Anthropogenic effects, processes or materials are those that are derived from human activities, as opposed to those occurring in natural environments without human influence.

The term is often used in the context of environmental externalities in the form of chemical or biological wastes that are produced as by-products of otherwise purposeful human activities.

The term anthropogenic designates an effect or object resulting from human activity. The term is sometimes used in the context of pollution emissions that are produced as a result of human industry. [1]


Anthropogenic sources include industry, agriculture, botany, mining, transportation, construction, habitations and deforestation.

Industry Edit

Agriculture Edit

  • Conversion of woodlands into fields and pastures including slash-and-burn techniques.
  • Diversion of surface and groundwater.
  • Ground water salinization due to inadequate drainage.
  • Pollution of soil and water by chemicals found in fertilizer and pesticides.
  • dirty or unclean water

Botany Edit

  • The human alteration of plants by breeding, selection, genetic engineering and tissue fusion (see cultigen)

Mining Edit

Transportation Edit

Construction Edit

Habitations Edit

  • Concentration of human activities in discrete zones.
  • Concentration of waste products, sewage, and debris.
  • Concentration of music.


Antropogenic tracers help measure objectively the amount of human influence in a given environment.

See Environmental behavior of EDTA for an example.


  1. Scott, Michon (2008). "Glossary". Earth Observatory, Retrieved on 3 November 2008.