Soil Pollution: Processes and Dynamics

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The soil is the medium through which pollutants originating from human activities, both in agriculture and industry, move from the land surfaces to groundwater. Polluting substances are subject to complex physical, chemical and biological transformations during their movement through the soil. Their displacement depends on the transport properties of the water-air-soil system and on the molecular properties of the pollutants. Prediction of soil pollution and restoration of polluted soils requires an under- standing of the processes controlling the fate of pollutants in the soil medium and of the dynamics of the contaminants in the un- saturated zone. Our book was conceived* as a basic overview of the processes governing the behavior of pollutants as affected by soil constituents and environmental factors. It was written for the use of specialists working on soil and unsaturated zone pollution and restoration, as well as for graduate students starting research in this field. Since many specialists working on soil restoration lack a back- ground in soil science or a knowledge of the properties of soil pollutants, we have included this information which forms the first part of the book. In the second part, we discuss the partitioning of pollutants between the aqueous, solid and gaseous phase of the soil medium. The retention, transformation and transport of pollutants in the soils form the third section.