Environmental Geology

Magnetic and ground probing radar measurements for soil pollution mapping in the industrial area of Val Basento (Basilicata Region, Southern Italy): a case study

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Courtesy of Environmental Geology

Abstract 
The joint application of electromagnetic techniques for near-surface exploration is a useful tool for soil pollution monitoring and can also contribute towards describing the spatial distribution of pollutants. The results of a geophysical field survey that was carried out for characterizing the heavy metal and waste disposal soil pollution phenomena in the industrial area of Val Basento (Basilicata region, Southern Italy) are presented here. First, topsoil magnetic susceptibility measurements have been carried out for defining the spatial distribution of superficial pollution phenomena in the investigated area. Second, detailed and integrated measurements based on a high-resolution magnetic mapping and ground probing radar (GPR) profiling have been applied to investigate the subsurface in two industrial areas located in more polluted sites that were identified during the first phase. Our monitoring strategy discloses the way to rapidly define the zone characterized by high pollution levels deriving from chemical industries and traffic emissions and to obtain the way information about the presence of local buried sources of contamination.

Keywords: Soil Pollution - Magnetic Susceptibility - Magnetometry - Ground probing radar (GPR) - Basilicata Region (Southern Italy)

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