Life on Land

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Soil Contamination and Remediation

  • Nuno M. C. Cruz
  • Sónia Morais RodriguesEmail author
Living reference work entry


Soil contamination refers to the occurrence of a chemical or substance in soil above a certain concentration causing deterioration or loss of one or more soil functions (JRC 2014, 2016). Soil pollution is hereby defined as the human activity that causes soil contamination (JRC 2016). Soil remediation refers the management of the soil contaminant at a site so as to prevent, minimize, or mitigate hazard to human health, property, or the environment.


Soil contamination is causing irreversible land losses worldwide and there are alarming global concerns about the sustainability of the soil resource. Soils are both source and a sink for pollution. Even after the removal of sources, soil contaminants may remain accumulated for many years, affecting soil functions, impairing soils’ ability to support life systems and soils’ capacity to provide ecosystem services, and often leading to the production of brownfields and derelict land (Rodrigues et al. 2009).

Hence, it is...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CESAM & Department of ChemistryUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anabela Marisa Azul
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Neuroscience and Cell BiologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal