Geochemical and geophysical study of historical Zn-Pb ore processing waste dump areas (Southern Poland)

 J. Cabała, B. Żogała, R. Dubiel

 Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, Bedzinska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland


 14p, 1 tab., 5 figs.


Abstract  This paper presents the results of mineralogical, geochemical and geophysical studies of Zn-Pb processing waste dump stored at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The mineral composition of wastes was identified using the XRD method, the contents of Zn, Pb, Fe, Mn, Cd, Tl were determined with the AAS method, whereas the characteristic features of metaliferous grains were examined with the ESEM method. High geochemical mobility of these metals reduces  plant succession and brings about the pollution of the former Zn-Pb ores mine areas. High contents of Zn-Pb-Fe sulfides and unstable, hydrated Pb, Fe, Pb-Fe sulfates  result in distinctly raised levels of heavy metals (Zn 121,501 mg kg-1, Pb 208,869 mg kg-1, Cd 477 mg kg-1). Various waste types and sorrounding Triassic or Quaternary deposits differ significantly in mineral composition, and consequently in physical properties, such as electrical conductivity of top soil horizons. This enabled using geoelectric methods for the purpose of this study, and contouring mine wastes in the polluted areas. The field geophysical survey was carried out with the high resolution conductivity meter (Geonics EM31-MK2).