Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 837–849 | Cite as

Extreme pollution of soils by emissions of the copper–nickel industrial complex in the Kola Peninsula

Degradation, Rehabilitation, and Conservation of Soils


The distribution of the total Ni, Cu, Co, Cd, Pb, and Zn contents was studied in the soil profiles of six catenas in the zone subjected to emissions of the copper-nickel industrial complex, which is the largest source of SO2 and heavy metals in northern Europe. The results show that, at present, the concentrations of Ni and Cu in the upper organic soil horizons in the impact zone reach extreme levels of 9000 and 6000 mg/kg, respectively. Under conditions of the long-term intense multi-element industrial emissions, the modern levels of the accumulation of polluting substances in soils greatly depend on the indirect factors, such as the degree of the technogenic degradation of soils with the loss of a significant part of soil organic matter, the reaching of threshold saturation of the topsoil with polluting metals, and competitive relationships between chemical elements. The state of the ecosystems in the impact zone varied greatly and did not always agree with the contents of the main metals-pollutants in the soils. The moisture conditions determined by the landscape position affected significantly the resistance of the ecosystems to emissions.


heavy metals podzols catena state of ecosystems Podzols 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    G. A. Evdokimova, G. V. Kalabin, and N. P. Mozgova, “Contents and toxicity of heavy metals in soils of the zone affected by aerial emissions from the Severonikel Enterprise,” Eurasian Soil Sci. 44, 237–244 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. M. Kashulina, Aerotechnogenic Soil Transformation of the European Subarctic Region (Kola Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, 2002) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    G. M. Kashulina, A. N. Kubrak, and N. M. Korobeinikova, “Soil acidity status in the vicinity of the Severonikel copper-nickel industrial complex, Kola Peninsula,” Eurasian Soil Sci. 48, 432–444 (2015).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    G. M. Kashulina, V. N. Pereverzev, and T. I. Litvinova, “Transformation of the soil organic matter under the extreme pollution by emissions of the Severonikel smelter,” Eurasian Soil Sci. 43, 1174–1183 (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Classification and Diagnostic System of Russian Soils (Oikumena, Smolensk, 2004) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    G. N. Koptsik, S. V. Koptsik, I. E. Smirnova, A. D. Kudryavtseva, and K. A. Turbabina, “The response of forest ecosystems to reduction in industrial atmospheric emission in the Kola Subarctic,” Zh. Obshch. Biol. 77 (2), 147–165 (2016).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Forest Ecosystems and Air Pollution, Ed. by V. A. Alekseev (Nauka, Leningrad, 1990) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    N. V. Lukina and T. V. Chernen’kova, “Pollutioninduced successions in forests of the Kola Peninsula,” Russ. J. Ecol. 39, 310–317 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    V. V. Nikonov, N. V. Lukina, and M. V. Frontas’eva, “Trace elements in Al–Fe-humus podzolic soils subjected to aerial pollution from the copper-nickel production industry in conditions of varying lithogenic background,” Eurasian Soil Sci. 32, 338–349 (1999).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    V. N. Pereverzev, Forest Soils of the Kola Peninsula (Nauka, Moscow, 2004) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    D. L. Pinskii, Ion-Exchange Processes in Soils (Pushchino Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, 1997) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    O. G. Chertov, I. V. Lyanguzova, and E. V. Kordyukova, “Mobility of heavy metals in polluted humic-illuvial podzolic soils,” Pochvovedenie, No. 5, 50–56 (1985).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    AMAP Assessment Report 2006: Acidifying Pollutants, Arctic Haze, and Acidification in the Arctic (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, Oslo, 2006).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, Oslo, 1997).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    D. Gregurek, C. Reimann, and E. F. Stumpfl, “Mineralogical fingerprint of industrial emissions—an example from Ni mining and smelting on the Kola Peninsula, NW Russia,” Sci. Total Environ. 221, 189–200 (1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    G. Kashulina, P. de Caritat, and C. Reimann, “Snow and rain chemistry around the Severonikel industrial complex, NW Russia: current status and retrospective analysis,” Atmos. Environ. 89, 672–682 (2014).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    G. Kashulina, C. Reimann, and D. Banks, “Sulphur in the Arctic environment (3). Environmental impact,” Environ. Pollut. 124 (1), 151–171 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    G. Kashulina, C. Reimann, T. E. Finne, J. H. Halleraker, M. Äyräs, and V. A. Chekushin, “The state of the ecosystems in the Central Barents region: scale, factors and mechanism of disturbance,” Sci. Total Environ. 206, 203–225 (1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    C. Reimann, M. Äyräs, V. Chekushin, et al., Environmental Geochemical Atlas of the Central Barents Region, NGU-GTK-CKE Special publication, Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim, 745 (1998).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    C. Reimann, G. Kashulina, P. de Caritat, and H. Niskavaara, “Multi-element, multi-medium regional geochemistry in the European Arctic: element concentration, variation and correlation,” Appl. Geochem. 16, 759–780 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    R. Salminen, V. Chekushin, M. Tenhola, et al., “Geochemical atlas of eastern Barents region,” J. Geochem. Explor. 83, 1–3 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kola Peninsula Pollutants and Forest Ecosystems in Lapland: Final Report of The Lapland Forest Damage Project, Ed. by E. Tikkanen and I. Niemela (Finnish Forest Research Inst., Rovaniemi, 1995).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    G. Tyler, “Leaching rates of heavy metal ions in forest soil,” Water, Air Soil Pollut. 9, 137–148 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Avrorin Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden-Institute, Kola Scientific CenterRussian Academy of SciencesApatityRussia

Personalised recommendations