Ecological and geochemical assessment of sorsk mining and processing plant soil cover (Republic of Khakassia)

Aleksandra V. Belosheykina, Anna V. Talovskaya, Egor G. Yazikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The relevance of the research is caused by the need to study the environmental impact of mining. Ecological and geochemical soil cover assessment of Sorsk mining and processing plant (one of the largest copper-molybdenum mining complexes in Russia) is a high-priority environmental task. The aims of the research are to assess the geochemical soil transformation affected by copper and molybdenum mining development and give recommendations for industrial geoecological monitoring. Methods: inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Results. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd hazard classes heavy metals are revealed to be accumulated in the top soils and the soil profile cut in 0-5, 5-20, 20-40 cm depth near the industrial site (open pits and nearby facilities), overburden rock dumps, tailing dumps as well as outside of the land allotment including the sanitary protection zone and the territory of Sorsk. The anthropogenic and geochemical top soil specialization is marked by high Mo content (2-126 background concentrations), Cu content (1,5-5 background concentrations), Mn (7-11 background concentrations), Cd, Pb, Ni, As, Zn (1,5-5 background concentrations). The As concentrations exceed MAC in soil by 2-10 times. Therefore, Mo-Mn-Cu-Cd-W-Pb geochemical specialization is specific for the top soils near the industrial site, as well as Mo-Mn-Ni-W and Mn-Mo-Ni and Mo-Mn-W-Pb-Cd geochemical specializations are typical for the north-east direction from the industrial site and overburden rock dumps and tailing dumps and the territory of Sorsk, respectively. Mo is accumulated in the top soils in 0-5 cm depth due to natural geological structure and anthropogenic (aerogenic pollution caused by drilling-and-blasting or rock wind erosion) factors. For the most soil sampling sites there is a tendency in Ni, As, Cd, Sr, Cr, Cu and Zn increasing concentrations (in the soil profile 0-5 to 20-40 cm depth) and this specifies the geological territory structure. There is a high soil pollution level comparatively background concentrations within the industrial site, near the overburden rock dumps as well as in the territory of Sorsk. Whereas, a low soil pollution level is revealed near the tailing dumps. The list of elements monitored is recommended for industrial geoecological monitoring. Conclusions. Mo, Cu, W, Cd, Pb, Ni, As, Zn are soil marker elements. Taking into account the fact that the study area originates from the ore body, therefore, the Mo and Cu concentrations are obviously identified in soil. The heavy metals concentrations increase due to anthropogenic soil transformation. Anthropogenically the most affected soils are of open pits and overburden rock dumps. The element concentrations increase due to the soil profile depth and its geological structure. The high element concentrations in the top soils are caused by aerogenic pollution owing to the pollutant transfer from the main anthropogenic sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of the Tomsk Polytechnic University, Geo Assets Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Ecological and geochemical assessment
  • Field
  • Heavy metals
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Mining and processing industrial complex
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economic Geology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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