Regional Geochemical Mapping – methods and challenges

(Sponsored by International Centre on Global Geochemistry under the Auspices of UNESCO (ICGG, Langfang, China)

Convenors: Yanxin Wang, Igor Spiridonov, Victor Kilipko

Description: Regional Geochemical Mapping is an established method for studying the spatial distribution of chemical elements in different sample materials, e.g., stream sediment, floodplain or overbank sediment, water, soil, rock and vegetation. The geochemical data can be used in a variety of fields such as mineral exploration, environmental, medical and forensic sciences, agriculture, forestry and land use planning. The results of regional geochemical mapping allow to understand processes operating at the large scale (from national to regional scale), such as weathering, climate, tectonic evolution, etc. and to distinguish them from more local processes such as contamination. The data from geochemical mapping have high impact on socio-economic aspects and the well-being of humans and animals, because they provide information about the chemical quality of agricultural soil, drinking water, building materials – whatever is analysed. At present, it is crucial not only to provide background levels of elements in a large variety of different materials. Element toxicity as well as deficiency needs to be expected both at the continental and local scale. Modern geochemical mapping relies on building databases and providing digital data services to the community as a whole. Geochemistry is a highly quantitative methodology utilising advanced mathematical, statistical and spatial methods for the processing and presentation of the obtained data. This session will focus on the availability and use of such datasets at a large variety of scales.

Environmental geochemistry in human, animals and plants health

Convenors: Jose Centeno, Robert Finkelman

Description: The discipline of geochemistry and environmental health establishes and explains the links between the natural or disturbed chemical composition of the earth's surface and the health of plants, animals, and people. Essential elements regulate or stimulate enzymatic and hormonal activity, while other elements can be toxic. The bedrock geochemistry controls the composition of the soil and, therefore, water and vegetation. Environmental problems are discussed, such as environmental pollution resulting from the extraction and use of mineral resources. The effect of pollutants falling into the geochemical systems of the Earth has been studied. Geochemical studies of soil, water and plants show how basic and trace elements are distributed geographically. Concomitant epidemiological studies show the possibility of causal links between the natural or disturbed geochemical environment and diseases. Experimental studies highlight the nature or effects of natural or disturbed geochemical processes. This session will focus on how to use geochemical data sets for safety assessment of territories of human being and industrial activities as well as how to form a forecast on development of medical and environmental conditions.

Geogenic and antropogenic chemical elements in drinking water and human habitat (on the pattern of As, F, , Se, U and other chemical elements and compounds)

Convenors: Birggitte Hansen, Alexei Benderev

Description: Geology water and health are tightly related. Fluorides, arsenic and selenium are well known cases, but other and more indirect interactions also occur. For example the use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture reach man via water supply. Use of pharmaceuticals in the household may leach from wastewater treatment plants reaching water sources, and influencing the health of large communities. This session will focus on studies of the hydrosphere and geosphere impacts on the anthrosphere, highlighting methods to improve quality of life and minimize health risks.

Indoor exposure and health effects

Convenor: Eddy Zeng

Description: The general population spends the majority of time in indoor environments, whether they are homes, offices, or other covered settings. With the widespread use of various chemicals in consumer products, indoor exposure to persistent toxic substances has become an important source of human health risk. The goal of this session is to provide a platform to showcase the recent progress in related research work and discuss the knowledge gap that needs to be filled in future investigations.

Environmental and geochemical aspects of soil covering studies

Convenor: Elena Panova

Description: Soils have varied geochemistries and mineralogies, affecting their potential to interact positively, and negatively, with human physiologies. Of particular concern is the property of soils to serve as repositories for harmful contaminants, and to cause significant human health risks through direct exposure and through the production of dust from soils. This session will explore the interactions between soils and the human physiology, with a goal of quantifying soil-human interactions on the individual or population scale.

Global climate change as a challenge in solving of tasks of the search and environmental geochemistry

Convenor: Alper Baba

Description: Globally, public health concerns regarding climate related changes such as desertification and the associated long range as well as local health effects are escalating. This multidisciplinary session will focus on how the changing climate will influence many areas of population habitat and health as well as geochemical background changing. Examples of climate related changes that influence human health include: a decrease in air quality (asthma); meteorological effects (cardiovascular disease and heatstroke) including extreme weather events (floods); and biological impacts (increased incidence of vector or water borne disease; reemerging diseases e.g. coccidiomycosis).

Geochemical aspects in sustainable development of mineral and energy sectors of people economy and industry

Session Convenors: Kim Dowling, Iosif Volfson

Description: We are looking for high quality and innovative research for the remediation of contaminated sites, responding to well identified multi and inter-disciplinary needs and with a clearly defined focus on site investigation, risk assessment, life cycle assessment and the effectiveness of site remediation. This will involve close collaboration between many disciplines, including microbiology, chemistry, toxicology, engineering, materials science and environmental modelling.

Environmental regulation and governance

Session Convenor: Su-ming Khoo

Description: This session will explore aspects of environment, health and/or agricultural regulation and governance, and the role of GIS in mapping, data presentation and visualization in facilitating knowledge, information, public education, participation and societal mobilization. Papers exploring the interfaces between science, policy and citizen participation; addressing the management of different ecological, economic and social demands, or examining policy and public engagement and research utilisation will be especially welcome.

The modern techniques in solving of the tasks of environmental geochemistry

Session Convenor: _____

Description: Monitoring and controlling environmental health hazards entails a wide range of actions, each of which is focused on a specific hazard or form of public health. Monitoring involves the use of routine measurements to detect changes in the environment or state of health and can be based on data from a wide variety of sources including geochemical data sets. The control of environmental hazards depends on determining acceptable levels of exposure and, therefore, health risks and determining the levels of control necessary to maintain exposure below specified thresholds. Specific control issues are discussed in terms of food and water safety, air pollution.

Dust as an object of environmental and geochemical research

Session Convenor Ed Derbishire

Description: Natural and anthropogenic dust contains particles that pose a risk to human health. Their size, shape, chemical and mineral composition provide critical information regarding the source and potential risk of dust to human health and an understanding of how dust pollution is formed and dust is carried. This session will be devoted to discussing the latest technical tools for studying the dust pollution of the planet, including those taking place against the backdrop of global climate change and increasing urbanization.

Biogeochemical processes of heavy metals and human health

Session Convenors: Tangfu Xiao; Dominik Weiss

Description: Heavy metal pollution in the environment remains critical risk to human health. There is a clear need for a full understanding of biogeochemical processes of heavy metal in the environment, including the source identification, biogeochemical transportation, and final impact on human health. Progresses in source discrimination (geogenic and/or anthropogenic origin), biogeochemical transportation, exposure pathways, and consequent human health risk are welcome to communicate in this session.

Session Convenor: Pat Rasmussen

Description: There is an increasing demand for quantitative information on the quality of indoor environments, including residential environments, workplaces, and public buildings. Papers in this session will cover a range of topics that are relevant to human health risk assessments, exposure assessments, and epidemiological studies. Topics include source apportionment, indoor/outdoor relationships, and sampling and analytical approaches for measuring metals and synthetic organic compounds in indoor environments.

Hazard assessment of metal pollution in urban soils

Session convenor: Jinyan Yang, Sergey Samaev

Description: Due to high population density and intensive anthropogenic activities, urban areas are recognized as both the major sources and sinks of anthropogenic contaminants. Among the pollutants in the urban areas, metals are of particular concern due to their long residence time in soils and their potential toxicity to humans. As the big increase in the population of urban areas over the last decades has caused high traffic volumes and consequently high automobile emissions, traffic emission has emerged as one of the most severe environmental problems in many cities and main source of pollution of urban soils. The goal of this session is to facilitate a series of conversations about the traffic-related metal accumulation in urban soils and the hazard assessment of metal pollution of urban soils. Most humans live in cities and towns which are systems that integrate geologic and anthropogenic processes. Inputs include a wide range of materials that are transformed to build, power, nurture, and sustain urban populations. This session deals with characteristics that advance, worsen or remedy human well-being and health within urban settings.

Urban geochemistry and pollution in Russian megacities

Session Convenor: Olga Menchinskaya, Serguey Samaev

Description: A widespread legacy of an often uncontrolled growth has deeply changed the geochemical character of urban environments in Russia. In this Session, a display of geochemistry research on Russian megacities (e.g., Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and others) would show the extent to which these cities are affected by multiple sources of pollution; for example, through the burning of fossil fuels, industrial and manufacturing activities, human and industrial waste disposal practices, vehicular traffic emissions and the circulation of geogenic dust. The range of pollution types from these sources is diverse, and includes toxic metal contamination, organic pollution, smog, acid mine drainage (AMD), acid rain, and greenhouse gas accumulation. Results on studies of chemical pollution of the air, water and soil environments of the largest urban agglomerations in Russia will be presented, and an assessment made of the level of exposure to pollutants by associated communities. The role of urban geochemistry is to mitigate the effects of pollution by assembling all the information (such as stratigraphy, the nature of soils and atmospheric particulates, dynamics of surface and groundwater flow, contaminant transport mechanisms) that is required to monitor pollution, and to determine measures, including legal instruments that should be adopted to ensure containment and eventually clean-up of the polluted areas of contaminated land, air and hydrological systems. Illustrations would be given of efforts that should be made by geochemists, public health authorities and city planners to preserve the environmental health of Russian urban communities.

Regional geochemical datasets — applications to agricultural and environmental management

Session Convenors: Kate Knights, Vincent Gallagher, Ray Scanlon, Mairead Glennon

Description: Advances in large multi-element spatial datasets detailing surficial geochemical trends provide an opportunity to assess how geochemical patterns and processes can affect a range of environmental and agricultural management challenges. This session will explore how geochemical datasets are utilised for applications for improved agricultural and environmental management, for example in examining the environmental distribution and availability of mirco- and macro-nutrients, radioelements, and potentially harmful elements.

Environmental and geochemical monitoring of landfill deposits

Sponsored by Institute for Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Crystal Chemistry (IMGRE), Moscow, Russia

Session Convenors: ______

Description: The range of pollution types from landfill deposits is diverse, and includes toxic metal contamination, organic pollution, smog, acid mine drainage (AMD), acid rain, and greenhouse gas accumulation. A serious task is to monitor a behavior of toxic compounds including heavy metals, metalloids and etc. released from landfills to environment for prevention affectation of human habitat and health of the population. We invite to discuss how to use methods and approaches of rutine geochemical research for solving of geochemical and environmental monitoring problems.

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