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Environmental fate & pathways

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Endpoint:
monitoring data
Type of information:
other: report
Adequacy of study:
key study
Reliability:
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
data from handbook or collection of data

Data source

Referenceopen allclose all

Reference Type:
publication
Title:
Unnamed
Year:
2005
Report date:
2005
Reference Type:
other: GEMAS database
Title:
Chemistry of Europe’s agricultural soils - Part A: Methodology and interpretation of the GEMAS data set.
Author:
Reimann et al.
Year:
2014
Reference Type:
study report
Title:
Unnamed
Year:
2021
Report date:
2021

Materials and methods

Test guideline
Qualifier:
no guideline required
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Evaluation and summary of high quality environmental geochemical data for Europe, which is provided by the Forum of European Geological Surveys (FOREGS) and the European Geochemical Mapping of Agricultural and Grazing Land Soil (GEMAS), with respect to silicon concentrations in stream water, stream sediment and topsoil, as well as in agricultural soil and grazing land.
GLP compliance:
no
Type of measurement:
other: Geochemical background and ambient silicon concentrations in different environmental compartments across Europe
Media:
other: Natural stream water, stream sediment and topsoil, as well as agricultural and grazing land soils

Test material

Constituent 1
Reference substance name:
not applicable
IUPAC Name:
not applicable
Test material form:
other: elemental concentrations
Details on test material:
naturally occuring silicon

Study design

Details on sampling:
FOREGS and GEMAS data for EU-27 countries plus UK and Norway were considered, i.e. data from non-EEA countries such as Albania, Bosnia and Switzerland were excluded from further analysis.

FOREGS:
- The FOREGS sampling grid was based on GTN grid cells developed for Global Geochemical Baseline mapping. This grid divides the entire land surface into 160 km x 160 km cells covering an area of 4,500,000 km2.
- Sampling methodology, preparation and analysis are described by Salminen et al. (2005).
- FOREGS data for EU-27 countries plus UK and Norway were considered, i.e. data from non-EEA countries such as Albania and Switzerland were excluded from further analysis.
- A total of 795 stream water samples of silicon dioxide and 839 sediment samples of silicon dioxide were processed in the FOREGS-program, including 743 paired samples, i.e. samples with the same coordinates for the sampling location of stream water and sediment.
- The FOREGS dataset reports silicon/silicon dioxide concentrations for 833 topsoil samples sampled on a grid across Europe. A topsoil sample was taken at each site from 0-25 cm (excluding material from the organic layer where present).
- Reported silicon dioxide concentrations were converted into silicon concentrations.
- High quality and consistency of the obtained data were ensured by using standardised sampling methods and by treating and analysing all samples in the same laboratory of each country.

GEMAS:
- Samples from 33 out of 38 European countries were analysed to develop a suitable harmonised geochemical data base for soils. The sampling started in the spring 2008 and the first four months of 2009.
- The whole GEMAS project area of 5,600,000 km2 was divided into a grid with 50 km x 50 km cells.
- To generate harmonised data sets, all project samples were processed by a central sample preparation facility in Slovakia.
- GEMAS data for EU-27 countries plus UK and Norway were considered, i.e. data from non-EEA countries such as Bosnia and Switzerland were excluded from further analysis.
- The GEMAS dataset reports silicon concentrations of 1,867 samples from the regularly ploughed layer (Ap-horizon) of agricultural land (arable land; 0 - 20 cm) and of 1,781 samples from the top layer of grazing land (soil under permanent grass cover; 0 - 10 cm) sampled on a grid across Europe.

Results and discussion

Any other information on results incl. tables

FOREGS DATABASE STREAM WATER/SEDIMENT:

- Sampled stream water and sediments cover a wide range of environmental conditions. Water parameters such as pH, hardness and organic carbon concentrations extend over several magnitudes. Silicon water levels range from 0.05 to 33.7 mg/L with 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of 0.8, 3.7 and 8.7 mg/L, respectively.

- In the sediment, silicon concentrations range from 11,691.1 to 439,586.6 mg/kg with 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of 161,384.4, 290,875.4 and 385,246.2 mg/kg, respectively (Table 1).

- Taking into account the high quality and representativeness of the data set, the 95th percentile of 8.7 mg/L can be regarded as representative background concentration for dissolved silicon in European surface waters and the 95th percentile of 385,246.2 mg/kg as representative background concentration of silicon in European stream sediments.

- Regarding the partitioning of silicon in the water column, stream water/sediment partition coefficients range from 7,056 to 5,290,000 L/kg. Since FOREGS sampled on a grid aiming to equally represent geochemical baseline concentrations across Europe, a European median log Kp value of 4.87 is derived.

Table 1: Water parameters and silicon/silicon dioxide concentrations of stream sediment and stream water and respective partitioning.

Parameter

#

Unit

Min.

Max.

5th P

50th P

water

pH 1

735 2

-

9.80

4.50

8.50

7.70

water

Ca

743

mg/L

0.23

592.00

1.64

42.70

water

Cl

743

mg/L

0.14

4,560.00

0.49

9.32

water

HCO3

741 3

mg/L

0.69

1,804.42

5.36

131.67

water

K

743

mg/L

< 0.01

182.00

0.15

1.64

water

Mg

743

mg/L

0.05

230.00

0.46

6.22

water

Na

743

mg/L

0.23

4,030.00

1.00

6.76

water

NO3

743

mg/L

< 0.04

107.00

< 0.04

3.10

water

DOC

741 4

mg/L

< 0.50

57.94

0.60

4.79

water

SO42-

743

mg/L

< 0.30

2,420.00

1.18

17.10

water

SiO2

743

mg/L

0.10

72.00

1.66

8.00

water

Si 5

743

mg/L

0.05

33.67

0.78

3.74

sediment

SiO2

743

%

2.50

94.00

34.51

62.20

sediment

Si 5

743

mg/kg

11,691.13

439,586.58

161,384.39

290,875.37

Partitioning (Kp)

Si (sed/water)

743

L/kg

7,056

5,290,000

26,762

73,789

Log Kp

Si (sed/water)

743

-

3.85

6.72

4.43

4.87

Statistics are based on H+ concentrations rather than pH.

Removal of 2 outliers < pH 4.3 and 6 negative values.

Removal of 2 outliers < 0.01.

Removal of 1 outlier > 70 mg/L and 1 negative values.

5 Values converted from SiO2.

FOREGS DATABASE Background soil concentrations

- Sampled soils cover a wide range of environmental conditions. Soil parameters, including pH and TOC, cover several magnitudes.

- Baseline silicon levels in topsoil range from 6,874.4 to 452,306.5 mg/kg with 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of 159,055.5, 317,531.2 and 415,680.6 mg/kg, respectively (see Table 2)

- Taking into account the high quality and representativeness of the data set, the 95th percentile of 415,680.6 mg/kg can be regarded as representative background concentration of silicon in topsoil of EU countries.

Table 2: Concentrations of silicon/silicon dioxide in topsoil samples.

Parameter

Unit

#

Min.

Max.

5th P

50th P

95th P

pH 1

-

802

7.55

3.38

7.31

5.49

4.28

TOC

%

799

0.07

46.61

0.56

1.72

5.86

SiO2

%

833

1.47

96.72

34.01

67.90

88.89

Si 2

mg/kg

833

6,874.4

452,306.5

159,055.5

317,531.2

415,680.6

1 Statistics are based on H+ concentrations rather than pH.

2 Values converted from SiO2.

GEMAS DATABASE AGRICULTURAL AND GRAZING LAND SOIL CONCENTRATIONS:

- Silicon levels of agricultural soil range from 11,499.0 to 448,274.0 mg/kg with 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of 156,447.5, 311,829.0 and 417,708.0 mg/kg, respectively (see Table 3). In grazing land, soil concentrations of silicon range from 7,058.0 to 450,293.0 mg/kg with 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles of 133,489.0, 299,650.0 and 409,396.0 mg/kg, respectively (see Table 4)

Table 3: Agricultural soil concentrations.

Parameter

Unit

Method

#

Min.

Max.

5th P

50th P

95th P

CEC

meq/100g

AAS

1,867

1.80

48.30

6.10

15.80

33.30

pH (CaCl2)

pH

pH-meter

1,867

3.32

7.98

4.14

5.71

7.45

TOC

%

IR

1,854

0.40

46.00

0.70

1.70

5.67

Silicon

mg/kg

XRF

1,867

11,499.00

448,274.00

156,447.50

311,829.00

417,708.00

Table 4: Grazing land soil concentrations.

Parameter

Unit

Method

#

Min.

Max.

5th P

50th P

95th P

CEC

meq/100g

AAS

1,781

2.54

49.88

8.27

17.96

37.74

pH (CaCl2)

pH

pH-meter

1,780

3.26

8.06

4.03

5.38

7.45

TOC

%

IR

1,780

0.41

49.00

0.94

2.80

11.05

Silicon

mg/kg

XRF

1,781

7,058.00

450,293.00

133,489.00

299,650.00

409,396.00

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Conclusions:
Representative background or ambient concentrations of silicon/silicion dioxide in environmental compartments are tabulated below.

compartment, unit, concentration (50th P), concentration (95th P)
background stream water, mg/L SiO2, 8.0, 18.6
background stream water, mg/L Si, 3.7*, 8.7*
background stream water sediment, % SiO2, 62.2, 82.4
background stream water sediment, mg/kg Si, 290,875.4*, 385,246.2*
background topsoil, % SiO2, 67.9, 88.9
background topsoil, mg/kg Si, 317,531.2*, 415,680.6*
agricultural soil, mg/kg Si, 311,829.0, 417,708.0
grazing land soil, mg/kg Si, 299,650.0, 409,396.0
* based on measured SiO2.

Based on the FOREGS dataset, the 95th percentile of 8.7 mg/L can be regarded as representative background concentration of dissolved silicon in European surface waters and the 95th percentile of 385,246.2 mg/kg as representative background concentration of European stream sediments. Regarding the respective partitioning between sediment and water, a European median log Kp value of 4.87 is derived.

Based on the FOREGS dataset, the 95th percentile of 415,680.6 mg/kg can be regarded as representative background concentration of silicon in topsoil of EU countries. Representative silicon concentrations (95th percentile) of agricultural and grazing land soil (i.e. ambient levels) amount to 417,708.0 and 409,396.0 mg/kg, respectively, according to the GEMAS dataset.