Mercury (Hg) concentrations and Hg phases were investigated in contaminated sediments and flooded soils in the drainage area of the Idrija Hg mine, Slovenia. The main aim of this study was the analytical separation and quantification of cinnabar (HgS) and noncinnabar Hg compounds in sediments contaminated by mining residues. Separation of Hg phases was performed by means of a solidphase-Hg-thermo-desorption technique complemented by selective extraction of organically bound Hg. Speciation measurements indicate the occurrence of two major Hg forms: cinnabar the primary ore and an unspecified group of matrix-bound, noncinnabar Hg compounds. The results show that Hg concentrations and dispersion of the two Hg phases within the river system depend on the distribution of different sediment grain size fractions. Accumulation of cinnabar predominately occurs in coarse grained river sediments, where it constitutes on average more than 80% of total Hg (up to 1000 mg/kg) in present- and past day sediments. In contrast noncinnabar Hg was found to be enriched in areas where fine grained material was deposited reaching up to 40% of Hgtot (1-60 mg/kg) in flooded soils and up to 55% (<1-18 mg/kg) in sediments of the Gulf of Trieste.

Mercury speciation in sediments affected by dumped mining residues in the drainage area of the Idrija mercury mine

COVELLI, STEFANO
2000

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) concentrations and Hg phases were investigated in contaminated sediments and flooded soils in the drainage area of the Idrija Hg mine, Slovenia. The main aim of this study was the analytical separation and quantification of cinnabar (HgS) and noncinnabar Hg compounds in sediments contaminated by mining residues. Separation of Hg phases was performed by means of a solidphase-Hg-thermo-desorption technique complemented by selective extraction of organically bound Hg. Speciation measurements indicate the occurrence of two major Hg forms: cinnabar the primary ore and an unspecified group of matrix-bound, noncinnabar Hg compounds. The results show that Hg concentrations and dispersion of the two Hg phases within the river system depend on the distribution of different sediment grain size fractions. Accumulation of cinnabar predominately occurs in coarse grained river sediments, where it constitutes on average more than 80% of total Hg (up to 1000 mg/kg) in present- and past day sediments. In contrast noncinnabar Hg was found to be enriched in areas where fine grained material was deposited reaching up to 40% of Hgtot (1-60 mg/kg) in flooded soils and up to 55% (<1-18 mg/kg) in sediments of the Gulf of Trieste.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/1692680
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