Aims and objectives
The aim of the PERSPEC project is to compile current knowledge on how atmospheric and hydrological processes influence the mobilisation of contaminants to, within, and from soils. The focus is on priory substances according to the European water framework directive (WFD) such as metals (e.g. mercury, lead and aluminium), and persistent organic pollutants (POPs; e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), brominated diphenylethers, chlorophenols, chlorobenzenes, PCBs and dioxins).
Metals and organic contaminants have in the past often been studied separately, mainly due to their different chemical properties. However, in the environment they coexist and are subject to the same environmental processes. By including both metals and organic contaminants in the same research framework, differences as well as similarities in their environmental fate and response to climate factors will become apparent, and different scenarios may be explored.
The primary objective of the PERSPEC project is to:
• Deliver a compilation of current knowledge regarding soil system processes with focus on contaminant mobilisation;
• Gather data from a well defined background level system;
• Produce predictions of contaminant mobilisation by using state-of-the-art modelling tools;
Identify key processes and parameters needed to expand the necessary knowledge and improve the models.
The PERSPEC project will profit from the results obtained at the Krycklan catchment study. Krycklan is a catchment area with little human impact where long-term hydrological and biogeochemical monitoring has been conducted in combination with 30 years of process based research, thereby allowing the effects of climate change on contaminant mobilisation in soils to be explored. The findings from this study will be applicable to a wide variety of north European catchments systems and will provide an integrated, process-based understanding of base-line contamination of major catchments from “atmosphere to estuary”.
Soil system processes and the mobilisation of contaminants in soil are connected to the hydrological conditions and processes of the soil. Consequently there is a lot to gain from combining the scientific expertise from countries that share soil, hydrological and climate attributes and in this respect are likely to be affected similarly by future changes.
We sincerely hope that the PERSPEC project can function as a starting point for such a gathering of researchers and that the outcome of the PERSPEC project may provide valuable input in future strategic research activities within the European Union.