Lecture by Karen Hudson-Edwards

Karen Hudson-Edwards, Professor in Sustainable Mining at University of Exeter (UK), will give a lecture entitled „Environmental Minerals: Bacteria, Worms, Dusts, Toxins and the Human Body“ on Monday 13th January 2020 at 3 pm in Ložiskové sbírky (room no. 120, Albertov 6 building, Faculty of Science, Charles University). The lecture takes part of the European Association of Geochemistry Lecture Tour and is partly supported by Center for Geosphere Dynamics. You are cordially invited!

Metal mobility in contaminated semi-arid soils

We combined elemental and isotopic studies, leaching techniques and speciation modeling to describe Cu and Pb behavior in contaminated soil profiles of Kombat, Namibia. Tailings, soils and bedrock samples were analyzed. We described pollutants’ behavior in detail for different type of soils and concluded that migration is highly dependent on soil characteristics and element speciation shown by variations, or lack thereof, in concentrations, δ65Cu and 206Pb/207Pb values with depth.

Mihaljevič M., Baieta R., Ettler V., Vaněk A., Kříbek B., Penížek V., Drahota P., Trubač J., Sracek O., Chrastný V., Mapani B. S. (2019): Tracing the metal dynamics in semi-arid soils near mine tailings using stable Cu and Pb isotopes. Chemical Geology 515, 61-76. (DOI)

Dust from mining areas of Namibia

We used a multi-method approach for characterization of dust from mines and smelters in the northern Namibia. In vitro bioaccessibility testing in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) indicated that As, Pb (and also Cd to a lesser extent) exceeded tolerable daily intake limits for these contaminants in the case of slags and smelter dusts, but the exposure risk for local population is only important at the unfenced disposal sites.

The paper published in Environment International is open-accessEttler V., Cihlová M., Jarošíková A., Mihaljevič M., Drahota P., Kříbek B., Vaněk A., Penížek V., Sracek O., Klementová M., Engel Z., Kamona F., Mapani B. (2019): Oral bioaccessibility of metal(loid)s in dust materials from mining areas of Namibia. Environment International 124, 205-215. (DOI)

Mercury in archived samples

The re-measurement of mercury (Hg) concentrations in archived environmental samples (soils, peats) after several years of storage indicated that there is no statistical difference between new measurements and original data. As a result, archived samples can be used to evaluate historical soil mercury contamination.

Navrátil T., Burns D. A., Nováková T., Kaňa J., Rohovec J., Roll M., Ettler V. (2018): Stability of mercury concentration measurements in archived soil and peat samples. Chemosphere 208, 707-711. (DOI)

Interview with Jakub Trubač

As a part of a special issue of the university journal Forum dedicated to 670th anniversary of Charles University foundation, Jakub Trubač, EGG-member and head of Stable and Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory, was interviewed as a representative of Faculty of Science. He starts with the citation of one of his teachers, Dr. Fratišek V. Holub, who said: “Rocks are the only solid basis of our world”:-) Enjoy the interview on pages 52-53 of the electronic document (link).

Thallium in polluted desert soils

A combination of multiple techniques including XAS and isotopes helped to decipher the mobility of Tl in mining-polluted desert soil in Namibia. Mechanical transport of fine particles of post-flotation tailings is probably responsible for Tl dispersion in soil profiles.

Grösslová Z., Vaněk A., Oborná V., Mihaljevič M., Ettler V., Trubač J., Drahota P., Penížek V., Pavlů L., Sracek O., Kříbek B., Voegelin A., Göttlicher J., Drábek O., Tejnecký V., Houška J., Mapani B., Zádorová T. (2018): Thallium contamination in desert soil in Namibia: Chemical, mineralogical and isotopic insights. Environmental Pollution 239, 272-280. (DOI)

Transformation of copper smelter flue dust in contrasting soils

A first long-term (2 years) field experiment indicated how As and other metal(loid) contaminants can be released from As-rich copper smelter flue dust after deposition in contrasting soils. Up to 72% of As was leached out from the flue dust after incubation. The majority of As became highly mobile and could represent a risk for individual environmental compartments (soil, water).

Jarošíková A., Ettler V., Mihaljevič M., Penížek V., Matoušek T., Culka A., Drahota P. (2018): Transformation of arsenic-rich copper smelter flue dust in contrasting soils: A 2-year field experiment. Environmental Pollution 237, 83-92. (DOI)

Copper isotopes in tree rings discriminate sources of pollution

We published first Cu isotope data in pine tree rings and surrounding polluted and unpolluted soils in the Zambian Copperbelt. In highly polluted soil profiles, there is greater Cu isotope fractionation and Cu isotope compositions in tree rings indicate that there was a non-root uptake of Cu uptake by the trees.

Mihaljevič M., Jarošíková A., Ettler V., Vaněk A., Penížek V., Kříbek B., Chrastný V., Sracek O., Trubač J., Svoboda M., Nyambe I. (2018): Copper isotopic record in soils and tree rings near a copper smelter, Copperbelt, Zambia. Science of the Total Environment 621, 9-17. (DOI)