WIT Press

Clearance Of Explosive Ordnance: The Answer To All Evils?


Free (open access)





Page Range

97 - 106




556 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


F. Jaenig


Wars do bring harm and death and, even after the end of war, legacies create continuing danger to human beings. Thus, in former operational zones, every 22 minutes a human being is injured or killed by unexploded ammunition. As a first activity a clearance of explosive ordnance is carried out, in order to eliminate the danger of contact. Depending on expected depth and type of ammunition, various methods of detection and clearance are applied, all of which have in common the detection of metals, because of suiting, such as boxes for energetic materials (EMs). After that, the clearance of the explosive ordnances detected – such as shells, bombs, ammunitions – is stipulated, whereupon a serious intervention in the soil in both area and depth can take place. As an inevitable consequence of this, EMs that have leaked from bins or EMs that are in broken bins remain in the soil. In addition, the soil’s primarily punctual contamination with EMs could be dispersed across the complete area of clearance. In the soil the particles of the EM are exposed to elution, thus groundwater-contamination with EM is affected due to the type and duration of exposition. Because of the toxic and carcinogenic properties of these substances, such groundwater- and soil-contaminations can cause hazard to sensitive goods. The anonymous German practical example presented shows that high and persistent concentrations of EMs in the leachate were detected after an extremely cost-intensive clearance of explosive ordnance, resulting from a temporary mobilization of EM-particles within the scope of clearance and from EM-soil contaminations not cleared. Thus, a conjunction of clearance of explosive ordnance and soil remedial actions is mandatory, in order to ensure satisfying results of a remediation or clearance. Keywords: clearance of explosive ordnance, geophysical detection, remediation.


clearance of explosive ordnance, geophysical detection, remediation