ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Optimised field delineation of contaminated soils, (2015-2019)


ARC Linkage Project led by University of Sydney, with partners CSU & Environmental Earth Sciences International Pty Ltd

Strategic Research Area

Spatial research in Environment, Agriculture and Health


Dr Ana Horta


There are many thousands of contaminated soil sites across urban and rural Australia and some tens of millions across the world. These sites contaminated with metals and/or organics pose a serious potential threat to human health. Detection and remediation of such sites are expensive.

The aim of this project is to devise a novel cost-efficient real-time measurement and mapping strategy for identifying areas of contaminated soil requiring remediation. It will do this through a unique combination of field-based infra-red and X-ray spectroscopies combined with data -fused soil inference and optimised directed sampling and mapping. The research will be performed in partnership with a leading environmental consulting company with a view to put the procedures into commercial practice.

Institute member Dr Ana Horta as Chief Investigator based at CSU will co-develop the soil contamination inference system and spatial prediction methods, and will co-supervise one of the two PhD students associated with this project.


Any improvement in a remediation plan will result in a reduction of risk to human health and the environment by (i) more precise delineation of contaminated areas (ii) reducing cleanup response and costs. This novel technology can be transferred and commercialised internationally.


Dr Ana Horta
CSU Albury-Wodonga

December 2015