Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 184, Issue 11, pp 7041–7052 | Cite as

Spatial distribution and sources of trace elements in sediments affected by old mining activities

  • Mari Luz García-Lorenzo
  • Carmen Pérez-Sirvent
  • María José Martínez-Sánchez
  • José Molina-Ruiz
  • Mari Luz Tudela
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Mapping Trace elements Spatial distribution Soil contamination Mining activities GIS 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mari Luz García-Lorenzo
    • 3
  • Carmen Pérez-Sirvent
    • 1
  • María José Martínez-Sánchez
    • 1
  • José Molina-Ruiz
    • 2
  • Mari Luz Tudela
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Geology and Pedology, Faculty of ChemistryUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Faculty of GeographyUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Petrology and Geochemistry, Faculty of GeologyComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain

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