In-Situ Sensing of the Effect of Remediation 
on Available Metal Fluxes in Contaminated Land

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  • to develop multi-element, in-situ diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) probes for measuring metal
    re-supply fluxes in urban soils and to verify their use for Cd, Co, Cr(III), Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn
  • to use the re-supply fluxes to calculate hazard factors
  • to assess how hazard factors relate to physicochemical soil characteristics and to soil microbial activity
  • to investigate the effect of remediation on hazard factors
  • to assess small-scale variability in metal re-supply.




DGT offers great potential as a simple diagnostic tool for assessing the risk posed by contaminated land, but it still requires careful testing. This project will use DGT to perform measurements on the two key groups of contaminated land in Central Scotland that are the subject of an URGENT Programme first call project entitled Integrated Assessment and Modelling of Contaminant Behaviour, Transport and Impact at Remediable Urban Sites. It will exploit the information available to further the understanding of DGT measurement in real conditions. The work will be fully integrated into the existing project, for which it will provide complementary information on the kinetics of metal re-supply and potential availability.

Start date/duration

October 1998 Three years

Lead Organisation

Lancaster University


This project will ultimately lead to:

  • establishment of a new procedure for quantitatively assessing the potential hazardous nature of soils
  • the development of an in-situ test probe
  • a procedure for examining microniche mobilisation of metals
  • assessment of how remediation procedures affect available metals.

Although focused on a series of specific sites in Central Scotland, the outcome and benefits of the project will be generic.


Academic institutions

Environmental regulators and enforcement agents, both national and regional

Industrial companies


Further Details

Further information is available from the following contacts:

Lead Researcher: Prof W Davison

Tel: 01524 593935, Fax: 01524 593985, e-mail:

URGENT Programme Manager: Graham Leeks

Tel: 01491 692203, Fax: 01491 692313, e-mail: