Geochemical assessment of the role of aeration zone rocks in pollution of ground waters by heavy metals

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Authors:

А.V. Pavlichenko, Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Associate Professor, State Higher Education Institution “National Mining University”, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Ecology, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

А.А. Kroik, Dr. Sci. (Geol.), Professor, Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University Professor of the Department of Zoology and Ecology, Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Abstract:

Purpose. Investigation of the physical and chemical mechanism of processes occurring in the system of ‘aeration zone rocks – waste water’ during filtration of mine water from ponds.

Methodology. For the selected samples of aeration zone rocks the particle size, mineral structure and chemical composition ware analyzed, including the study of the water-soluble minerals complex composition. The content of trace elements in the rocks was determined by the content of water-soluble and acid-soluble forms of metals.

Findings. We have determined the parameters of rock sorption of heavy metals. This allows us to predict the degree of groundwater contamination. The following elements are concentrated in the aeration zone rocks: lead, zinc, copper, cobalt, chromium and cadmium. According to the level of sorption in the system rock-solution the metals can be put in the following order: Pb>Cu>Cr>Zn>Fe>Ni>Cd>Co>Mn. In the system ‘aera-tion zone rocks – waste water’ there are processes that under anthropogenic stress lead to the change of ion-salt and micro-component content of rocks. At the same time there is a significant transformation of the chemical composition of infiltrating waste water. The heavy met-als concentration decreases before the water reaches the groundwater horizons and the environmental friendliness of groundwater in the area of ponds rises.

Originality. We have found that the aeration zone rocks serve as geochemical barrier that reduces inflow of heavy metals from the ponds into the groundwater. The efficiency of metal absorption depends on pH and mineral composition of rock and chemical properties and concentration of each metal. The important role of the calcium carbonate minerals in the sorption of heavy metals has been determined.

Practical value. The regularities of the sorption in the aeration zone rocks allow developing the effective ways of reduce of groundwater contamination by heavy metals in the zone of ponds location. Aeration zone rocks can be used as a geochemical barrier, which concentrates contaminants from the ponds, and thereby contribute to reducing of the pollution of groundwater in mining areas. 

 

References:

 

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