Intra-and inter-site variability of soil contamination in vegetated roadside embankments - Implications for maintenance operations

Abstract : This study addresses metallic contamination of roadside embankments. It aims to (i) characterize the variability of metal contents with respect to the distance from the road and soil depth, and (ii) evaluate the effect of influencing factors on the inter-site differences. 40 road segments were selected and sampled at 5 distances from the road and 2 soil depths. Analysis of trace metals was performed via X-ray fluorescence. Cu and Zn contamination was found to be mainly restricted to the first 30 cm of soil and lied between 45-330 mg/kg and 150-1000 mg/kg, respectively. Pb, however, shows a more uniform distribution over the width of the embankment, with moderate contents which could be interpreted as a consequence of the partial elimination of Pb sources after the ban on leaded gasoline. For every distance from the road up to 1.2 m, Zn (or Cu) contents correlated well with the traffic density on the adjacent road. Moreover, for a given traffic, the percentage of semi-trucks tended towards increasing soil contamination. These promising results may enable the a priori estimation of contamination levels on embankments without undertaking soil sampling and analysis; this offers interesting perspectives to better take into account the infrastructures' maintenance needs, and potentially improve upon routine maintenance operations.
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Rayan Charafeddine, Damien Tedoldi, Philippe Branchu, Eric Thomas, Vincent Laurent, et al.. Intra-and inter-site variability of soil contamination in vegetated roadside embankments - Implications for maintenance operations. Novatech 2019, Jul 2019, Lyon, France. ⟨hal-02183569⟩

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