), metal industry (Pb, Zn, Bi, Sb and Cr), an abandoned shooting range (Pb and Sb) and other sources contribute to higher metal levels in the urban humus. The urban soil samples were collected at parks, yards, abandoned industrial sites, roadsides, etc. The topsoil samples were enriched in most elements, also by elements not enriched in the urban humus (e.g. Cd). At several sites, the concentrations far exceeded the limit concentrations for contaminated soils in Finland. A large variety of sources were identified or indicated.

humus metal multielement trace element urban geochemistry urban soil 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pasi Peltola
    • 1
  • Mats Åström
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyÅbo Akademi UniversityÅboFinland

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