A multidisciplinary study for mining landscape reclamation: A study case on two tailing ponds in the Region of Murcia (SE Spain)

P. Martínez-Pagán, A. Faz, J. A. Acosta, D. M. Carmona, S. Martínez-Martínez

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículo en revista científica indexadarevisión exhaustiva

51 Citas (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to evaluate the mobility of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in two tailing ponds (Brunita and San Cristobal) from mine activity in the Southeast of Spain before applying reclamation measures for reducing the risk for human and environment. To achieve this objective, five profiles of electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) in Brunita, three profiles in San Cristobal, a drill-hole in each pond and undisturbed columns amended with marble waste for leaching experiments were taken. Results showed that all layers of the two ponds exceed the maximum Pb and Zn concentrations allowed by the selected European legislations. In both ponds, the mixture of tailings with natural soil is the main process involved in soil pollution under the ponds. However, due to high pH in the substrate the metals are precipitated and their solubility reduced, therefore there is not a risk of leaching to groundwater. At Brunita tailing pond electrical resistivity sections displayed some lower electrical resistivity region into the bedrock which has been described as some fault occurrence due to breaking events suffered by the tailing pond. At San Cristobal tailing pond geochemical results were consistent with data obtained by the electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) method where no evidence of faults or cracks into the bedrock and the ponds were observed. Therefore, no preferential pathways of acid mine drainages containing heavy metals were reported. Leaching experiments indicated that, after 11. weeks of leaching, amended and control columns showed comparable values of pH (∼2.3) and similar trends for Cu, Cd and Zn, with a very drastic decrease up to week 3 and thereafter the tendency was to reach near steady-state conditions. In contrast, the evolution of Pb showed that marble amended reduces significantly its concentration over time compared with the control. In accordance with the results, future reclamation action should be based on the reduction of heavy metal mobility by means of long-term and large-scale marble waste application, which increases the pH and prevents the formation of acid mine drainage.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1331-1344
Número de páginas14
PublicaciónPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
EstadoPublicada - 2011
Publicado de forma externa


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