Metal-polluted mine waters represent a major threat to the quality of waters and sediments in a downstream basin. At the confluence between acidic mine waters and the unpolluted waters of the Gromolo Torrent (Liguria, North-West Italy), the massive formation of an ochreous amorphous precipitate takes place. This precipitate forms a soft blanket that covers the torrent bed and can be observed down to its mouth in the sea. The aim of this work is to evaluate the dispersion of metals in the Gromolo Torrent basin from the abandoned Cu-Fe sulphide mine of Libiola to the Ligurian Sea and to assess the metal remobilisation from the amorphous precipitates. The mineralogy of the superficial sediments collected in the torrent bed and the concentrations of different elements of environmental concern (Cu, Zn, Cd, Co, Cr, Mn, Ni, Pb, As, and Sb) were therefore analysed. The results showed that the precipitates contain high concentration of Fe, Al, Cu, and Zn, significantly modifying the bulk chemistry of the Gromolo Torrent sediments. In order to evaluate the possible remobilisation of ecotoxic elements from the amorphous precipitates, bulk leaching tests were performed with both deionised and seawater. Bulk leaching tests with deionised water mobilised primarily high Pb amounts, but also relatively high concentrations of Fe, Al, Cu, and Zn are released in the leachate. In seawater tests, Fe, Al, Cu, and Zn were released in smaller amounts, while other elements like Mn, Cd, Co, and Ni increased in the released fraction. Pb was still strongly released as in deionised water experiments. The results show that the interaction of precipitates and seawater can remobilise high concentrations of metals, thus affecting the surrounding environment.
|Titolo:||Metal transport and remobilisation in a basin affected by acid mine drainage: the role of ochreous amorphous precipitates|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|