Environmental impact management of acid sulfate soils

Extensive excavation operations have an impact on groundwater and affect the way water flows from one land area to another. Acid sulfate soil is stratified soil with high concentrations of sulfate that causes environmental issues related to acidity when it oxidises.

Oxidisation can be caused, for example, by a drop in the level of groundwater, which causes the sulfate-rich sediment to come into contact with oxygen. This starts a chemical process that eventually acidifies the surrounding soil. As the pH of the soil decreases, the rate at which metals dissolve into groundwater increases. At its worst, the acidification of soil and the increase in the metals present in groundwater make the area uninhabitable for many lifeforms.

The potential environmental impact of acid sulfate (AS) soils must be taken into consideration in the planning of operations and land use. GTK’s AS soil research guides land use to ensure the high-risk sediment layers are disturbed as little as possible, and that construction projects favour sustainable options, methods and material choices.

Our services assist municipalities in making land use decisions and businesses in ensuring the conditions of their environmental permits are met. Ensuring sustainable growth is our common goal.

Service content

  • Planning the survey in cooperation with the customer, bearing in mind the requirements of the environmental permit
  • Surveying the site and analysis services
  • Reporting and preventive measures when necessary
  • Reporting the results of the study with map products and in writing
  • Preliminary studies and drafting a survey plan when necessary

Your benefits

  • You will gain an understanding of how AS soils affect your operation.
  • You will be able to make informed decisions about your project that take into account environmental risks and minimise them.
  • You will ensure your operation fulfils the conditions set in your environmental permit.