EU Project

Model driven Soil Probing, Site Assessment and Evaluation (ModelPROBE)

Coordinator: M. Kästner (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany)

Geoprobe-Bohrgerät mit Direkt-Push-Technik (Quelle: UFZ)

Conventional techniques for site characterization are time consuming, cost intensive, and do not often effectively support decision making towards sustainable remediation. Therefore, new techniques for step by step site characterization strategy with smart feed back loops are necessary and have to be developed.

The ModelPROBE approach relies on the combination of advanced geophysical site characterization techniques with new types of vegetation analysis. Based on these non-invasive surveys, the exact location and extension of sources, contamination levels (THP, BTEX, PAH, CHC, explosives, and heavy metals) and soil heterogeneities will be localized first. Hot spots will then be investigated by new direct push probing systems combined with geophysical & hydrogeological methods and with chemical & isotopic analysis for source localization and identification (environmental forensics). The actually occurring bioprocesses, such as contaminant degradation or precipitation/mobilization processes, will be assessed using biosensors, in situ microcosms, and stable isotope and biomarker analysis. These new techniques and tools will be evaluated against best practice of conventional methods. ModelPROBE offers the unique possibility to test, optimize and demonstrate the proposed approach and the developed tools at fully equipped and characterized European reference sites available in the project. Integrated statistical analysis and modelling at different stages of the step by step approach will result in an improved view of soil and subsurface contamination and will provide a sound basis for risk assessment and for the decision on the most appropriate sustainable remediation strategy.

ModelPROBE is funded by the EU in FP7, under the theme 6.3 “Environmental Technologies”, “Development of technologies and tools for soil contamination assessment and site characterisation, towards sustainable remediation”


Project handbook now published

"Model-driven soil probing, site assessment and evaluation - Guidance on Technologies"

 Available upon request at:




Matthias Kästner

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany