Pedological characteristics of open-pit Cu wastes and post-flotation tailings (Bor, Serbia)
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To gain a better knowledge of mining areas and potential remediation processes, some characteristics (morphological, physical, chemical and microbiological) of soils formed on open-pit Cu mine waste (OPW) and Cu post-flotation tailings (PFT) dumps were investigated. Soil profiles and surface samples were studied. In general, the investigated soils are characterized by large proportion of coarse soil particles, degraded structure, low humus content, low pH, high As and Cu concentrations, and low soil microbial activity. In all investigated profiles there is no recognizable topsoil layer containing in situ formed humus probably due to soil age, lack of plant cover and organic litter, as well as other unfavorable soil conditions. The specificity of investigated soils is an irregular distribution of some soil characteristics (porosity, humus content, microbiological activity) over depth, which is a result of their technogenic origin. By establishing correlations between the studied surface... sample parameters, using principal component analysis (PCA), poorer aggregate properties of PFT than of OPW soils were found, resulting most likely from aggressive mining, i.e., flotation processes. Both OPW and PFT soils compared with control natural soils are characterized by lower clay and humus content, and poorer aggregate properties.