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Chemistry for Sustainable Development

2010 year, number 5

Migration of Heavy Metals (Cu, Pb, Zn, Fe, Cd) in the Aureole of Scattering at the Urskoye Tailing Dump (Kemerovo Region)

I. N. Shcherbakova, M. A. Gustaitis, E. V. Lazareva, A. A. Bogush
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: high-sulphide wastes, heavy metals, acid drainage
Pages: 535-547


Complete chemical composition of surface water, drainage solutions and the substance carried off in the aureole of scattering at the Urskoye tailing dump was investigated. The regularities of the migration of heavy metals were revealed in connection with the increasing distance from the pollution source. It was established that storing high-sulphide waste material in non-fixed piles resulted in dissemination of the material and therefore caused the formation of the aureole of scattering. It was discovered that the water of a natural brook draining the waste material get mineralized and acidified. In the lower part of the dump, the acid water of the brook contacts the peat material of a marsh-field. At the site where the brook flows into the Ur River (a tributary of the Inya River), the acidic Fe-Al sulphate water of the brook get mixed with the fresh Са-Mg hydrocarbonate water of the river. As a consequence, the metal content of the river water increases sharply, while the recovery of water composition in the Ur River down to the background level occurs at a distance of 5 km from the mouth of the drainage brook. It was established that as a result of the gravitation differentiation the substance near the dump is enriched with larger and heavier fractions, while light-weighed finer particles are carried off along the ravine. The maximal Fe and Cu content in the carried-off waste material is confined with the sulphide material. Uliginous substance interstratified with organic residues and is characterized by increased Zn and Pb content. It was discovered that the element content of buried peat is comparable with their concentrations in the waste material overlapping the peat.