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Rare earth elements in a historical mining district (south-west Spain): Hydrogeochemical behaviour and seasonal variability.

Authors
  • González, Raúl Moreno1
  • Cánovas, Carlos Ruiz2
  • Olías, Manuel1
  • Macías, Francisco3
  • 1 Department of Earth Sciences Research & Center on Natural Resources, Health and the Environment (RENSMA), Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Huelva, Campus 'El Carmen' s/n, 21071, Huelva, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 2 Department of Earth Sciences Research & Center on Natural Resources, Health and the Environment (RENSMA), Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Huelva, Campus 'El Carmen' s/n, 21071, Huelva, Spain. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Spain)
  • 3 Department of Earth Sciences Research & Center on Natural Resources, Health and the Environment (RENSMA), Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Huelva, Campus 'El Carmen' s/n, 21071, Huelva, Spain; Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Spanish Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), Jordi Girona 18, 08034, Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Chemosphere
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2020
Volume
253
Pages
126742–126742
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126742
PMID: 32464754
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This work deals with the distribution of rare earth elements (REE) in the abandoned Tharsis mines under different hydrological conditions. High concentrations of REE were observed; mean value of 1747 μg/L. The highest concentrations of REE were recorded during the dry period (DP, mean of 2220 μg/L) due to high evaporation and strong water-rock interactions. However, some sampling points showed the highest REE concentrations during the wet period (WP) due to the washing out of large dumps during intense rainfall. The concentration of REE shows a positive correlation with electrical conductivity (EC) and a negative correlation with pH because more acidic conditions enhance dissolution of minerals. However, the highest concentrations of REE occurred in samples with intermediate levels of metal pollution and EC values. The highest correlations of middle REE (MREE) and heavy REE (HREE) occurred with elements related to hydrothermal mineralisation of Mn and Ni, associated with sulphide deposits. The normalised patterns of the AMD sources showed an enrichment of MREE over light REE (LREE) and HREE in all samples. The use of REE patterns as geochemical tracers confirmed the conservative behaviour of REE in the fluvial network, that is, they are not affected by the precipitation of mineral phases. The quantification of REE released from AMD sources to water bodies reveals that, although the highest concentrations occur during the DP, the main load of REE occurs during the WP, due to the highest discharges, with 6.62 kg/day of LREE, 1.12 kg/day of MREE, and 0.54 kg/day of HREE. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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