Understanding Contaminated Land


The URGENT Programme has a number of projects examining some of the important geoscientific issues relevant to urban regeneration. The majority of these projects are aimed at various aspects of the assessment and understanding of contaminated land and groundwater resulting from past industrial activities and of the effects of remediation. Understanding the behaviour of organic and inorganic contaminants of brown field sites helps to determine appropriate strategies for their remediation and subsequent re-development. In this area, studies include detailed studies of chromium in soils at a site in Glasgow, metal speciation and bioavailability in West Midlands soils and in-siu sensing of the effect of remediation on available metal fluxes. Non-invasive geophysical techniques are being developed and refined for the detection of mine shafts and mine waste and for the characterisation of  NAPL contaminated land. These methods will allow rapid, cost effective evaluation of sites and identification of targets requiring more detailed investigation and evaluation.

Most of these projects are supported by the involvement of Government bodies, including the EA (http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk//gwcl/index.htm), the Coal Authority and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (http://www.regeneration.detr.gov.uk/), local authorities and private sector companies involved in the contaminated land sector.