Hg mobilization from contaminated soils and mine wastes was the source of environmental contamination in the Valle del Azogue mining area. We researched solid-phase speciation and aqueous mobility of Hg through Scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and electron probe microanalysis analysis, solid-phase-Hg-thermo-desorption (SPTD) and laboratory column experiments. We found that in contaminated soils and mine wastes, the predominant Hg species was cinnabar (HgS), mainly formed from the weathering of Hg-rich pyrite, and metallic Hg (0) in the matrix, whereas in calcines and tailings the dominant species was metallic Hg (0). The mobilization of Hg in the aqueous phase seems to have originated from the dissolution of elemental Hg (0) present in soils and wastes, reaching concentrations of up to 67 μg 1 -1, and showing a higher long-term environmental potential risk, in addition to atmospheric emissions. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2006|
- Soil contamination