Inflow of heavy metals to depositional environments at Karabash geotechnical system

In the area of the Karabash geotechnical system, long-term mining and processing of copper–pyrite ore has generated generous spread flows of heavy metals to depositional environments. The main flow represents the aerogenic mass transfer of gas and dust particles and fine-dispersed fractions. The aim of this study is to reveal the main paths of inflows of heavy metals to depositional environments in the performance area of Karabash Copper Smelter. Samples of rainfall, soil, ash dump, water and bottom sediments were taken. The study used the methods of atomic adsorption and X-ray fluorescent dispersion spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction with Cu-K radiation and crystal monochromator. Determination of soil contamination involved calculation of such indexes as: the general pollution index PI, the Nemerow pollution index NPI and the total pollution index Zc. The main paths of heavy metal inflow to depositional environments are revealed. The analysis of water in rainfall and slosh exhibited high concentrations of heavy metals, while smoke particles, tailings and bottom sediments contain much polyelemental pollutants. The concentrations of heavy metals in soils exceed the background values by hundreds of times. The calculations of the pollution indexes are reflective of the high and extremely high levels of polyelemental pollution. The mineralogical analysis of tailings and stream bottom sediments reveals authigenic minerals present as oxides and hydroxides of iron. The results can be used in elaboration of activities to eliminate pollution of environmental objects in the test area and at the other similar plants.

Keywords: technogenesis, soils, Karabash, pollution indexes, bottom sediments, heavy metals, pollutants, depositional environment.
For citation:

Shabanov M. V., Marichev M. S., Minkina T. M., Mandzhieva S. S., Nevidomskaya D. G. Inflow of heavy metals to depositional environments at Karabash geotechnical system. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2024;(5):117-132. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_ 2024_5_0_117.


The study was carried out at the Southern Federal University and supported by the Russian Science Foundation, Project No. 21-77-20089.

Issue number: 5
Year: 2024
Page number: 117-132
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 502.3/.7:504: 622.17: 631.41
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2024_5_0_117
Article receipt date: 18.01.2024
Date of review receipt: 22.02.2024
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.04.2024
About authors:

M.V. Shabanov1, Cand. Sci. (Agr.), Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor, e-mail:, Scopus 35171489500, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4725-3673,
M.S. Marichev1, Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Head of Laboratory, e-mail:, Scopus 57216298057, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0429-2234,
T.M. Minkina2, Dr. Sci. (Biol.), Professor, Head of Chair, e-mail:, Scopus 15063165400, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-3022-0883,
S.S. Mandzhieva2, Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Chief Researcher, e-mail:, Scopus 24481495200, ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6000-2209,
D.G. Nevidomskaya2, Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Leading Researcher, e-mail:, Scopus ID 6505510923, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0138-4443,
1 Saint-Petersburg State Agrarian University, 196607, Pushkin, Russia,
2 Southern Federal University, 344090, Rostov-on-Don, Russia.


For contacts:

M.S. Marichev, e-mail:


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