Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Environmental- Soil Conservation

Soil conservation is a set of management strategies for prevention of soil being eroded from the Earth’s surface or becoming chemically altered by overuse, acidificationsalinization or other chemical soil contamination. It is a component of environmental soil science.
Decisions regarding appropriate crop rotationcover crops, and planted windbreaks are central to the ability of surface soils to retain their integrity, both with respect to erosive forces and chemical change from nutrient depletion. Crop rotation is simply the conventional alternation of crops on a given field, so that nutrient depletion is avoided from repetitive chemical uptake/deposition of single crop growth.
Windbreaks are created by planting sufficiently dense rows of trees at the windward exposure of an agricultural field subject to winderosion.[1] Evergreen species are preferred to achieve year-round protection; however, as long as foliage is present in the seasons of bare soil surfaces, the effect of deciduous trees may also be adequate.

There are also conventional practices that farmers have invoked for centuries. These fall into two main categories: contour farming and terracing, standard methods recommended by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, whose Code 330 is the common standard. Contour farming was practiced by the ancient Phoenicians, and is known to be effective for slopes between two and ten percent.[2] Contour plowing can increase crop yields from 10 to 50 percent, partially as a result from greater soil retention.[citation needed]
There are many erosion control methods that can be used such as conservation tillage systems and crop rotation.
Keyline design is an enhancement of contour farming, where the total watershed properties are taken into account in forming the contour lines. Terracing is the practice of creating benches or nearly level layers on a hillside setting. Terraced farming is more common on small farms and in underdeveloped countries, since mechanized equipment is difficult to deploy in this setting.
Human overpopulation is leading to destruction of tropical forests due to widening practices of slash-and-burn and other methods ofsubsistence farming necessitated by famines in lesser developed countries. A sequel to the deforestation is typically large scale erosion, loss of soil nutrients and sometimes total desertification
Trees, shrubs and groundcovers are also effective perimeter treatment for soil erosion prevention, by insuring any surface flows are impeded. A special form of this perimeter or inter-row treatment is the use of a “grassway” that both channels and dissipates runoff through surface friction, impeding surface runoff, and encouraging infiltration of the slowed surface water.[3]


Salinity in soil is caused by irrigating the crops with salty water. During the evaporation process the water from the soil evaporates leaving the salt behind causing salinization. Salinization causes the soil structure to break down causing infertility and the plants cannot grow.
The ions responsible for salination are: Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Cl-. Salinity is estimated to affect about one third of all the earth’s arable land.[4] Soil salinity adversely affects themetabolism of most crops, and erosion effects usually follow vegetation failure. Salinity occurs on drylands from overirrigation and in areas with shallow saline water tables. In the case of over-irrigation, salts are deposited in upper soil layers as a byproduct of most soilinfiltration; excessive irrigation merely increases the rate of salt deposition. The best-known case of shallow saline water table capillary action occurred in Egypt after the 1970 construction of the Aswan Dam. The change in the groundwater level due to dam construction led to high concentration of salts in the water table. After the construction, the continuous high level of the water table led to soil salination of previously arable land.
Use of humic acids may prevent excess salination, especially in locales where excessive irrigation was practiced. The mechanism involved is that humic acids can fix both anions and cations and eliminate them from root zones. In some cases it may be valuable to find plants that can tolerate saline conditions to use as surface cover until salinity can be reduced; there are a number of such saline-tolerant plants, such as saltbush, a plant found in much of North America and in the Mediterranean regions of Europe.
Soil pH levels adverse to crop growth can occur naturally in some regions; it can also be induced by acid rain or soil contamination fromacids or bases. The role of soil pH is to control nutrient availability to vegetation. The principal macronutrients (calciumphosphorus,nitrogenpotassiummagnesiumsulfur) prefer neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Calcium, magnesium and potassium are usually made available to plants via cation exchange surfaces of organic material and clay soil surface particles. While acidification increases the initial availability of these cations, the residual soil moisture concentrations of nutrient cations can fall to alarmingly low levels after initial nutrient uptake. Moreover, there is no simple relationship of pH to nutrient availability because of the complex combination of soil types, soil moisture regimes and meteorological factors.
When worms excrete egesta in the form of casts, a balanced selection of minerals and plant nutrients is made into a form accessible for root uptake. US research shows that earthworm casts are five times richer in available nitrogen, seven times richer in availablephosphates and eleven times richer in available potash than the surrounding upper150 mm of soil. The weight of casts produced may be greater than 4.5 kg per worm per year. By burrowing, the earthworm is of value in creating soil porosity, creating channels enhancing the processes of aeration and drainage.[5]
Soil microorganisms play a vital role in macronutrient wildlife. For example, nitrogen fixation is carried out by free-living or symbiotic bacteria. These bacteria have the nitrogenase enzyme that combines gaseous nitrogen with hydrogen to produce ammonia, which is then further converted by the bacteria to make other organic compounds. Some nitrogen-fixing bacteria such asrhizobia live in the root nodules of legumes. Here they form a mutualistic relationship with the plant, producing ammonia in exchange for carbohydrates. In the case of the carbon cycle, carbon is transferred within the biosphere as heterotrophs feed on other organisms. This process includes the uptake of dead organic material (detritus) by fungi and bacteria in the form of fermentation or decay phenomena.
Mycorrhizae are symbiotic associations between soil-dwelling fungi and the roots of vascular plants. fungi helps increase the availability of minerals, water, and organic nutrients to the plant, while extracting sugars and amino acids from the plant. There are two main types, endomycorrhizae (which penetrate the roots) and ectomycorrhizae (which resemble 'socks', forming a sheath around the roots). They were discovered when scientists observed that certain seedlings failed to grow or prosper without soil from their native environment.
Some soil microorganisms known as extremophiles have remarkable properties of adaptation to extreme environmental conditions including temperature, pH and water deprivation.
The viability of soil organisms can be compromised when insecticides and herbicides are applied to planting regimes. Often there are unforeseen and unintended consequences of such chemical use in the form of death of impaired functioning of soil organisms. Thus any use of pesticides should only be undertaken after thorough understanding of residual toxicities upon soil organisms as well as terrestrialecological components.
Killing soil microorganisms is a deleterious impact of slash and burn agricultural methods. With the surface temperatures generated, virtual annilation of soil and vegetative cover organisms are destroyed, and in many environments these effects can be virtually irreversible (at least for generations of mankind). Shifting cultivation is also a farming system that often employs slash and burn as one of its elements.
Systems, most of which have an adverse effect upon soil quality and plant metabolism. While the role of pH has been discussed above, heavy metals, solvents, petroleum hydrocarbonsherbicides and pesticides also contribute soil residues that are of potential concern. Some of these chemicals are totally extraneous to the agricultural landscape, but others (notably herbicides and pesticides) are intentionally introduced to serve a short term function. Many of these added chemicals have long half-lives in soil, and others degrade to produce derivative chemicals that may be either persistent or pernicious. One alternative to chemicals in agriculture is soil steaming. Steam sterilizes the soil by killing almost all beneficial and harmful micro organisms. However no harmful remains are left. Soil health may even increase since steam unlocks nutrients in the soil which may lead to better plant growth after the thermal treatment.
Typically the expense of soil contamination remediation cannot be justified in an agricultural economic analysis, since cleanup costs are generally quite high; often remediation is mandated by state and county environmental health agencies based upon human healthrisk issues.
To allow plants full realization of their phytonutrient potential, active mineralization of the soil is sometimes undertaken. This can be in the natural form of adding crushed rock or can take the form of chemical soil supplement. In either case the purpose is to combat mineral depletion of the soil. There are a broad range of minerals that can be added including common substances such as phosphorus and more exotic substances such as zinc and selenium. There is extensive research on the phase transitions of minerals in soil with aqueous contact.[6]
The process of flooding can bring significant bedload sediment to an alluvial plain. While this effect may not be desirable if floods endanger life or if the eroded sediment originates from productive land, this process of addition to a floodplain is a natural process that can rejuvenate soil chemistry through mineralization and macronutrient addition


Monday, April 29, 2013

Environmental- Soil Erosion

Erosion is the process by which soil and rock are removed from the Earth's surface by exogenetic processes such as wind or water flow, and thentransported and deposited in other locations.
While erosion is a natural process, human activities have increased by 10-40 times the rate at which erosion is occurring globally. Excessive erosion causes problems such as desertification, decreases in agricultural productivity due to land degradation, sedimentation of waterways, and ecological collapsedue to loss of the nutrient rich upper soil layers. Water and wind erosion are now the two primary causes of land degradation; combined, they are responsible for 84% of degraded acreage, making excessive erosion one of the most significant global environmental problems.[1][2]
Industrial agriculturedeforestationroads, anthropogenic climate change andurban sprawl are amongst the most significant human activities in regard to their effect on stimulating erosion.[3] However, there are many available alternative land use practices that can curtail or limit erosion, such as terrace-building, no-till agriculture, and revegetation of denuded soils.

There are three primary types of erosion that occur as a direct result of rainfall—sheet erosionrill erosion, and gully erosion. Sheet erosion is generally seen as the first and least severe stage in the soil erosion process, which is followed by rill erosion, and finally gully erosion (the most severe of the three).[4][5]
The impact of a falling raindrop creates a small crater in the soil, ejecting soil particles. The distance these soil particles travel can be as much as two feet vertically and five feet horizontally on level ground. Once the rate of rainfall is faster than the rate of infiltration into the soil, surface runoff occurs and carries the loosened soil particles down the slope.[6]
Sheet erosion is the transport of loosened soil particles by overland flow.[6]
Rill erosion refers to the development of small, ephemeral concentrated flow paths which function as both sediment source and sediment delivery systems for erosion on hillslopes. Generally, where water erosion rates on disturbed upland areas are greatest, rills are active. Flow depths in rills are typically on the order of a few centimeters or less and slopes may be quite steep. This means that rills exhibit very different hydraulic physics than water flowing through the deeper, wider channels of streams and rivers.[citation needed]
Gully erosion occurs when runoff water accumulates, and then rapidly flows in narrow channels during or immediately after heavy rains or melting snow, removing soil to a considerable depth.[7][8][9]
Valley or stream erosion occurs with continued water flow along a linear feature. The erosion is both downward, deepening the valley, and headward, extending the valley into the hillside. In the earliest stage of stream erosion, the erosive activity is dominantly vertical, the valleys have a typical V cross-section and the stream gradient is relatively steep. When some base level is reached, the erosive activity switches to lateral erosion, which widens the valley floor and creates a narrow floodplain. The stream gradient becomes nearly flat, and lateral deposition of sediments becomes important as the stream meanders across the valley floor. In all stages of stream erosion, by far the most erosion occurs during times of flood, when more and faster-moving water is available to carry a larger sediment load. In such processes, it is not the water alone that erodes: suspended abrasive particles, pebbles and boulders can also act erosively as they traverse a surface, in a process known as traction.[10]
Bank erosion is the wearing away of the banks of a stream or river. This is distinguished from changes on the bed of the watercourse, which is referred to asscour. Erosion and changes in the form of river banks may be measured by inserting metal rods into the bank and marking the position of the bank surface along the rods at different times.[11]
Thermal erosion is the result of melting and weakening permafrost due to moving water.[12] It can occur both along rivers and at the coast. Rapid river channel migration observed in the Lena River of Siberia is due to thermal erosion, as these portions of the banks are composed of permafrost-cemented non-cohesive materials.[13] Much of this erosion occurs as the weakened banks fail in large slumps. Thermal erosion also affects the Arctic coast, where wave action and near-shore temperatures combine to undercut permafrost bluffs along the shoreline and cause them to fail. Annual erosion rates along a 100-kilometer segment of the Beaufort Sea shoreline averaged 5.6 meters per year from 1955 to 2002.[14]

Environmental- Soil Pollution

Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic(human-made) chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment. It is typically caused by industrial activity, agricultural chemicals, or improper disposal of waste. The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (such as naphthalene and benzo(a)pyrene),solvents, pesticides, lead, and other heavy metals. Contamination is correlated with the degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical usage.[citation needed]
The concern over soil contamination stems primarily from health risks, from direct contact with the contaminated soil, vapors from the contaminants, and from secondary contamination of water supplies within and underlying the soil.[1]Mapping of contaminated soil sites and the resulting cleanup are time consuming and expensive tasks, requiring extensive amounts of geologyhydrology,chemistrycomputer modeling skills, and GIS in Environmental Contamination, as well as an appreciation of the history of industrial chemistry.
In North America and Western Europe that the extent of contaminated land is best known, with many of countries in these areas having a legal framework to identify and deal with this environmental problem. Developing countries tend to be less tightly regulated despite some of them having undergone significant industrialization.[citation needed]
Soil contamination can be caused by:
The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbonssolvents, pesticides, lead, and other heavy metals
Historical deposition of coal ash used for residential, commercial, and industrial heating, as well as for industrial processes such as ore smelting, were a common source of contamination in areas that were industrialized before about 1960. Coal naturally concentrates lead and zinc during its formation, as well as other heavy metals to a lesser degree. When the coal is burned, most of these metals become concentrated in the ash (the principal exception being mercury). Coal ash and slag may contain sufficient lead to qualify as a "characteristic hazardous waste", defined in the USA as containing more than 5 mg/L of extractable lead using the TCLP procedure. In addition to lead, coal ash typically contains variable but significant concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs; e.g., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, indeno(cd)pyrene, phenanthrene, anthracene, and others). These PAHs are known human carcinogens and the acceptable concentrations of them in soil are typically around 1 mg/kg. Coal ash and slag can be recognized by the presence of off-white grains in soil, gray heterogeneous soil, or (coal slag) bubbly, vesicular pebble-sized grains.
Treated sewage sludge, known in the industry as biosolids, has become controversial as a fertilizer to the land. As it is the byproduct of sewage treatment, it generally contains more contaminants such as organisms, pesticides, and heavy metals than other soil.[2]
In the European Union, the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive allows sewage sludge to be sprayed onto land. The volume is expected to double to 185,000 tons of dry solids in 2005. This has good agricultural properties due to the high nitrogen and phosphatecontent. In 1990/1991, 13% wet weight was sprayed onto 0.13% of the land; however, this is expected to rise 15 fold by 2005.[needs update] Advocates[who?] say there is a need to control this so that pathogenic microorganisms do not get into water courses and to ensure that there is no accumulation of heavy metals in the top soil.[citation needed]
pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances used to kill a pest. A pesticide may be a chemical substance, biological agent (such as a virus or bacteria), antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest. Pests include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, mollusks, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes (roundworms) and microbes that compete with humans for food, destroy property, spread or are a vector for disease or cause a nuisance. Although there are benefits to the use of pesticides, there are also drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other organisms.[citation needed]
Herbicides are used to kill weeds, especially on pavements and railways. They are similar to auxins and most are biodegrale by soil bacteria. However, one group derived from trinitrotoluene (2:4 D and 2:4:5 T) have the impurity dioxin, which is very toxic and causes fatality even in low concentrations. Another herbicide is Paraquat. It is highly toxic but it rapidly degrades in soil due to the action of bacteria and does not kill soil fauna.[citation needed]
Insecticides are used to rid farms of pests which damage crops. The insects damage not only standing crops but also stored ones and in the tropics it is reckoned that one third of the total production is lost during food storage. As with fungicides, the first insecticides used in the nineteenth century were inorganic e.g.Paris Green and other compounds of arsenic. Nicotine has also been used since the late eighteenth century.[citation needed]
There are now two main groups of synthetic insecticides -
1. Organochlorines include DDTAldrinDieldrin and BHC. They are cheap to produce, potent and persistent. DDT was used on a massive scale from the 1930s, with a peak of 72,000 tonnes used 1970. Then usage fell as the harmful environmental effects were realized. It was found worldwide in fish and birds and was even discovered in the snow in the Antarctic. It is only slightly soluble in water but is very soluble in the bloodstream. It affects the nervous and endocrine systems and causes the eggshells of birds to lack calcium causing them to be easily breakable. It is thought to be responsible for the decline of the numbers of birds of prey like ospreys andperegrine falcons in the 1950s - they are now recovering.[citation needed]
As well as increased concentration via the food chain, it is known to enter via permeable membranes, so fish get it through their gills. As it has low water solubility, it tends to stay at the water surface, so organisms that live there are most affected. DDT found in fish that formed part of the human food chain caused concern, but the levels found in the liver, kidney and brain tissues was less than 1 ppm and in fat was 10 ppm which was below the level likely to cause harm. However, DDT was banned in the UK and the United States to stop the further build up of it in the food chain. U.S. manufactureres continued to sell DDT to developing countries, who could not afford the expensive replacement chemicals and who did not have such stringent regulations governing the use of pesticides.[citation needed]
Contaminated or polluted soil directly affects human health through direct contact with soil or via inhalation of soil contaminants which have vaporized; potentially greater threats are posed by the infiltration of soil contamination into groundwater aquifers used for human consumption, sometimes in areas apparently far removed from any apparent source of above ground contamination.
Health consequences from exposure to soil contamination vary greatly depending on pollutant type, pathway of attack and vulnerability of the exposed population. Chronic exposure to chromium, lead and other metals, petroleum, solvents, and many pesticide and herbicide formulations can be carcinogenic, can cause congenital disorders, or can cause other chronic health conditions. Industrial or man-made concentrations of naturally occurring substances, such as nitrate and ammonia associated with livestock manure from agricultural operations, have also been identified as health hazards in soil and groundwater.[3]
Chronic exposure to benzene at sufficient concentrations is known to be associated with higher incidence of leukemia. Mercury and cyclodienes are known to induce higher incidences of kidney damage, some irreversible. PCBs and cyclodienes are linked to liver toxicity. Organophosphates and carbomates can induce a chain of responses leading to neuromuscular blockage. Many chlorinated solvents induce liver changes, kidney changes and depression of the central nervous system. There is an entire spectrum of further health effects such as headache, nausea, fatigue, eye irritation and skin rash for the above cited and other chemicals. At sufficient dosages a large number of soil contaminants can cause death by exposure via direct contact, inhalation or ingestion of contaminants in groundwater contaminated through soil.[4]
The Scottish Government has commissioned the Institute of Occupational Medicine to undertake a review of methods to assess risk to human health from contaminated land. The overall aim of the project is to work up guidance that should be useful to Scottish Local Authorities in assessing whether sites represent a significant possibility of significant harm (SPOSH) to human health. It is envisaged that the output of the project will be a short document providing high level guidance on health risk assessment with reference to existing published guidance and methodologies that have been identified as being particularly relevant and helpful. The project will examine how policy guidelines have been developed for determining the acceptability of risks to human health and propose an approach for assessing what constitutes unacceptable risk in line with the criteria for SPOSH as defined in the legislation and the Scottish Statutory Guidance.[citation needed]
Not unexpectedly, soil contaminants can have significant deleterious consequences for ecosystems.[5] There are radical soil chemistry changes which can arise from the presence of many hazardous chemicals even at low concentration of the contaminant species. These changes can manifest in the alteration of metabolism of endemic microorganisms and arthropods resident in a given soil environment. The result can be virtual eradication of some of the primary food chain, which in turn could have major consequences for predator or consumer species. Even if the chemical effect on lower life forms is small, the lower pyramid levels of the food chain may ingest alien chemicals, which normally become more concentrated for each consuming rung of the food chain. Many of these effects are now well known, such as the concentration of persistent DDT materials for avian consumers, leading to weakening of egg shells, increased chickmortality and potential extinction of species.[citation needed]
Effects occur to agricultural lands which have certain types of soil contamination. Contaminants typically alter plant metabolism, often causing a reduction in crop yields. This has a secondary effect upon soil conservation, since the languishing crops cannot shield the Earth's soil from erosion. Some of these chemical contaminants have long half-lives and in other cases derivative chemicals are formed from decay of primary soil contaminants.[citation needed]
Clean up or environmental remediation is analyzed by environmental scientists who utilize field measurement of soil chemicals and also apply computer models (GIS in Environmental Contamination) for analyzing transport[6] and fate of soil chemicals. There are several principal strategies for remediation:
  • Excavate soil and take it to a disposal site away from ready pathways for human or sensitive ecosystem contact. This technique also applies to dredging of bay muds containing toxins.
  • Aeration of soils at the contaminated site (with attendant risk of creating air pollution)
  • Thermal remediation by introduction of heat to raise subsurface temperatures sufficiently high to volatize chemical contaminants out of the soil for vapour extraction. Technologies include ISTD,electrical resistance heating (ERH), and ET-DSPtm.
  • Bioremediation, involving microbial digestion of certain organic chemicals. Techniques used in bioremediation include landfarmingbiostimulation and bioaugmentating soil biota with commercially available microflora.
  • Extraction of groundwater or soil vapor with an active electromechanical system, with subsequent stripping of the contaminants from the extract.
  • Containment of the soil contaminants (such as by capping or paving over in place).
  • Phytoremediation, or using plants (such as willow) to extract heavy metals
Various national standards for concentrations of particular contaminants include the United States EPA Region 9 Preliminary Remediation Goals (U.S. PRGs), the U.S. EPA Region 3 Risk Based Concentrations (U.S. EPA RBCs) and National Environment Protection Council of Australia Guideline on Investigation Levels in Soil and Groundwater.
The immense and sustained growth of the People's Republic of China since the 1970s has exacted a price from the land in increased soil pollution. The State Environmental Protection Administration believes it to be a threat to the environment, to food safety and to sustainable agriculture. According to a scientific sampling, 150 million mi (100,000 square kilometers) of China’s cultivated land have been polluted, with contaminated water being used to irrigate a further 32.5 million mi (21,670 square kilometers) and another 2 million mi (1,300 square kilometers) covered or destroyed by solid waste. In total, the area accounts for one-tenth of China’s cultivatable land, and is mostly in economically developed areas. An estimated 12 million tonnes of grain are contaminated by heavy metals every year, causing direct losses of 20 billion yuan (US$2.57 billion).[7]
Generic guidance commonly used in the UK are the Soil Guideline Values published by DEFRA and the Environment Agency. These are screening values that demonstrate the minimal acceptable level of a substance. Above this there can be no assurances in terms of significant risk of harm to human health. These have been derived using the Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment Model (CLEA UK). Certain input parameters such as Health Criteria Values, age and land use are fed into CLEA UK to obtain a probabilistic output[citation needed].
Guidance by the Inter Departmental Committee for the Redevelopment of Contaminated Land (ICRCL) has been formally withdrawn by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), for use as a prescriptive document to determine the potential need for remediation or further assessment.
The CLEA model published by DEFRA and the Environment Agency (EA) in March 2002 sets a framework for the appropriate assessment of risks to human health from contaminated land, as required by Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. As part of this framework, generic Soil Guideline Values (SGVs) have currently been derived for ten contaminants to be used as "intervention values"[citation needed]. These values should not be considered as remedial targets but values above which further detailed assessment should be considered; see Dutch standards.
Three sets of CLEA SGVs have been produced for three different land uses, namely
  • residential (with and without plant uptake)
  • allotments
  • commercial/industrial
It is intended that the SGVs replace the former ICRCL values. It should be noted that the CLEA SGVs relate to assessing chronic (long term) risks to human health and do not apply to the protection of ground workers during construction, or other potential receptors such as groundwater, buildings, plants or other ecosystems. The CLEA SGVs are not directly applicable to a site completely covered in hardstanding, as there is no direct exposure route to contaminated soils.[citation needed]
To date, the first ten of fifty-five contaminant SGVs have been published, for the following: arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, inorganic mercury, nickel, selenium ethyl benzene, phenol and toluene. Draft SGVs for benzene, naphthalene and xylene have been produced but their publication is on hold. Toxicological data (Tox) has been published for each of these contaminants as well as for benzo[a]pyrene, benzene, dioxins, furans and dioxin-like PCBs, naphthalene, vinyl chloride, 1,1,2,2 tetrachloroethane and 1,1,1,2 tetrachloroethane, 1,1,1 trichloroethane, tetrachloroethene, carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-dichloroethane, trichloroethene and xylene. The SGVs for ethyl benzene, phenol and toluene are dependent on the soil organic matter (SOM) content (which can be calculated from the total organic carbon (TOC) content). As an initial screen the SGVs for 1% SOM are considered to be appropriate.