Copper distribution in topsoils in the European Union

Copper distribution in European Union topsoils based on LUCAS points. The data are at 500m resolution and have been the result of advanced interpolation modelling.
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Joint Research Centre of the European Commission


Title: Copper distribution in European Union topsoils
Description: Copper (Cu) distribution in soil is influenced by climatic, geological and pedological factors. Apart from geological sources and industrial pollution, other anthropogenic sources, related to the agricultural activity, may increase copper levels in soils, especially in permanent crops such as olive groves and vineyards. This study uses 21,682 soil samples from the LUCAS topsoil survey to investigate copper distribution in the soils of 25 European Union (EU) Member States.Generalized Linear Models (GLM) were used to investigate the factors driving copper distribution in EU soils. Regression analysis shows the importance of topsoil properties, land cover and climate in estimating Cu concentration. Meanwhile, a copper regression model confirms our hypothesis that different agricultural management practices have a relevant influence on Cu concentration. Besides the traditional use of copper as a fungicide for treatments in several permanent crops, the combined effect of soil properties such as high pH, soil organic carbon and clay, with humid and wet climatic conditions favours copper accumulation in soils of vineyards and tree crops.
Spatial Coverage: European Union 25 Member States (no data for Croatia, Cyprus and Malta)
Resolution: 500m
Time Reference:  2009
Format: Raster (Grid)
Projection: ETRS89 Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area
Input data: 21,682 measured points of LUCAS survey and other auxiliary variables: Geology, Land use & vegetation, Climate, Topography, Soil Properties.
More Information: The copper in soils
Release Date: 8/5/2018

Compared to the overall average Cu concentration of 16.85 mg kg-1, vineyards have the highest mean soil Cu concentration (49.26 mg kg-1) of all land use categories, followed by olive groves and orchards.The derived maps are novel as they include information about the importance of topsoil properties in the copper mapping process, thus improving its accuracy. The regression and the interpolation model highlight the influence of land management practices in copper concentration and the strong correlation between topsoil copper and vineyards. ore details can be found in the recent published paper.

In addition, special attention was given to the vineyards copper accumulation and net export. We provide the data also for copper in vineyards as published in the recent paper. Copper-based fungicides are used in European(EU) vineyards to prevent fungal diseases. Soil physicochemical properties locally govern the variation of the total copper content in vineyards. Using a machine learning model, a study found that main variables to predict the Cu distribution in EU vineyards are precipitation, aridity and soil organic carbon. The estimated average net accumulation and net export of Cu in topsoil in European vineyards are 24.8 and 0.29 kg Cu ha−1. This corresponds to 112,400 tons of Cu accumulated over time, and a yearly Cu export from vineyards of 1466 tons across Europe.


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