Application of magnetic methods for assessment of soil restoration in the vicinity of metallurgical copper-processing plant in Bulgaria

  • N. Jordanova
  • E. Petrovský
  • A. Kapicka
  • D. Jordanova
  • P. Petrov


Copper ore mining and processing are among the most harmful anthropogenic influences for the environment and they are a subject of international and national law regulations. Recultivation of areas influenced by mining and processing industry is commonly applied and monitored in order to restore as much as possible the natural environment. In this study, environmental magnetic methods are applied in order to assess the degree of soil restoration in terms of soil development, after remediation of waste dump from Cu-processing plant. Soils developed under birch forest stands of different age (5, 15, and 25 years) as well as raw waste material were sampled along depth down to 20–30 cm. Variations in magnetic parameters and ratios obtained (magnetic susceptibility, frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility, anhysteretic remanence (ARM), isothermal remanence (IRM), ARM/IRM100mT) suggest the presence of magnetic enhancement in the upper 0–15 cm, the thickness of this layer varying depending on the age of the forest stand. Magnetic mineral responsible for this enhancement is of magnetite type, while waste material contains a large amount of hematite, as evidenced by coercivity analysis of IRM acquisition curves and thermal demagnetization of composite IRM. Magnetic grain-sized proxy parameters suggest that magnetite particles are coarser, magnetically stable, while no or minor amount of superparamagnetic grains were detected at room temperature. A well-defined linear regression between the topsoil magnetic susceptibility and the approximate age of the forest stand provides an indication that the magnetic enhancement is of pedogenic origin. It is concluded that the observed magnetic enhancement of recultivated soils studied is linked to a combined effect of pedogenic contribution and possible additions of industrial ashes as a liming agent for soil restoration.


Environmental magnetism Copper mining Technosols Pedogenic magnetic minerals 



This study is carried out in the frames of a bilateral cooperation project between the NIGGG at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Institute of Geophysics at the Acad. Sci. Czech Rep. E. Petrovsky is grateful for the support provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic through INGO Project LG15036. We highly appreciate constructive comments and suggestions given by the Editor Dr. Jose Alexander Elvir and the two anonymous reviewers which helped to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Jordanova
    • 1
  • E. Petrovský
    • 2
  • A. Kapicka
    • 2
  • D. Jordanova
    • 1
  • P. Petrov
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and GeographyBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Institute of GeophysicsThe Czech Academy of SciencesPrague 4Czech Republic

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