Technosols on mining wastes in the subarctic: Efficiency of remediation under Cu-Ni atmospheric pollution

Marina V. Slukovskaya*, Viacheslav I. Vasenev, Kristina V. Ivashchenko, Dmitry V. Morev, Svetlana V. Drogobuzhskaya, Liubov A. Ivanova, Irina P. Kremenetskaya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The copper-nickel factory's emissions in the Murmansk region, Russia, led to the degradation of plant cover and topsoil with the subsequent formation of industrial barrens. In this study, the industrial barrens were remediated by means of Technosol engineering, when grasses were sown on the two different types of mining wastes (carbonatite and serpentinite-magnesite) covered by hydroponic vermiculite. The serpentinite-magnesite waste was significantly different from the carbonatite waste in the content of silicon (Si) and manganese (Mn), pH, and texture. Both wastes had an alkaline pH level and high content of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). The vegetation and Technosol properties at the remediated sites were analyzed in 2017 and compared to the initial state (2010 year) to assess the efficiency of the long-term remediation. The quality and sustainability of Technosols based on the serpentinite-magnesite wastes were substantially higher compared to the carbonatite-based Technosol. Biomass and a projective cover of the grass community depended on Si content in the original mining waste and were found to be higher in the serpentinite-magnesite Technosol. The content of organic carbon and its fractions, microbial biomass and basal respiration after seven years of Technosol evolution was comparable to natural values. These parameters were directly related to plant cover state and were inversely proportional to copper (Cu) content in Technosol. The Technosol development led to the reduction of nickel (Ni) and Cu migration in soil-plant ecosystems due to neutralization and adsorption properties of mining wastes and phytostabilization by underground parts of grass communities. The Technosol development in its early stage of pedogenesis indicates the efficiency of applied remediation technology to the degraded acidic soil under the conditions of industrial atmospheric pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Soil and Water Conservation Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Basal respiration
  • Industrial barrens
  • Metals
  • Pedogenesis
  • Phytostabilization
  • Soil organic carbon

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