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IAGC - International Association of GeoChemistry
Urban Geochemistry Working Group


Urban Geochemistry Special Issue in Applied Geochemistry

Check out our Special Issue on Urban Geochemistry in Applied Geochemistry! We hope reading this eclectic group of papers stimulates more interest in urban geochemical issues, and provides motivation by both students and professionals alike to think about urban systems as ones worthy of investigation.

Urban Geochemistry in Applied Geochemistry

We recently published our article in Applied Geochemistry resulting from the 2014 meeting - Developing the scientific framework for urban geochemistry. In it, we review the discipline, propose five grand themes of study, a definition of urban geochemistry, and a unifying question.

Elementa Special Issue on Urban Geochemistry

Online Now: Elementa - Science of the Anthropocene has a Special Feature on Urban Geochemistry that grew out of our first Working Group Meeting in 2014 at The Ohio State University. The feature is edited by Dave Long (Michigan State University) and Berry Lyons (Ohio State University). Elementa is entirely open-access.


Urban Geochemical Mapping - EuroGeoSurvey Geochemistry Expert Group

The EuroGeoSurvey's Geochemistry Expert Group has written a comprehensive manual for Urban Geochemical mapping available online:

URBAN GEOCHEMICAL MAPPING MANUAL: Sampling, Sample preparation, Laboratory analysis, Quality control check, Statistical processing and Map plotting

Visit the EuroGeoSurveys page to view their other publications related to Urban Geochemical Mapping.


1st Meeting of the Urban Geochemistry Working Group in 2014

The first meeting of the IAGC Urban Geochemistry Working Group was held at The Ohio State University on the 5th and 6th of August, 2014.  The meeting was facilitated by W. Berry Lyons (OSU) and David Long (MSU) who are co-chairs of the working group and Chris Gardner (OSU) from the IAGC Business Office. 

Day one consisted of introductions during which participants used one or two slides summarizing their interests in urban geochemistry, excellent plenary presentations by Joel Moore (Towson U) who presented on quantifying anthropogenic and natural sources of CO2 in urban areas, Yo Chin (OSU) who discussed the transformation and fate of everyday chemicals in urban watersheds, and Gabe Filippelli (IUPUI) who described his research on geochemistry and urban health. The day then ended with a poster session. 

Prior to the meeting, participates were asked to submit questions related to current and future issues confronting Urban Geochemistry.  On day two, through a set of breakout sessions, the >100 resulting questions were reduced down to eight key issues to be addressed in urban geochemical  research.  These include: 1) how global biogeochemical cycles are altered in the urban setting, 2) how the evolution of infrastructure will impact geochemical processes, 3) how urban systems should be measured to assess deleterious changes, 4) how urban geochemists can affect policy decisions, 5) how the geochemistry of urban environments affects human and ecosystem health, 6) how episodic perturbations such as natural disasters impact the urban environment, 7) how a legacy of past disturbance affects the current geochemical system, and 8) how the geochemical “footprint” of urban areas can be defined. Teams of participants are now researching these issues, and the results will be combined into a joint paper and submitted to the IAGC’s official journal, Applied Geochemistry.  A joint research project was also proposed and is being led by Shawn McElmurry (Wayne State) and Gabe Filippelli.  The project will examine the hypothesis that residential coal burning has left a mercury legacy in urban environments.  Soil samples will be collected by participants this fall from various urban centers in areas of historical coal burning and non-burning. 


EOS Meeting Summary on the Urban Geochemistry Working Group Meeting

Contact Information

W. Berry Lyons
The Ohio State University
School of Earth Sciences

David Long
Michigan State University
Geological Sciences


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