Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker


  • I. V. GalitskayaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_69


Contamination is the act or process of contaminating or the state of being contaminated.

Interpretation of the term “contamination” depends on its scope. In chemistry, the term “contamination” refers to the mixing of components, contamination of samples, solutions, etc., distorting the results of an analysis. In geology, contamination is the process of changes to the compositions of igneous rocks under the influence of assimilation (capture and processing) of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks that differ from the parental magma composition. Contamination is possible if the temperature of the magma is sufficient for remelting captured fragments (xenoliths) of host rocks.

Radioactive contamination is the deposition of radioactive substances on surfaces, or within solids, liquids, or gases (including in the human body), where their presence is unintended or undesirable, or the processes giving rise to their presence in such places.

In environmental geochemistry, contamination...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sergeev Institute of Environmental Geoscience Russian Academy of Sciences (IEG RAS)MoscowRussia