Cadmium, Zinc and Lead Load to Agricultural Land in the Upper Oder and Elbe Basins During the Period 1955-1994

Prieler, S. ORCID:, Smal, H., Olendrzynski, K., Anderberg, S. ORCID:, & Stigliani, W.M. (1996). Cadmium, Zinc and Lead Load to Agricultural Land in the Upper Oder and Elbe Basins During the Period 1955-1994. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-96-030

[thumbnail of WP-96-030.pdf]

Download (1MB) | Preview


This paper presents the results of an analysis on the total load of cadmium, zinc and lead to agricultural soils during the period 1955-1994. Total heavy metal load will serve as input for the soil modeling part of the wider IIASA study on "Regional Material Balance Approaches to Long Term Environmental Planning." The project area embraces the northwestern part of the Czech Republic (Bohemia and Morawia), southwestern Poland (Upper and Lower Silesia), and the south of the former G.D.R. (Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Thueringen). Agricultural soils receive heavy metal via atmospheric deposition and via certain agricultural practices, the most important ones are: P-fertilizer application and manuring. Atmospheric deposition loads were derived from computations within the atmospheric modeling part of the IIASA IND Project. On the basis of a literature search focusing on the countries of the project area heavy metal concentration factors for P-fertilizer and manure were established. The fertilizer and manure application during the study period was derived from diverse statistical sources.

The analysis shows the importance of regional differences and of the changes in time. This refers to both, the total load of heavy metals to the soils and the share of agricultural or atmospheric load in total load. The atmospheric load is highest in the 60s or 70s and then shows a downward trend. The highest P-fertilizer and manure application rates are in the 70s or 80s (and consequently the heavy metal load due to these practices is high). After the economic changes in 1989 there is a sharp decline in fertilizer application. The agricultural share in total load is very low in the case of lead, amounting to less than 10% during the whole period. Agricultural share in total load of cadmium and zinc varies considerable over time and shows high regional differences. For cadmium the agricultural share in total load ranges between 10 and 60 percent, in the case of zinc between 30 and 80 percent. A general feature here is, the higher the total load, the higher the share in atmospheric deposition.

A preliminary mass balance for cadmium and lead in soils shows possible implications for long-term build up of heavy metals in soils. The release of Cadmium from soils via erosion and leaching contributes as so called diffuse load to total Cadmium load to rivers. The mass balance gives estimates for this diffuse load.

Finally sources of uncertainties are discussed. They refer in particular to spatial variations that cannot be traced in this type of analysis. Close to major heavy metal emittents or in areas where uncontrolled sewage sludge application took place, the heavy metal load may be significantly higher than estimated in this study.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Industrial Metabolism (IND)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:08
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item