Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

I. Zimmermann, H. Fleige and R. Horn:

Mapping of cemetery soils and evaluation of their decomposition and filtration efficiency


19 cemeteries in 7 federal states of Germany were soil mapped and evaluated with respect to their suitability for burial. The analyzed cemetery soils were classified as Rigosols according to German classification system (WRB: Anthrosols) and contained in average 2.1 % humus in the cover layers and 1.1 % humus in the coffin layers. 26 % of the areas were well drained while 54 % revealed stagnic and 20 % gleyic conditions.
Decomposition efficiency was not reduced by to low air capacity, but rather by stagnic conditions and rated low in 67 % of the areas. Filtration efficiency was reduced by groundwater contact and/or substrates with high permeability.
Additionally in 30 % of the areas low pH values indicated risk of heavy metal translocation.

Key words: Cemetery soils, evaluation system, decomposition efficiency, filtration efficiency, humus.