Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 29, Number 1, January-March 2009
Page(s) 161 - 173
Published online 15 March 2008
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 29 (2009) 161-173
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2007060

Mobility, turnover and storage of pollutants in soils, sediments and waters: achievements and results of the EU project AquaTerra. A review

J.A.C. Barth1, P. Grathwohl1, H.J. Fowler2, A. Bellin3, M.H. Gerzabek4, G.J. Lair4, D. Barceló5, M. Petrovic5, A. Navarro5, Ph. Négrel6, E. Petelet-Giraud6, D. Darmendrail6, H. Rijnaarts7, A. Langenhoff7, J. de Weert7, A. Slob7, B.M. van der Zaan7, J. Gerritse7, E. Frank8, A. Gutierrez6, R. Kretzschmar9, T. Gocht1, D. Steidle1, F. Garrido6, K.C. Jones10, S. Meijer10, C. Moeckel10, A. Marsman7, G. Klaver7, T. Vogel11, C. Bürger1, O. Kolditz12, H.P. Broers7, N. Baran6, J. Joziasse7, W. Von Tümpling12, P. Van Gaans7, C. Merly6, A. Chapman13, S. Brouyère14, J. Batlle Aguilar14, Ph. Orban14, N. Tas15 and H. Smidt15

1  Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Center for Applied Geoscience, Sigwartstr. 10, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
2  University of Newcastle, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Cassie Building, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain
3  Università di Trento, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Via Mesiano 77, 38050 Trento, Italy
4  University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Strasse 82b, A 1190 Vienna, Austria
5  Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas y Ambientales de Barcelona, Jordi Girona Salgado 18-26, 8034 Barcelona, Spain
6  Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, 3 avenue Claude Guillemin, BP 36009, 45060 Orléans, France
7  Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, PO Box 80015, NL 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
8  Attempto Service GmbH, Karlstr. 3, 72072 Tübingen, Germany
9  ETH, Department of Environment Sciences, Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, CHN, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
10  Lancaster University, Environmental Science Department, Institute of Environmental and Natural Sciences, LA1 4YQ Lancaster, Great Britain
11  Czech Technical University in Prague, Department of Hydraulic and Hydrology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Thakurova 7, 16629 Prague, Czech Republic
12  Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig, Department of Inland water research, Department for aquatic chemistry and chemometrics, Brückstr. 3a, 39114 Magdeburg, Germany
13  r3 Environmental Technology ltd, 88 Balmore Drive, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8NN, UK
14  University of Liège, GEOMAC Department, Bât. B52/3 Chemin des chevreuils1, 4000 Liège, Belgium
15  Wageningen university, Laboratory of Microbiology, Dreijenplein 10, 6703 HB Wagenirgen, The Netherlands

Accepted 5 December 2007 ; published online 15 March 2008

Abstract - AquaTerra is one of the first environmental projects within the 6th Framework program by the European Commission. It began in June 2004 with a multidisciplinary team of 45 partner organizations from 13 EU countries, Switzerland, Serbia, Romania and Montenegro. Results from sampling and modeling in 4 large river basins (Ebro, Danube, Elbe and Meuse) and one catchment of the Brévilles Spring in France led to new evaluations of diffuse and hotspot input of persistent organic and metal pollutants including dynamics of pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as metal turnover and accumulation. While degradation of selected organic compounds could be demonstrated under controlled conditions in the laboratory, turnover of most persistent pollutants in the field seems to range from decades to centuries. First investigations of long-term cumulative and degradation effects, particularly in the context of climate change, have shown that it is also necessary to consider the predictions of more than one climate model when trying to assess future impacts. This is largely controlled by uncertainties in climate model responses. It is becoming evident, however, that changes to the climate will have important impacts on the diffusion and degradation of pollutants in space and time that are just at the start of their exploration.

Key words: contaminants / organic / inorganic / European river basins / climate change / sorption / biodegradation / soil / sediment / ground- and surface water / heavy metals / review / pesticides / atrazine / isoproturon / alkyphenol / acetochlor / chlortoluron / organochlorine / Br diphenyl ethers / drugs / TOF mass spectrometry / 87Sr

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008