Pollutants contaminate soils and sediments through air releases, runoffs, or sewage treatment plants releases. Basis functions of these soils and sediments can then be altered. In this framework the question of reassigning these soils to other uses (ex: former crops fields can be turned into residential area) has to be raised.

POLLUSOLS's WP « Transfers » deals with the transfer mechanisms, in terms of pollutants dispersion and soil use (ex: former crops fields can be turned into residential area)


The increase in the copper content of Loire estuary's mussels is due to its use in different sectors of activity. Could the copper used in viticulture be found in the mussels? How the transfer mechanisms would operate? What would be the safeguards to put in place in the estuarial area?

Research activities

  • Polonium chemistry (spectroscopic tools)
  • Characterization of soil solid phases, carrier of metallic trace-element (microscopic x-ray fluorescence,...)
  • Development of models to describe the metallic trace-element behavior within the system studied
  • Analysis of the role of microbial component in metallic trace-element transfers (especially microbial complexing agents, as siderophore)
  • Issues of environmental risk qualification and liability in the prospect of use transfer

Thesis and post-doctoral researches

  • Geochemistry of platinum group metals in urban and coastal areas
  • Behavior of radionuclides, downstream from uranium mining sites
  • Role of bacteria on the desorption of cesium from illite
  • Tracing mercury's origin in coastal area (Isotopic signature analysis)

Specific projects

  • Petroleum hydrocarbons and carbon processing in runoff waters by a floating marsh
  • Organic contaminant transfer assessment from the « Prairie de Mauves » former landfill to the Loire river
  • Dissolved copper physico-chemical speciation in the Loire river
Methodological coordinators :
Béatrice Béchet (IFSTTAR)
Sophie Brétesché (LEMNA)