Publication details

Evaluation of the element content in geological units and its importance in the environment evaluation



Year of publication 2022
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The aim of the study was to identify elements in primary background rocks, and determine the conditions under which they can be released into the environment. The study area is situated in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin that is one of the largest bituminous coal basins in Europe. At present, mining is declining and the landscape is being revitalized. The excavated rocks present on the surface are gradually weathering and potentially hazardous elements are entering the environment in increased quantities. For this study, ten borehole core samples and five bottom sediments from lakes were collected. The content of elements was determined by X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) and subsequently some samples were measured by ICP-OES. One sample with higher amount of Hg was measured by automatic mercury analyzer (AMA) to detect the total mercury content (Hg-T) and Thermal Desorption technique was used to identify mercury species. Rare-earth elements were analyzed by ICP-MS on ten samples and the strontium content was measured in four samples. There were eight water samples collected from five lakes and major anions and cations were measured in it. The hydrochemical type of waters was evaluated using the Geochemist’s Workbench. Water analysis shows that there are three hydrochemical types of water. There is a chloride hydrochemical type of water in two localities (Liberďok, Kozinec). Next, there is one locality (Heřmanický rybník) with a sulphate-chloride hydrochemical type of water and two localities (Skučák, Rybník Pod Farou) with a carbonate hydrochemical type of water. However, there is also a larger amount of sulphates in Rybník Pod Farou. The following toxic elements were monitored: lead, copper, zinc, arsenic, mercury and chromium. Increased amounts were measured for zinc and copper. The strontium content was also measured. In case of core samples, the strontium content was higher. In case of lake sediments, the highest content of mercury, copper and zinc was measured in Heřmanický rybník and the lowest content of toxic elements was detected in Liberďok and Skučák. Finally, the results of the methods were compared and the explanatory power of the method for given elements was evaluated

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