SEGH Articles

The 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece

18 June 2019
Ariadne Argyrak recalls the events of the 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece, which included a special session entitled jointly organized by the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, the IUGS Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines (CGGB) and the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group

The 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece -GSG 2019 was successfully held on May 22-24 2019 in Athens, Greece. The conference was hosted by the Harokopio University in an excellent venue. The International Congresses of the Geological Society of Greece are multidisciplinary earth science events, focusing on, but not limited to, the broader Aegean region and its surroundings, with the view to highlighting the contribution of geosciences to the study of natural resources, natural hazards and environment. The central theme of this year's congress was "Exploring and Protecting our Living Planet Earth". With a rich program spread in 12 general sessions and 16 special sessions, the congress attracted 723 delegates, 208 oral presentations, 184 poster presentations and 14 Keynote lectures. Conference abstracts have been authored by 1647 authors or co-authors from 36 countries.

  

SEGH presence at The 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece

A special session entitled "Geochemical mapping for environmental and resource management" was jointly organized by the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, the IUGS Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines (CGGB) and the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group. The focus of the session was on geochemical mapping at all spatial scales for the study of the environment and the natural resources. The main objective was to provide the opportunity for young researchers to present their work and benefit from the interaction with well-established geochemistry experts. Furthermore, the session enabled mingle and osmosis between experts working on different aspects of geochemistry and provided the floor for exchanging experiences with working and interpreting big data like the GEMAS project or more locally focused surveys of rapidly changing environments such as urban areas and beyond. A total of 10 oral and 12 poster presentations have been included in the special session, most of them by young researchers. Two excellent keynotes were delivered during the session, one by Dr Philippe Negrel on GEMAS: GEOCHEMISTRY OF EUROPEAN SOIL FOR PRODUCING GOOD QUALITY FOOD and a second by Prof. Andrew Hursthouse on SOIL CONTAMINANT BASELINES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF URBAN ECOSYSTEMS. A lovely dinner with a view of the Parthenon over Greek delicacies was the social highlight of the event. 

Overall this event has been a perfect opportunity for promoting the scope of SEGH to a wide audience of young earth scientists. Hopefully, there will be opportunities for many more to follow. The conference program and the list of presentations of the special session T4S1 is accessible at https://www.gsg2019.gr/

Ariadne Argyraki, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

  • Distribution of metal(loid)s in particle size fraction in urban soil and street dust: influence of population density 2020-01-18

    Abstract

    Assessment of street dust is an invaluable approach for monitoring atmospheric pollution. Little information is available on the size distribution of contaminants in street dusts and urban soils, and it is not known how the population density would influence them. This research was carried out to assess the size distribution of trace metal(loid)s in street dust and urban soil, and to understand how population density might influence the size-resolved concentration of metal(loid)s. Three urban areas with a high, medium and low population density and a natural area were selected and urban soil and street dust sampled. They were fractionated into 8 size fractions: 2000–850, 850–180, 180–106, 106–50, 50–20, 20–10, 10–2, and < 2 µm. The concentration of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, Cr, Ni, As, and Fe was determined, and enrichment factor and grain size fraction loadings were computed. The results indicated that the concentration of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, and Cr was highly size dependent, particularly for particles < 100 µm, especially for street dust. Low concentrations of Ni and As in street dust and urban soil were size and population density independent. Higher size dependency of the metals concentration and the higher degree of elemental enrichment in the street dust fractions than the urban soils indicate higher contribution of human-induced pollution to the dust. Findings also confirm the inevitability of size fractionation when soils or dusts are environmentally assessed, particularly in moderately to highly polluted areas. Otherwise, higher concentrations of certain pollutants in fine-sized particles might be overlooked leading to inappropriate decisions for environmental remediation.

  • Soil–plant system and potential human health risk of Chinese cabbage and oregano growing in soils from Mn- and Fe-abandoned mines: microcosm assay 2020-01-17

    Abstract

    In Portugal, many abandoned mines are often close to agricultural areas and might be used for plant food cultivation. Soils in the vicinity of two Mn- and Fe-abandoned mines (Ferragudo and Rosalgar, SW of Portugal) were collected to cultivate two different food species (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis (Lour.) Hanelt and Origanum vulgare L.). Chemical characterization of the soil–plant system and potential risk of adverse effects for human health posed by plants associated with soil contamination, based on the estimation of hazard quotient (HQ), were assessed in a microcosm assay under greenhouse conditions. In both soils, the average total concentrations of Fe and Mn were above the normal values for soils in the region and their concentration in shoots of both species was very high. Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis grew better in Ferragudo than in Rosalgar soils, and it behaved as an excluder of Cu, Mn, Fe, S and Zn in both soils. The HQ for Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn in the studied species grown on both soils was lower than unit indicating that its consumption is safe. The high Mn tolerance found in both species might be due in part to the high contents of Fe in the soil available fraction that might contribute to an antagonism effect in the uptake and translocation of Mn. The obtained results emphasize the need of further studies with different food crops before cultivation in the studied soils to assess health risks associated with high metal intake.

  • Concentration, fractionation, and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals and phosphorus in surface sediments from lakes in N. Greece 2020-01-13

    Abstract

    The presence of phosphorus (P) and heavy metals (HMs) in surface sediments originating from lakes Volvi, Kerkini, and Doirani (N. Greece), as well as their fractionation patterns, were investigated. No statistically significant differences in total P content were observed among the studied lakes, but notable differences were observed among sampling periods. HM contents in all lakes presented a consistent trend, i.e., Mn > Cr > Zn > Pb > Ni > Cu > Cd, while the highest concentrations were recorded in Lake Kerkini. Most of the HMs exceeded probable effect level value indicating a probable biological effect, while Ni in many cases even exceeded threshold effects level, suggesting severe toxic effects. P was dominantly bound to metal oxides, while a significant shift toward the labile fractions was observed during the spring period. The sum of potentially bioavailable HM fractions followed a downward trend of Mn > Cr > Pb > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cd for most lakes. The geoaccumulation index Igeo values of Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn in all lakes characterized the sediments as “unpolluted,” while many sediments in lakes Volvi and Kerkini were characterized as “moderately to heavily polluted” with regard to Cd. The descending order of potential ecological risk \(E_{\text{r}}^{i}\) was Cd > Pb > Cu > Ni > Cr > Zn > Mn for all the studied lakes. Ni and Cr presented the highest toxic risk index values in all lake sediments. Finally, the role of mineralogical divergences among lake sediments on the contamination degree was signified.