December 6th 2013

God kvalitet på landbruksjord

Europeisk landbruksjord og beiteland er av god kvalitet. Det viser resultatene fra den geokjemiske kartleggingen i det internasjonale GEMAS-prosjektet. Nylig ble et nytt tobinds jordatlas lansert i Roma.

Gemas projectFARMING: The data can be used for a multitude of purposes.


The GEMAS project provides geochemical data for the agricultural soil and grazing land soil of Europe.

- The main goal of this initiative is to establish the geochemical background of more than 50 chemical elements and of the parameters determining their availability in soil for the agricultural soil and grazing land soil of Europe, Clemens Reimann says.

33 countries

Reimann is a senior scientist at Geological Survey of Norway and the chairman of the EuroGeoSurveys’ Geochemistry Expert Group.

Geochemical Mapping of Agricultural and Grazing Land Soil (GEMAS) is a continental-scale cooperation project between the expert group and the European Association of Metals (Eurometaux), involving 33 European countries.

- With respect to inorganic chemical elements, carbon and other physical and chemical properties, we can say yes, in general our soil is of surprisingly good quality. However, this does not exclude problems with toxic element concentration related to human activity at the local scale, Reimann explain.

Many purposes

The data are needed by the metal industry to prepare their REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemical substances) reports, but can also be used for a multitude of other purposes.

The GEMAS results will find applications in forensic science - interest has already been shown by Scotland Yard and the Canadian police - medical geology, mineral exploration, and in further wide-ranging academic research.

They can also be used as a data set for ground-truthing of remotely-sensed satellite observations that relate to soil composition. At last, they provide the farming community with a comparative database about soil quality, fertility and the impact of certain farming practices at the European scale.

Gemas projectIMPORTANT: In terms of a human time-scale, soil is a non-renewable natural resource.


On the 5th of December 2013, on the occasion of the UN World Soil Day, the GEMAS Atlas was launched at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Headquarters in Rome as a flagship of the event.

The two-volume atlas comes with a DVD that provides access to all maps and graphics shown in the atlas, as well as to the full database developed by the GEMAS project.

- Soil is formed, primarily, through the weathering of the underlying bedrock parent material over geological time. In terms of a human time-scale, it is a non-renewable natural resource. Knowledge about soil quality and the driving forces behind it is thus of great importance for society. Clean, productive agricultural soil is a vital European resource, which should be safeguarded for the present and future generations, senior scientist Clemens Reimann emphasize.

Clemsn Reimann


  • Clemens Reimann (to the right) was recently honoured with the Gold Medal from The Association of Applied Geochemists. The honour was given in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to the scientific fields of exploration and environmental geochemistry and geochemical mapping, and his exemplary service in promoting the exchange of ideas and the dissemination of information in these fields”.