The Role of Soil Physico-chemical and Faunal Characteristics in Monitoring the Success of Land Reclamation and Development: the Case of Bede Heritage Park, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear

Ian Convery, Antony Mellor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the physico-chemical and faunal characteristics of soils at Bede Heritage Park, a reclaimed and developed site with a long and varied industrial history near Jarrow, Tyne and Wear. A soil survey carried out by NECL (1990) revealed that soils in the northern half of the site, nearest to the River Tyne, were more contaminated than those in the southern half, with higher concentrations of sulphate, sulphide and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd and As), and more alkaline pH values. 43 topsoil samples were collected from the site, using a stratified systematic unaligned sampling strategy and the following physico-chemical properties were determined: moisture content, organic matter content, pH, electrical conductivity and macronutrient content (N,P,K); soil cores were also collected for bulk density determination. Additional soil cores were collected for faunal analysis, with fauna extracted using a Tullgren funnel system and identified under the microscope. The results appeared to be consistent with recently reclaimed and unstable soils affected by industrial contamination. Soils of the more contaminated northern area had significantly higher pH and electrical conductivity values, and significantly lower moisture and potassium contents, as well as lower numbers of Collembola and Acari than those in the southern half. Correlation and regression analysis also revealed a number of statistically significant relationships between soil physico-chemical characteristics and numbers of Collembola and Acari. The role of soil physico-chemical and faunal characteristics in monitoring and evaluating the success of land reclamation, and in informing future soil management strategies at reclaimed sites is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-262
JournalLand Contamination and Reclamation
Volume4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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