The aim of the study was to determine centimeter-scale spatial variation in mineralization potential in diffusely polluted soil. To this end we employed a 96-well microplate method to measure the mineralization of 14C-labeled organic compounds in deep-well microplates and thereby compile mineralization curves for 348 soil samples of 0.2-cm3. Centimeter-scale spatial variation in organic matter and the mineralization of glucose, benzoic acid, and PAHs (phenanthrene and pyrene) was determined for urban road-side soil sampled as arrays (7×11cm) of 96 subsamples. The spatial variation in mineralization was visualized by means of 2-D contour maps and quantified by means of semivariograms. The geostatistical analysis showed that the easily degradable compounds (glucose and benzoic acid) exhibited little spatial variation in mineralization potential, whereas the mineralization was highly heterogeneous for the PAH compounds that require specialized degraders. The spatial heterogeneity should be taken into account when estimating natural attenuation rates. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.