Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences

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Trace elements lateral distribution and limitations for revegetation in lead mine soils: Case of Lakhouat mine, Tunisia

H Sahraoui, R Attia, H Hamrouni, M Hachicha


Anthropogenic activities such as mining have increased the prevalence and occurrence of trace elements soil  contamination. Abandoned mine tailings cause the contamination of adjacent agricultural soils. In Lakhouat  mining area (West-Northern Tunisia), the dispersion of particles containing Pb, Zn and Cd results in the  contamination of the surrounding agricultural soils. These soils presented high concentrations of Pb (1272 mg  kg-1), Zn (5543 mg kg-1) and Cd (25 mg kg-1). Furthermore, the tailing sample and soil sample close the dam tailing presented higher concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd and conferred more limitation factors for revegetation  than adjacent soils of mining area. The main limiting factors of mine soils are their low effective depth, low  organic matter content and low phosphorus content and an imbalance between potassium and manganese  exchangeable cations. These mine soils are strongly affected by high Pb, Zn and Cd levels which hinder  revegetation.

Keywords: Tailing dam; Mine soils; Soil limiting factors; Trace elements; Soil contamination.
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