Journal of geochemical exploration vol:88 issue:1-3 pages:6-9
In the mining district of Plombieres-La Calamine (East Belgium), extensive Pb-Zn mining activities resulted in an important contamination of overbank sediments along the Geul river. Moreover, a huge amount of heavy metals is stored in a dredged mine pond tailing, which is located along the river. In the dredged mine pond tailing sediments, Pb-Zn minerals control the solubility of Zn, Pb and Cd. Although Pb, Zn and Cd display a lower solubility in overbank sediments compared to the mine tailing pond sediments, elevated concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd are still found in the porewater of the overbank sediments. The considerable 'actual' and 'potential' mobility of Zn, Pb and Cd indicates that the mine pond tailing sediments and the overbank sediments downstream from the mine pond tailing represent a considerable threat for the environment. Besides the chemical remobilisation of metals from the sediments, the erosion of overbank sediments and the reworking of riverbed sediments act as a secondary source of pollution. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.