Heavy Metal Contamination of Landscape Componets in Surroundings of Closed Mercury Deposit in Malachov (Slovakia) / Kontamince Krajinných Složek Ťěžkými Kovy V Okolí Uzavřeného Dolu Na Rtuť V Malachově (Slovensko)

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Abstract

The present study investigates mercury contamination of soil, groundwater, surface water, vegetation and food commodities (fruit, vegetable, mushroom, and fish) close to the abandoned Hg deposit in Malachov, Central Slovakia. The soil was classified as cambi-soil (rendzina). Maximum concentrations of Hg (44.24 ppm) were found in the soil from the area nearby old mining activities in the Veľká Studňa locality. In the groundwater, 0.84 μg.L-1, and in the surface water, even 394 μg.L-1 of Hg content was found. Also plant tissues and mushrooms are Hg-contaminated (in the root of Salix fragilis, the Hg content was 22 mg.kg-1). The Hg concentration decreases in general in the following order: root, branch/stem, and leaf/needle. In the food commodities, the Hg content does not exceed the Slovak law limits. The Hg content in trout muscle (from the local Malachovský brook) is 252 μg.kg-1 and in liver 402 μg.kg-1.

The calculation of an AMD formation potential (neutralisation potential, total acidity production, net neutralisation potential) is discussed as well. The value of the total acidity production potential (sensu Sobek et al., 1978) is low (1.562 - 3.125; with exception of a single sample, in which it increased to 9.375). On the other hand, the abundant presence of dolomite rocks causes a high neutralization potential value (up to 812.84). This result suggests that the assumption of the AMD production is excluded and the environmental risk from this viewpoint might be neglected

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