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Investigation of a hazardous uncontrolled dumpsite in an oxbow lake of the Nitra River for pollution potential: a case study

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Abstract

This paper deals with the engineering-geological investigation of uncontrolled dumpsites that are abundant in post-communist countries. The sites may be redeveloped in an optimal manner by using the applied methodology of engineering-geological investigations. The research tool is a case study dealing with hazardous uncontrolled dumpsites chemically contaminated by various substances, particularly carcinogenic chromium. The dumpsite is located in the alluvial sediments of an oxbow lake of the Nitra River in the Slovak Republic. The hazard is seen in the fact that the alluvial sediments are permeable and thus the contamination may spread easily. At the same time, it is located near a river, which makes the hazard greater. Apart from the risk of contamination, another risk is related to the methane generated by the dumpsite and thus the risk of self-ignition. In order to identify the uncontrolled dumpsite body, the research was grounded in the different physical properties of the diverse geological environments. Quasi-homogenous blocks of the dumpsite body and its alluvial surroundings were well identified by using the combined three geophysical methods, namely dipole electromagnetic profiling (DEMP), electrical resistance tomography (ERT) and spontaneous polarization (SP). In order to eliminate the risk of contamination spread, redevelopment measures for the uncontrolled dumpsite in the form of sealing walls and surface sealing foil were proposed. A system of methane drainage boreholes was proposed to eliminate the risk of self-ignition. The methodology in this case study is well applicable for other uncontrolled dumpsites, which is an important outcome of the study.

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Acknowledgements

The authors also thank the Faculty of Mining and Geology, VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, for the support of the project (SP2018/33) which is the base of this article.

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Correspondence to Isik Yilmaz.

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Marschalko, M., Putiška, R., Yilmaz, I. et al. Investigation of a hazardous uncontrolled dumpsite in an oxbow lake of the Nitra River for pollution potential: a case study. Environ Monit Assess 192, 49 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-019-8031-x

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Keywords

  • Uncontrolled dumpsite
  • Oxbow lake
  • Risk of groundwater contamination
  • Risk of self-ignition
  • Engineering-geology
  • Geophysical investigations