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Redistribution of trace metals in a mineralized spodosol due to weathering, Liikavaara, northern Sweden
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
Luleå tekniska universitet.
Stockholm University.
Kemakta Konsult AB.
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2003 (English)In: Applied Geochemistry, ISSN 0883-2927, E-ISSN 1872-9134, Vol. 18, no 6, p. 883-899Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The till east of the Liikavaara Östra ore deposit in northern Sweden is in some parts rich in Cu and other sulphide-associated metals. Groundwater flowing in this till has higher concentrations of Cu than groundwater in a reference area where the till has low concentrations of Cu and other metals. To understand the processes that release metals from the mineralized till at Liikavaara into the groundwater, the authors performed a detailed study of the <2 mm fraction of a till profile where the highest metal concentrations in the Liikavaara area occur. The geochemistry and mineralogy of the till were determined, and the soil water was sampled by tension lysimeters. The importance of local diffusion of Cu-bearing airborne dust from the adjacent Aitik mine tailings impoundment was quantified and solid speciation of metals in airborne material was performed by sequential extraction. The results from Liikavaara were compared to results from the reference area. Glacial ice picked up sulphide-rich material from the Liikavaara Östra Cu ore during its flow. This material was deposited in the till east of the ore body when the ice melted. The sulphides have been dissolved in the <2 mm fraction during 8.7 ka of weathering since the glacial ice retreated. After dissolution of the sulphides, Cu was redistributed and secondarily retained in association with Fe-oxyhydroxides and altered biotite. Other sulphide-associated elements such as Co, Ni and Zn show the same pattern in the till profile as Cu, though the concentrations are much lower. Uptake of Cu2+ in the biotite through ion exchange with K+ may be an important mechanism for Cu-enrichment in biotite at Liikavaara. The airborne dust is not the source of Cu in the till. Although the soil water at Liikavaara has higher concentrations of Cu and other metals than the soil water at the reference area, the Cu-concentration is too low for infiltrating soil water to explain the high Cu-concentrations observed in groundwater. The high metal concentrations in the till, of Cu in particular, cause the increased concentrations in the local groundwater. A fluctuating groundwater table washes out Cu and other metals from the till. It is possible that increased Cu concentration in the local groundwater is caused by dissolved organic complexes, or by colloids (<0.45 μm) rich in organic matter and/or Fe-oxyhydroxides

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 18, no 6, p. 883-899
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-4102DOI: 10.1016/S0883-2927(02)00187-7Local ID: 1f9263b0-86bd-11db-8975-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-4102DiVA: diva2:976965
Note
Validerad; 2003; 20061206 (bajo)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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