Impact of mercury mine and smelter St. Ana - Podljubelj on spatial distribution of chemical elements in soil

Authors

  • Tamara Teršič
  • Robert Šajn
  • Mateja Gosar

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5474/geologija.2005.007

Abstract

The objective of the research project was to establish the extension of Hg pollution as a consequence of mining and smelting activities in a narrow Alpine valley. The St. Ana mine was first exploited as early as in 1557 and was finally abandoned in 1902. The entire operating period yielded about 110.000 tons of ore, from which 360 tons of Hg was produced. By soil sampling it was established that on about 9 ha the Hg contents in soil exceed the Slovenian critical values for soil (10 mg/kg). The estimated mercury mean for the studied area is 1.3 mg/kg (0.17 - 718 mg/kg). The highest contents of mercury in soils were found in the area of the mercury smelter. That is a consequence of former atmospheric emissions and technological losses. High values of Hg were found also in soil on the mine and smelter waste dump. The highest determined contents of Hg (108 mg/kg) in this area are almost 7-times lower than the contents of Hg in the area of the smelter. Mercury in soils generally decrease with depth and distance from the mine and smelter. Apart from the area around the former mine and smelter, mercury appear in higher concentrations also along the road that runs along the valley, which is due to the use of Hg bearing mine tailings in road construction.

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How to Cite

Teršič, T., Šajn, R., & Gosar, M. (2005). Impact of mercury mine and smelter St. Ana - Podljubelj on spatial distribution of chemical elements in soil . Geologija, 48(1), 73–81. https://doi.org/10.5474/geologija.2005.007

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