ALVAREZ Maria Del Pilar
Mechanism of removal and retention of heavy metals from the acid mine drainage to coastal wetland in the Patagonian marsh
IDASZKIN, YANINA LORENA; CAROL, ELEONORA; ALVAREZ MARÍA DEL PILAR
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2017 vol. 183 p. 361 - 370
he attenuation of the acid mine drainage is one of the most important environmental challenges facing the mining industry worldwide. Mining waste deposits from an ancient metallurgical extraction of heavy metals were found near to the San Antonio marsh in Patagonia. The aim of this work was to determinate which mechanisms regulate the mobilization and retention of metals by acid drainage. A geological and geomorphological survey was carried out and samples from the mining waste deposits and the marsh were collected to determine soil texture, Eh pH, organic matter, Cu, Pb, Zn and Fe content, and soil mineralogical composition. Metals in marsh plants were determined in above- and below-ground structures. In the mining waste deposits polymetallic sulphides were recognized where the oxidation and formation of oxy-hydroxides and sulphates of Fe, Cu, Pb and Zn occurs. Then, by the alteration of those minerals, the metals enter in solution and are mobilized with the surface drainage towards the marsh where adsorption in the soils fine fraction and organic matter and/or by plants occurs. Locally, in the mining waste deposits, the precipitation/dissolution of Cu, Pb, and Zn sulphates take place in small centripetal drainage basins. In topographically lower portions of the marsh desorption and removal of metals by tidal flow could also be happen. The results allow to concluding that the marsh adjacent to the mining waste deposits is a geochemically active environment that naturally mitigates the contamination caused by acid drainage.