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Open access

Łukasz Stachnik and Łukasz Uzarowicz

The Relationship between Dissolved Solids Yield and the Presence of Snow cover in the Periglacial Basin of the Obruchev Glacier (Polar Urals) during the Ablation Season

Hydrochemical investigations were carried out in the periglacial basin of Obruchev Glacier (Polar Urals, Russia) in order to provide a quantitative and qualitative comparison of dissolved solids yields during the ablation season with and without snow cover taking into account the mineral composition of rocks and deposits occurring in the studied area. The concentration of dissolved solids in the waters of the investigated basin is very low (about 7.0-8.9 μS cm-1). It is most of all due to harsh local climate conditions as well as the presence of minerals resistant to weathering in the parent material. Both factors contribute to the low rate of chemical weathering in the area. Results obtained indicate that a larger dissolved solids yield was transported during the period with snow cover (106 kg km-2 day-1, on average), than at the same time of the year but without snow cover (13 kg km-2 day-1, on average) indicating that melting snow is an important factor influencing the yield of dissolved solids in surface waters.

Open access

Łukasz Uzarowicz and Zbigniew Zagórski

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the mineral and chemical composition of technogenic soils (Technosols) developed from fly ash and bottom ash from power plants in which bituminous coal and lignite was combusted. The mineral composition of the “fresh” wastes (i.e. fly ash and bottom ash) and soil samples derived from them was examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The chemical composition (content of major elements) was determined using ICP-AES method. Quartz, mullite, and amorphous substances (glass) predominated in the mineral composition of wastes after bituminous coal combustion. Magnetite was also found there. Soils developed from wastes after bituminous coal combustion contained all above mentioned minerals inherited from fly ash and bottom ash. Moreover, small amounts of secondary calcite were identified. In some soil horizons containing large amounts of inherited magnetite, secondary iron oxides and oxyhydroxides (goethite and lepidocrocite) also occurred. Quartz predominated in the mineral composition of the “fresh” wastes after lignite combustion. Relatively small amounts of iron oxides (magnetite and hematite) were also found there. In “fresh” fly ash, apart from minerals mentioned above, anhydrite and calcium oxide (lime) was identified. Soils developed from wastes after lignite combustion contained inherited quartz, magnetite, and hematite. Furthermore, calcite which sometimes was a predominating mineral in certain soil horizons occurred. Moreover, sulphates (gypsum, bassanite, and ettringite), and vaterite (a polymorph of Ca carbonate) were also found in soils. Silicon predominated among major elements in “fresh” ashes after bituminous coal combustion and soil derived from them followed by Al, Fe, K, Ca, Mg, Ti, Na, P, and Mn. On the other hand, the contents of major elements in the samples (ashes and soils) after lignite combustion can be arranged as follows: Si, Ca, Fe, Al, Mg, Ti, K, Mn, Na, and P. However, in some horizons (i.e. in calcareous materials deposited in the topsoil of some profiles) in soil developed on landfills near TPSs combusting lignite, Ca was a predominating element.

Open access

ŁUKASZ UZAROWICZ, ANTONI SZAFRANEK and MIKOŁAJ KURBIEL

Streszczenie

Celem przeprowadzonych badań było wskazanie najważniejszych problemów związanych z gleboznawczą klasyfikacją gruntów rolnych w rejonie Kopalni Węgla Brunatnego „Bełchatów”. Analiza polegała na porównaniu danych dla wsi Łękińsko zawartych na mapach i w operatach klasyfikacyjnych z 1959 roku (okres przed otwarciem KWB „Bełchatów”) z mapami i operatami zaktualizowanymi w 1998 roku, tj. około 20 lat po rozpoczęciu działalności przez kopalnię. Z przeprowadzonych badań wynika, że jedynie 14% obszaru obrębu Łękińsko niezajętego przez kopalnię zostało objęte ponowną klasyfikacją gruntów. Odkrywki glebowe zostały zlokalizowane wyłącznie na terenach, których użytkowanie zmieniło się w stosunku do stanu z 1959 roku z tym, że nie wszystkie nowo wyróżnione kontury glebowe były reprezentowane przez nowe odkrywki glebowe. Liczba odkrywek w stosunku do liczby nowo wydzielonych konturów klasyfikacyjnych wydaje się być niewystarczająca. Zmiany klas bonitacyjnych po aktualizacji w 1998 roku dotyczyły tylko tych działek, na których w stosunku do roku 1959 zmieniło się użytkowanie, najczęściej z gruntów ornych na użytki zielone. W ocenie autorów, zamiana klasy gruntu ornego (np. IIIa) na analogiczną klasę użytku zielonego (np. III) stosowana w trakcie aktualizacji mapy klasyfikacyjnej nie zawsze jest prawidłowa, ze względu na zróżnicowaną rangę czynników decydujących o wyborze klasy bonitacyjnej dla gruntów ornych i użytków zielonych. Na podstawie uzyskanych wyników autorzy sugerują, aby aktualizacji map klasyfikacyjnych dla obszarów objętych silnym odwodnieniem spowodowanym np. przez działalność kopalń odkrywkowych lub głęboką meliorację, nie ograniczać tylko do działek o zmienionym użytkowaniu, a wykonywać na całym obszarze przeznaczonym do aktualizacji. Aktualizacja każdego nowego konturu klasyfikacyjnego powinna być dokonywana w oparciu o odpowiednią liczbę odkrywek glebowych położonych, w miarę możliwości, w niedalekim sąsiedztwie w stosunku do odkrywek z pierwszej mapy klasyfikacyjnej, co umożliwiłoby porównywanie ich właściwości oraz analizę zmian jakie zaszły w glebach w wyniku głębokiego odwodnienia.

Open access

Łukasz Uzarowicz and Alina Maciejewska

Abstract

Technogenic soils (Technosols) developed from mine tailings containing iron sulfides occurring in the area of the abandoned .Siersza. hard coal mine in Trzebinia and the abandoned .Staszic. pyrite mine in Rudki were investigated in order to assess their properties. The study revealed that the most adverse properties of the technogenic soils investigated are: strong acidity (pH below 3), the presence of large amounts of rock fragments containing unweathered sulfides, as well as the occurrence of heavy metals (e.g. Pb, As, and Tl) and radioactive elements (U and Th). All these properties should be taken into account during management of the studied mine tailings.

Open access

Łukasz Uzarowicz, Wojciech Kwasowski, Olga Śpiewak and Marcin Świtoniak

Abstract

Technogenic soils (Technosols) developed in an ash settling pond at the Bełchatów thermal power station, central Poland, were studied in order to identify soil property transformations over 30 years of pedogenesis. Standard pedological methods were applied in order to determine the properties of the studied samples. All investigated soils were classified according to WRB as Spolic Technosols with various supplementary qualifiers (Alcalic/Hypereutric, Arenic/Loamic, Protocalcic, Hyperartefactic, Immisic, Laxic, Ochric, and Protosalic). The studied materials can be arranged into a chronosequence starting from fresh (unweathered) ashes, by young Technosol BE1 (age: several months), up to older Technosols BE2 (about 20 years) and BE3 (about 30 years). The studies showed that weathering and soil-forming processes changed properties of ash in soil environment. Fresh ash was characterized by high pH (11.0 – fly ash, 8.7 – bottom ash), low content of carbonates (1.5% in both samples), variable concentrations of TOC (1.2% – fly ash, 6.9% – bottom ash), and very low total nitrogen content (0.04%). Electrical conductivity (ECe) was 2.6 and 2.1 dS·m−1 in fly ash and bottom ash respectively. Young Technosol BE1 had the pH 9.2–10.0, contents of carbonates were in the range 2.4–3.3%, TOC 1.3–1.7%, and total nitrogen less than 0.03%. ECe in young Technosol was in the range 2.7–4.0 dS·m−1. There was no plant cover present on that soil and no well-developed genetic horizons were distinguished in the profile. Finally, old Technosols BE2 and BE3 had lower pH (from 7.9 up to 9.1), and, in general, higher contents of carbonates (from 1.5 to 7.9%) than fresh ash and young Technosol BE1. Old Technosols contained high concentrations of TOC (up to about 38% in Oi horizon) and total nitrogen (up to 0.9%) in the topsoil, where O and A horizons developed due to accumulation of soil organic matter. ECe in old Technosols was in the range 0.8–1.5 dS·m−1. All studied ashes and soils were characterized by very low or even absence of total potential acidity. Base cations predominated in the sorption complex of the investigated ash and soils and can be arranged in the following order according to the abundance: Ca>Mg>K>Na. Base saturation (BS) of fresh ashes and Technosols was nearly 100%. The study shows that the first indicators of pedogenesis of the studied technogenic soils within the first 30 years of formation are: (1) changes of consistence of ash material from firm to friable/very friable due to root action, (2) accumulation of soil organic matter in the topsoil and formation of O and A horizons, (3) decrease of pH, (4) formation of pedogenic carbonates in soils and (5) decrease in soil salinity.

Open access

Przemysław Charzyński, Renata Bednarek, Andrzej Greinert, Piotr Hulisz and Łukasz Uzarowicz

Abstract

Technosols are relatively young soil group in WRB soil system, and there is still a lot of to do to better understand processes taking place in these soils and to classify them in a proper way. The objectives of this paper were to (1) evaluate Technosol and 'technogenic' qualifiers for other Reference Soil Groups, and (2) propose new solutions which would improve the classification of technogenic soils in WRB. New qualifiers . Edific, Nekric, Misceric, Artefactic, Radioactivic and new specifier . Technic . are proposed to be added to keys to Technosols. Moreover, Salic and Sodic qualifiers should be also available for Technosols. Furthermore, the supplementation of definitions of thionic horizon and sulphidic material with reference to Technosols is also suggested

Open access

Vladimír Šimanský, Dušan Igaz, Ján Horák, Peter Šurda, Marek Kolenčík, Natalya P. Buchkina, Łukasz Uzarowicz, Martin Juriga, Dušan Šrank and Žaneta Pauková

Abstract

Recent studies show that biochar improves physical properties of soils and contributes to the carbon sequestration. In contrast to most other studies on biochar, the present study comprise a long-term field experiment with a special focus on the simultaneous impact of N-fertilizer to soil structure parameters and content of soil organic carbon (SOC) since SOC has been linked to improved aggregate stability. However, the question remains: how does the content of water-stable aggregates change with the content of organic matter? In this paper we investigate the effects of biochar alone and in a combination with N-fertilizer (i) on the content of water-stable macro- (WSAma) and micro-aggregates (WSAmi) as well as soil structure parameters; and (ii) on the contents of SOC and labile carbon (CL) in water-stable aggregates (WSA).

A field experiment was conducted with different biochar application rates: B0 control (0 t ha−1), B10 (10 t ha−1) and B20 (20 t ha−1) and 0 (no N), 1st and 2nd level of nitrogen fertilization. The doses of level 1 were calculated on required average crop production using the balance method. The level 2 included an application of additional 100% of N in 2014 and additional 50% of N in the years 2015–2016 on silty loam Haplic Luvisol at the study site located at Dolná Malanta (Slovakia). The effects were investigated after the growing season of spring barley, maize and spring wheat in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The results indicate that the B10N0 treatment significantly decreased the structure vulnerability by 25% compared to B0N0. Overall, the lower level of N combined with lower doses of biochar and the higher level of N showed positive effects on the average contents of higher classes of WSAma and other soil structure parameters. The content of SOC in WSA in all size classes and the content of CL in WSAma 3–1 mm significantly increased after applying 20 t ha–1 of biochar compared to B0N0. In the case of the B20N1 treatment, the content of SOC in WSAma within the size classes >5 mm (8%), 5–3 mm (19%), 3–2 mm (12%), 2–1 mm (16%), 1–0.5 mm (14%), 0.5–0.25 mm (9%) and WSAmi (12%) was higher than in B0N1. We also observed a considerably higher content of SOC in WSAma 5–0.5 mm and WSAmi with the B10N1 treatment as compared to B0N1. Doses of 20 t biochar ha−1 combined with second level of N fertilization had significant effect on the increase of WSAma and WSAmi compared to the B0N2 treatment. A significant increase of CL in WSA was determined for size classes of 2–0.25 mm and WSAmi in the B20N2 treatment. Our findings showed that biochar might have beneficial effects on soil structure parameters, SOC, CL in WSA and carbon sequestration, depending on the applied amounts of biochar and nitrogen.