Urban environmental geochemistry of trace metals

Coby S.C. Wong, Xiangdong Li, Iain Thornton

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

497 Citations (Scopus)


As the world's urban population continues to grow, it becomes increasingly imperative to understand the dynamic interactions between human activities and the urban environment. The development of urban environmental geochemistry has yielded a significant volume of scientific information about geochemical phenomena found uniquely in the urban environment, such as the distribution, dispersion, and geochemical characteristics of some toxic and potentially toxic trace metals. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the development of urban environmental geochemistry as a field of scientific study and highlight major transitions during the course of its development from its establishment to the major scientific interests in the field today. An extensive literature review is also conducted of trace metal contamination of the urban terrestrial environment, in particular of urban soils, in which the uniqueness of the urban environment and its influences on trace metal contamination are elaborated. Potential areas of future development in urban environmental geochemistry are identified and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006


  • GIS
  • Metal isotopes
  • Phytoremediation
  • Trace metals
  • Urban environmental geochemistry
  • Urban environmental quality
  • Urban soils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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