Using soil function evaluation in multi-criteria decision analysis for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2014

Soil contamination is one of the major threats constraining proper functioning of the soil and thus provision of ecosystem services. Remedial actions typically only address the chemical soil quality by reducing total contaminant concentrations to acceptable levels guided by land use. However, emerging regulatory requirements on soil protection demand a holistic view on soil assessment in remediation projects thus accounting for a variety of soil functions. Such a view would require not only that the contamination concentrations are assessed and attended to, but also that other aspects are taking into account, thus addressing also physical and biological as well as other chemical soil quality indicators (SQIs). This study outlines how soil function assessment can be a part of a holistic sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). The paper presents a method for practitioners for evaluating the effects of remediation alternatives on selected ecological soil functions using a suggested minimum data set (MDS) containing physical, biological and chemical SQIs. The measured SQls are transformed into sub-scores by the use of scoring curves, which allows interpretation and the integration of soil quality data into the MCDA framework. The method is demonstrated at a study site (Marieberg, Sweden) and the results give an example of how soil analyses using the suggested MDS can be used for soil function assessment and subsequent input to the MCDA framework.

Sustainability assessment


Soil ecosystem service

Contaminated sites/soil

Soil function

Multi-criteria decision analysis


Yevheniya Volchko

FRIST kompetenscentrum

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Jenny Norrman

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

FRIST kompetenscentrum

Lars Rosen

FRIST kompetenscentrum

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

M. Bergknut

Umeå universitet


S. Josefsson

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU)

T. Soderqvist

Tommy Norberg

Chalmers, Matematiska vetenskaper, Matematisk statistik

Göteborgs universitet

K. Wiberg

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU)

M. Tysklind

Umeå universitet

Science of the Total Environment

0048-9697 (ISSN) 1879-1026 (eISSN)

Vol. 485-486 1 785-791


Building Futures (2010-2018)


Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap



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