Soil Protection and Soil Technology

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Soil Protection and Soil Technology


Soil protection and contaminated sites

Soils are an indispensable livelihood for humans, animals and plants. They supply food and raw materials, store and filter water and can reduce pollutants. They offer land for colonization, for traffic and leisure. And last but not least, they are an archive of natural and cultural history. However, the floors can not fulfill all of these functions simultaneously. In addition, some of these functions are threatened by contamination, erosion, humus decline and compaction. Accumulated damage can hardly be remedied in the short term, because fertile soils are the result of long physical, chemical and biological processes: it takes 200 to 300 years to regenerate one centimeter.

There is concern that the use of land for settlements and transport will further reduce the other functions. Every second, almost 11 square meters of land in Germany are used for residential and transport purposes. Almost half of it is sealed. However, sealing is increasingly losing natural soil functions such as water permeability or storage capacity, soil fertility and habitat for organisms.

Hazards to soils may stem from old industrial and commercial sites where environmentally hazardous materials have been used, as well as from land where waste has been handled or stored. If the soil is so polluted that it leads to risks to human health or the environment, these old deposits and old sites are called contaminated sites. In addition to the legacies of industrial development, there are also legacies through military use of land and through the production of military equipment.


Upcoming events

In addition to Commission VI's own events, associations and research institutes in particular offer workshops, seminars, etc. on soil protection and technology for DBG members and non-members. You can read more about this on our website Activities of Commission VI.