Spatial modelling of contamination in a catchment area impacted by mining: A case study of the Recsk copper mine, Hungary

Gyozo Jordan, Anton Van Rompaey, Aniko Somody, Ubul Fügedi, Andrea Farsang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The metals and metal compounds that have been exposed by mining or have been discarded in mine wastes tend to become chemically more available, generating acid mine drainage as well as releasing toxic metals into soils, surface waters and groundwater in the affected catchment area. Here we present a case study of the spatial assessment of contamination in a catchment area impacted by mining. A detailed statistical analysis was performed in order to identify geochemically homogeneous areas, including those contaminated by mining. A distributed model is also presented. This assesses the mean annual export of heavy metals from a catchment area, taking into account the spatial pattern of metal concentration and the topological relationships between sediment sources and sinks. Results show that the spatial pattern of background geology, mineralization and mines is important for understanding and assessing the geochemistry of contamination in the affected catchment. Moreover, certain spatial configurations of land use can minimize the total amount of sediment exported and the volume of polluted waste and sediments that is exported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-421
Number of pages9
JournalLand Contamination and Reclamation
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009



  • Catchment
  • Contamination
  • Distributed model
  • Geochemistry
  • Heavy metals
  • Mining
  • Sediment export
  • Spatial modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science(all)

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