Spatial distribution and sources of trace elements in sediments affected by old mining activities
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- García-Lorenzo, M.L., Pérez-Sirvent, C., Martínez-Sánchez, M.J. et al. Environ Monit Assess (2012) 184: 7041. doi:10.1007/s10661-011-2478-8
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The distribution of trace elements throughout mining areas is an important issue because abandoned tailings could be a major source of environmental pollution. In order to analyze the spatial variation of trace elements in a zone where mining activities took place and to identify pollution sources in the study area, a three-step study was carried out at a regional, at a local, and a detailed scale. In addition, a conceptual model of trace elements dispersion was established and confirmed by a geographic information system. The results obtained allowed to establish points affected by primary, secondary, and tertiary contamination, according to their proximity to contamination sources and as a function of attenuation processes which could take place in the studied area.