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Urban Geochemistry

The Influence of High Density Human Populations on the Environment

By 2050 two out of every three people in the world will live in urban settings. Even though cities comprise a very small percentage of the earth’s surface, the impact of anthropogenic activities in cities can pose significant influences on geochemical and biogeochemical cycles resulting in increased chemical exposures that can affect human and ecosystem health and be measured far afield. Impacts on the cycles result from anthropogenic activities such as urban resource consumption, waste production, and infrastructure development and decay that can alter transport pathways. Understanding and quantifying the influence of urban environments on these cycles for forecasting the future is made complicated because of the complex interplay of legacies from past anthropogenic activities and of those that are current, offering for intriguing and challenging investigations.

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