Title: Could shelling in the First World War have increased copper concentrations in the soil around Ypres? 
Resource Type: document --> technical publication --> journal article 
Country: Belgium 
Year: 2008 
Availability: European Journal of Soil Science 59 (2) , 372–379 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2389.2007.01014.x 
Author 1/Producer: T. Meklit, S. Verstraete, M. De Boever, F. Tack 
Other Authors/Producers: M. Van Meirvenne 
Author / Producer Type: University research group / research institute 
Article Weblink (=direct link): http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2389 ...  
EUGRIS Keyword(s): Contaminated land-->Contaminants-->Heavy metals
Contaminated land-->Risk assessment-->Sources
Diffuse pollution-->Contaminants-->Contaminants overview
Diffuse pollution-->Processes
Short description: EXTRACT (ABSTRACT) In the First World War, the region around Ypres (West-Flanders, Belgium) was a battlefield where millions of copper-containing shells were fired. To investigate the consequences of this shelling, we analysed statistically data on the copper (Cu) content in the topsoil (0–0.5 m) of the province of West-Flanders, an area of 3144 km2. The measurements had been made on the fine earth (< 2 mm) fraction of 2786 samples. A preliminary screening of the data revealed larger concentrations of Cu in a region of approximately 625 km2 around Ypres. These concentrations were estimated by ordinary block kriging on the logarithms of the Cu concentration with separate variograms for the battlefield area and the rest of the province and mapped. The median concentration in the battlefield area was 18.0 mg Cu kg−1 compared with 12.0 mg Cu kg−1 elsewhere. We conclude that the current Cu enrichment in the soil around Ypres is the legacy of the millions of shells that were fired in the First World War. 
Submitted By: Professor Paul Bardos WhoDoesWhat?      Last update: 26/03/2008

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