Studies of mineralized process water spreading using electric exploration

Potash production generates much solid and liquid waste, including process brines of high mineralization. Leakage of brines from impounding basins arranged in small areas nearby production infrastructure sites and tailings storage facilities induce irreversible processes connected with salinification of soil, as well as surface and groundwater. The physical and electrical characteristics are the most sensitive to variation in mineralization. Therefore, for the hydrogeological modeling of mineralized water spreading from a waste dump and a tailings pond in a mine field at the Upper Kama Potassium Salt Deposit, electric exploration using the method of vertical electric sounding (VES) was carried out. Since there was no information on groundwater mineralization, the electric exploration data interpretation used the common dependence of electrical resistivity on groundwater mineralization: the higher resistivity means the higher mineralization. The analysis of the quantitative and qualitative interpretation of VES data revealed a regular pattern in spatial location of abnormally decreased resistivity sites, and a zone of potentially increased groundwater salinification was outlined. This article describes the implemented research findings.

Keywords: electrometry, potash production waste, geological environment pollution, tailings pond, mineralization of solutions, vertical electric sounding, electrical resistivity, quantitative and qualitative interpretation.
For citation:

Tajnickij A. A., Stepanov Ju. I., Khristenko L. A., Luchnikov M. S., Bushueva E. S. Studies of mineralized process water spreading using electric exploration. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2022;(5):39-51. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2022_5_0_39.


The study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation under State Contract No. 075-03-2021-374 dated December 29, R&D Registration No. 122012000398-0.

Issue number: 5
Year: 2022
Page number: 39-51
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 550.8
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2022_5_0_39
Article receipt date: 01.11.2021
Date of review receipt: 02.03.2022
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.04.2022
About authors:

A.A. Tajnickij1, Engineer, e-mail:, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0567-6187,
Yu.I. Stepanov1, Cand. Sci. (Geol. Mineral.), Assistant Professor, e-mail:, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8107-6562,
M.S. Luchnikov1, Engineer, e-mail:, ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7404-6958,
E.S. Bushueva1, Engineer, e-mail:, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0067-3868,
L.A. Hristenko1, Cand. Sci. (Geol. Mineral.), Assistant Professor, e-mail:, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1234-2599,
1 Mining Institute of Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 614007, Perm, Russia.


For contacts:

A.A. Tajnickij, e-mail:


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