Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum

Saarland Conurbation

Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.

The Saarland conurbation developed with the rise of the industrialization at the beginning 19th century. Because of its extensive mineral resources it became a centre of mining and iron and steel industries. These activities went along with a severe environmental pollution typical for these industries. Nowadays, the importance of these old industries is decreasing while the automotive industry and its subcontractors, the ceramic industry as well as computer sciences and information technologies are gaining importance.

The early and intensive industrialization has led to an excellent traffic infrastructure. Furthermore, the small scale segmentation of large parts of the Saarland has resulted in a high per capita car rate in Germany.

Population density increased rapidly in the late 17th, early 18th and especially in the 19th century. Since the 1980s, however, the population declines.

Two thirds of the Saarland is covered by deciduous mixed forest. This makes the Saarland, next to Hessen and Baden-Württemberg, one of the federal states (Bundesländer) with the highest percentage of forest. In contrast to forests in other federal states, the percentage of deciduous trees is highest in the Saarland.

The sampling area covers about 625 km2 and includes three polluted areas as defined in the Federal Immission Control Act and in the Polluted Site Regulation of the Saarland administration.


Saartal Core zone of the Saarland industrial region along the major waterway Saar
Warndt Forest ecosystem between the industrial regions of the Saarland and Lorraine
Saarkohlewald The former centre of mining and coal, iron and steel industry becomes the Regional Park Saar


Zebra mussel Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
Suspended particulate matter Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
Common spruce A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
Lombardy poplar A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
Roe deer, one-year-old The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
Feral pigeon A pigeon species home in nearly every city.
Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
Soil Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.


Metals Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals
Nonmetals Only eighteen elements in the periodic table
Organometallic compounds Organic substances with at least one metall atom
Chlorohydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom
DDT and metabolites Toxic and persistent organochloropesticide
Hexachlorocyclohexane Several isomeric compounds among the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least three condensed six-membered rings
Biocides and plant protection products Chemical agents against harmful organisms and for plant protection
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds Organic compounds which are fully (per-) or partially (poly-) fluorinated
Polycyclic musks Class of synthetic fragrances
Alkylphenol compounds Class of non-ionic surfactants and their degradation products
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
UV-Filter and antioxidants Proctection for humans and products
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1985 - 2019