Mapping the probability of exceeding critical thresholds for cadmium concentrations in soils in the Netherlands

D.J. Brus, J.J. de Gruijter, D.J.J. Walvoort, F. de Vries, J.J.B. Bronswijk

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The probability of exceeding critical thresholds of Cd concentrations in the soil was mapped on a national scale. The critical thresholds in soil were based on food quality criteria for Cd in crops or in organs of cattle (Bos taurus), and were calculated by inverting a regression model for the Cd concentration in the crop, with the Cd concentration in soil, soil organic matter (SOM) content, clay content, and pH as predictors. The probability of exceeding the critical threshold for Cd in soil per node of a 500 m x 500 m grid was approximated by Monte Carlo simulation, using the estimated cumulative distribution functions (cdf) of SOM, clay, pH, and Cd as input. The cdfs were estimated by simple indicator kriging with local prior means. For SOM, clayand pH, detailed maps of soil type and land use were used to define subregions with assumed constant local means of the indicators (a priori distributions). The cdfs were sampled by Latin hypercube sampling. We accounted for correlation between the actual and critical Cd concentrations in soil by drawing Cd values from cdfs conditional on SOM and clay. The estimated probability for grassland is negligible, even in areas with high Cd concentrations in soil, and for maize (Zea mays L.) land the probability is almost everywhere smaller than 5%. For arable soils, however, these probabilities commonly are larger than 5% when sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is taken as a reference crop, and locally exceed 50%.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)1875-1884
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • soil chemistry
  • cadmium
  • mapping
  • quality standards
  • models
  • netherlands

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