SEGH Articles

The 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece

18 June 2019
Ariadne Argyrak recalls the events of the 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece, which included a special session entitled jointly organized by the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, the IUGS Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines (CGGB) and the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group

The 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece -GSG 2019 was successfully held on May 22-24 2019 in Athens, Greece. The conference was hosted by the Harokopio University in an excellent venue. The International Congresses of the Geological Society of Greece are multidisciplinary earth science events, focusing on, but not limited to, the broader Aegean region and its surroundings, with the view to highlighting the contribution of geosciences to the study of natural resources, natural hazards and environment. The central theme of this year's congress was "Exploring and Protecting our Living Planet Earth". With a rich program spread in 12 general sessions and 16 special sessions, the congress attracted 723 delegates, 208 oral presentations, 184 poster presentations and 14 Keynote lectures. Conference abstracts have been authored by 1647 authors or co-authors from 36 countries.

  

SEGH presence at The 15th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece

A special session entitled "Geochemical mapping for environmental and resource management" was jointly organized by the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, the IUGS Commission on Global Geochemical Baselines (CGGB) and the EuroGeoSurveys Geochemistry Expert Group. The focus of the session was on geochemical mapping at all spatial scales for the study of the environment and the natural resources. The main objective was to provide the opportunity for young researchers to present their work and benefit from the interaction with well-established geochemistry experts. Furthermore, the session enabled mingle and osmosis between experts working on different aspects of geochemistry and provided the floor for exchanging experiences with working and interpreting big data like the GEMAS project or more locally focused surveys of rapidly changing environments such as urban areas and beyond. A total of 10 oral and 12 poster presentations have been included in the special session, most of them by young researchers. Two excellent keynotes were delivered during the session, one by Dr Philippe Negrel on GEMAS: GEOCHEMISTRY OF EUROPEAN SOIL FOR PRODUCING GOOD QUALITY FOOD and a second by Prof. Andrew Hursthouse on SOIL CONTAMINANT BASELINES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF URBAN ECOSYSTEMS. A lovely dinner with a view of the Parthenon over Greek delicacies was the social highlight of the event. 

Overall this event has been a perfect opportunity for promoting the scope of SEGH to a wide audience of young earth scientists. Hopefully, there will be opportunities for many more to follow. The conference program and the list of presentations of the special session T4S1 is accessible at https://www.gsg2019.gr/

Ariadne Argyraki, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Keep up to date

Submit Content

Members can keep in touch with their colleagues through short news and events articles of interest to the SEGH community.

Science in the News

Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

  • Geophagy among East African Chimpanzees: consumed soils provide protection from plant secondary compounds and bioavailable iron 2019-12-01

    Abstract

    Geophagy, the intentional consumption of earth materials, has been recorded in humans and other animals. It has been hypothesized that geophagy is an adaptive behavior, and that clay minerals commonly found in eaten soil can provide protection from toxins and/or supplement micronutrients. To test these hypotheses, we monitored chimpanzee geophagy using camera traps in four permanent sites at the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, from October 2015–October 2016. We also collected plants, and soil chimpanzees were observed eating. We analyzed 10 plant and 45 soil samples to characterize geophagic behavior and geophagic soil and determine (1) whether micronutrients are available from the soil under physiological conditions and if iron is bioavailable, (2) the concentration of phenolic compounds in plants, and (3) if consumed soils are able to adsorb these phenolics. Chimpanzees ate soil and drank clay-infused water containing 1:1 and 2:1 clay minerals and > 30% sand. Under physiological conditions, the soils released calcium, iron, and magnesium. In vitro Caco-2 experiments found that five times more iron was bioavailable from three of four soil samples found at the base of trees. Plant samples contained approximately 60 μg/mg gallic acid equivalent. Soil from one site contained 10 times more 2:1 clay minerals, which were better at removing phenolics present in their diet. We suggest that geophagy may provide bioavailable iron and protection from phenolics, which have increased in plants over the last 20 years. In summary, geophagy within the Sonso community is multifunctional and may be an important self-medicative behavior.

  • Accumulation of uranium and heavy metals in the soil–plant system in Xiazhuang uranium ore field, Guangdong Province, China 2019-12-01

    Abstract

    Plants that have grown for many years in the special environmental conditions prevailing in mining areas are naturally screened and show strong capacity to adapt to their environment. The present study investigated the enrichment characteristics of U and other heavy metals (As, Cu, Pb, Mn, Mo, Zn, Cd, Co, and Ni) in the soil–plant system in Xiazhuang uranium mine. Four dominant plants (Castanopsis carlesii, Rhus chinensis, Liriodendron chinense, and Sapium discolor) and soil samples were collected from the mined areas, unmined areas, and background areas away from the ore field. U, As, Cu, Pb, Mn, Mo, Zn, Cd, Co, and Ni concentrations were analyzed by ICP-MS. The results demonstrate that (1) The highest concentrations of U (4.1–206.9 mg/kg) and Pb (43.3–126.0 mg/kg) with the geoaccumulation index (Igeo) greater than 1 show that they are the main soil pollutants in the research area. (2) The biological accumulation coefficient (LBAC) values for Cd, Mn, and Cu are greater than zero in S. discolor, L. chinense, and C. carlesii and these three plants indicate that they can be used for remediation of the soil in the ore field. (3) R. chinensis inhibits the accumulation of heavy metals and shows sensitive pigment responses to the accumulation of U in the leaves. L. chinense has the strongest enrichment effect on heavy metals but exhibits weak biochemical responses under U stress. C. carlesii demonstrates strong adaptation to U and can maintain healthy pigment characteristics in case of high U enrichment. (4) S. discolor, L. chinense, C. carlesii and R. chinensis have strong tolerance to U toxicity and different biochemical responses.

  • Distribution, sources and health risk assessment of contaminations in water of urban park: A case study in Northeast China 2019-12-01

    Abstract

    This case study was performed to determine whether the pollutants in water of urban park could bring health risk to human engaging in water-related activities such as swimming and provide evidence demonstrating the critical need for strengthened recreational water resources management of urban park. TN, NH4+-N, TP, Cu, Mn, Zn, Se, Pb, As, Cd and Cr(VI) contents were determined to describe the spatial distribution of contaminations; sources apportionment with the method of correlation analysis, factor analysis and cluster analysis were followed by health risk assessment for swimmers of different age groups. The results reveal that element contents in all sites do not exceed Chinese standard for swimming area and European Commission standard for surface water; all detected elements except Cr(VI) have a tendency to accumulate in the location of lake crossing bridge; Mn and Zn are considered to have the same pollution source including geogenic and anthropogenic sources by multivariable analysis. Carcinogenic risks of different age groups descend in the same order with non-carcinogenic risks. Among all elements, Zn and Mn contribute the lowest non-carcinogenic risk (5.1940E-06) and the highest non-carcinogenic risk (7.9921E-04) through skin contact pathway, respectively. The total average personal risk for swimmers in swimming area is 1.9693E-03, and this site is not suitable for swimming. Overall, it is possible that swimmers are exposed to risk via the dermal route when carrying out water-related activities, it is recommended that necessary precautions and management should be taken in other similar locations around the world.