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Rehabilitation of Industrial Barren in Arctic Region Using Mining Wastes

Marina V. Slukovskaya, Lyubov A. Ivanova, Irina P. Kremenetskaya, Tamara T. Gorbacheva, Svetlana V. Drogobuzhskaya, Vladimir V. Lashchuk, Evgenia F. Markovskaya

Background:

This work has explored the possibility of applying mining waste-based ameliorants for the remediation of soil that has been transformed by copper-nickel smelter emissions by means of forming artificial phytocenosis.

Objective:

The aim of our work was to propose, develop and approbate a technique for the preservation of dumps polluted by heavy metals and prevention of their erosion by creating dense grass covers with the use of wastes from mining and processing enterprises to form a supporting substrate for herbaceous plants.

Methods:

The vegetative cover was cultivated on a supporting medium, consisting of mining waste, with a hydroponic vermiculite substrate and a mix of graminaceous plant seeds, indigenous to the study area and resistant to heavy metal pollution. The mining wastes, used in the experiment, contained acid-neutralizing minerals such as calcium and magnesium carbonate and hydrous magnesium silicate.

Results:

It is shown that, due to a large pool of Ca and Mg, these mineral substrates are alkaline (pH 8.4 – 9.2) and can perform successfully in optimizing of edaphic conditions for the plant communities grown on industrial barrens. In a pilot experiment without a proposed supporting medium, the plants did not form a stable grass cover and had died out by the beginning of the third growing season, whereas the experimental plots with a proposed supporting medium (waste-based substrate) developed a high-quality grass cover by the end of second vegetation seasons.

Conclusion:

The resulting plant communities grown on a proposed supportive medium is find to be resistant to aerotechnogenic pollutants and capable of independent survival, representing the initial stage of progressive succession in the presence of on-going pollution.


February 21, 2018
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