Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig

Leipzig conurbation, Düben Heath

Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany

The Leipzig conurbation is characterized by mining and strong industrial activities with a focus on chemical industry. This is accompanied by high population densities around Leipzig and Halle. The sampling area lies in one of the most polluted areas in Central Europe.

Distinctive features in the landscape include the forest of the Dueben Heath, the industrial conurbations, the areas of open-cast lignite mining and the post-mining landscapes as well as areas of intensive agriculture.

The landscape was originally shaped by the glacial period but is strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities nowadays. The water balance of the whole area is heavily disturbed by intensive mining. The Central German conurbation Halle-Leipzig-Bitterfeld is traditionally associated with chemical industry and biotechnology. Until World War II, the focus of the industrial development was on chemical industry and mining. In the 1970s, energy industry, plant construction, medical engineering and biotechnology followed. Today, the region is developing into the German centre of biotechnology and research.

The sampling area includes the Halle-Leipzig-Bitterfeld conurbation, the rivers Mulde and Saale, and large parts of the nearby forest Dübener Heide.


Transekt Halle-Leipzig Halle/Leipzig conurbation within the chemical triangle
Dübener Heide Mitte Important woodland and area for recreation for the conurbation Halle/Leipzig


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.
Pine 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
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1991 - 2019