Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2008.04.009
Title (Primary) Using stable and radioactive isotopes for the investigation of contaminant metal mobilization in a metal mining district
Author Schubert, M.; Osenbrück, K.; Knöller, K.
Source Titel Applied Geochemistry
Year 2008
Department ANA; ISOHYD
Volume 23
Issue 10
Page From 2945
Page To 2954
Language englisch
Abstract Naturally occurring stable and radioactive isotopes were used as environmental tracers to investigate contaminant metal mobilization processes in a metal smelter dump mainly consisting of slag. Water emerging from the dump at a spring is heavily contaminated by metals. The smelter dump contains minor amounts of flue dust, a material which shows a high potential for metal mobilization. Nearby dumps mainly consist of low-grade ore. Concentration patterns of 238U, 226Ra and 210Pb determined in sediment deposited close to the contaminated spring reveal the flue dust to be the major local metal source rather than the slag or the low-grade ore. Contamination pathways inside the dump were investigated using hydrological, chemical and isotopic data. Strong negative correlation between water discharge and metal concentration in the spring water suggests, besides short-term dilution of the metal concentration by direct rainwater runoff, distinct long-term dilution of the spring water by groundwater being discharged at a significantly increased rate as a result of heavy rains. d18O and dD signatures of rain, local groundwater and spring water confirm the importance of groundwater derived from the local aquifer. Another hydrological component with importance for metal mobilization was found to be water that is recharged in the dump itself. Tritium analysis allowed an assessment of the probable residence time of that water component in the smelter dump. Since that water component seems to represent a major local contamination pathway the findings of the study are of substantial importance for site remediation planning. As a primary result it could be stated that covering the dump would not result in any noteworthy short-term improvement of the spring water quality. First significant effects would only be visible after 2-3 decades at the earliest.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schubert, M., Osenbrück, K., Knöller, K. (2008):
Using stable and radioactive isotopes for the investigation of contaminant metal mobilization in a metal mining district
Appl. Geochem. 23 (10), 2945 - 2954 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2008.04.009