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Dublin Soil Urban Geochemistry (SURGE) Project

Dublin Soil Urban Geochemistry (SURGE) Project

​Dublin SURGE Project is the first ever in-depth study on the baseline geochemistry of Dublin's urban topsoil. In 2009 Geological Survey Ireland partnered with the Norwegian Geological Survey (NGU) to take over 1000 surface topsoil samples from public areas in the greater Dublin area. Samples were taken on a systematic grid and analysed for a range of inorganic elements including heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (PAHs and PCBs).

Linked to a specially commissioned study on Dublin's historical industry, results show that the soils of inner city Dublin have higher levels of potentially harmful elements and persistent organic pollutants than outer city areas. This chemical pattern is one which is seen in cities around the world, and is consistent with historical industry, fossil fuel burning and leaded paint and petrol use which have occurred during 1,000 years of human habitation in Dublin. The study provides a snapshot of the chemical status of Dublin soil relevant to the protection of human health, compliance with environmental legislation, land-use planning and urban regeneration.

This data is now freely and openly available on Geological Survey Ireland’s map viewer (select Urban Soils).

SURGE Data downloads can be found here.