X-Ray analysis of riverbank sediment of the Tisza (Hungary): Identification of particles from a mine pollution event

J. Osán, S. Kurunczi, S. Török, R. Van Grieken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A serious heavy metal pollution of the Tisza River occurred on March 10, 2000, arising from a mine-dumping site in Romania. Sediment samples were taken from the main riverbed at six sites in Hungary, on March 16, 2000. The objective of this work was to distinguish the anthropogenic and crustal erosion particles in the river sediment. The samples were investigated using both bulk X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and thin-window electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). For EPMA, a reverse Monte Carlo method calculated the quantitative elemental composition of each single sediment particle. A high abundance of pyrite type particles was observed in some of the samples, indicating the influence of the mine dumps. Backscattered electron images proved that the size of particles with a high atomic number matrix was in the range of 2 μm. In other words the pyrites and the heavy elements form either small particles or are fragments of larger agglomerates. The latter are formed during the flotation process of the mines or get trapped to the natural crustal erosion particles. The XRF analysis of pyrite-rich samples always showed much higher Cu, Zn and Pb concentrations than the rest of the samples, supporting the conclusions of the single-particle EPMA results. In the polluted samples, the concentration of Cu, Zn and Pb reached 0.1, 0.3 and 0.2 wt.%, respectively. As a new approach, the abundance of particle classes obtained from single-particle EPMA and the elemental concentration obtained by XRF were merged into one data set. The dimension of the common data set was reduced by principal component analysis. The first component was determined by the abundance of pyrite and zinc sulfide particles and the concentration of Cu, Zn and Pb. The polluted samples formed a distinct group in the principal component space. The same result was supported by powder diffraction data. These analytical data combined with Earth Observation Techniques can be further used to estimate the quantity of particles originating from mine tailings on a defined river section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2002

Fingerprint

Hungary
Pyrites
X ray analysis
Electron probe microanalysis
pollution
Sediments
sediments
Pollution
Rivers
Fluorescence
X rays
Erosion
x rays
electron probes
pyrites
microanalysis
Zinc sulfide
Tailings
Heavy Metals
rivers

Keywords

  • Electron probe microanalysis
  • Principal component analysis
  • River sediment
  • X-Ray fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

Cite this

X-Ray analysis of riverbank sediment of the Tisza (Hungary) : Identification of particles from a mine pollution event. / Osán, J.; Kurunczi, S.; Török, S.; Van Grieken, R.

In: Spectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy, Vol. 57, No. 3, 15.03.2002, p. 413-422.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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