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Title: Mineral components in a peat deposit : looking for signs of earlymining and smelting activities in Silesia-Cracow region (Southern Poland)
Authors: Cabała, Jerzy
Śmieja-Król, Beata
Jabłońska, Mariola
Chróst, L.
Keywords: peat deposit; heavy metal; zinc and lead; historical mining; Poland
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Environmental Earth Science, Vol. 69, iss. 8 (2013), s. 2559-2568
Abstract: The results of investigations (SEM/EDS and AAS) of a peat deposit, spanning 13,000 years of peat accumulation, are shown. The peat deposit is located in a region of shallow occurrence of Zn-Pb ores, near Tarnowskie Góry town, within the Cracow-Silesia district (southern Poland). Exploitation of lead, silver and iron during the medieval times (Twelfth and thirteenth century) was confirmed by historical documents whereas there are no unambiguous data showing that there was metal mining during the Romanian or earlier times in the region. The peat deposit is located within the influence of atmospheric Pb and Zn emission from a nearby Zn-Pb smelter. Two vertical peat profiles were investigated (120 and 140 cm depth of profile) showing variable concentrations of Zn up to 713 mg kg-1, Pb up to 317 mg kg-1, Cd up to 13 mg kg-1and Tl up to 31 mg kg-1. The highest concentrations were recorded for the uppermost peat layers. SEM and EDS investigations revealed the occurrence of metalbearing, submicroscopic mineral components: Fe, Mn, Ti and Zn oxides and Zn and Pb carbonates. The top layer of the deposit contained Zn, Pb and Cd sulphides. The occurrence of aggregates of Au-Ag, Cu-Zn and Au-Ag-Cu alloys can be possibly related to prehistorical mining and smelting or be explained by geochemical transformations. The preservation of carbonates and oxides in the peat is discussed, indicating a generally neutral to alkaline peat water chemistry and maintenance of an oxidized environment in the fen.
DOI: 10.1007/s12665-012-2080-6
ISSN: 1866-6280
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