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Abstract Title: Hg Dispersion Dynamics Through Primary Mining Area of Hg at Sierra Gorda, M‚xico
Presenter Name: Gilberto Hernández-Silva
Company/Institution: Centro de Geociencias, UNAM-Juriquilla, Qro.
Session: Mercury in Contaminated Sites
Day and Session: Thursday 28th July - Session Two
Start Time: 10:00 UTC
Co-Authors: Gilberto Hern ndez-Silva

Abstract Information :

Cinnabar has been exploited since ancestral times (1C BE) at Sierra Gorda, Mexico. Since 2010, the amount of Hg production was increased considerably, becoming in present days, as one of the most active countries in the world. Because of this historical exploitation, an important landscape characteristic is the high amount of cinnabar mining spoils (>100 mines) in the open-air. They have been released Hg into the landscape surroundings and emissions to the atmosphere, representing a permanent source of contamination. A punctual environmental area (715 km2) affected by mercury Mining District activities was established, where the Hg mineralization extent and hydrological basin concepts were the key definitions to delineating it. Diverse and appropriate linkage into the conceptual framework of natural landscape and anthropogenic factors were applied to obtain the Hg surficial dispersion mechanism. In addition, by joining sources (tailings), transport (sediments), and deposition (soils) as processes of Hg contamination vectors, the dynamics of Hg dispersion and the Hg environmental impact was determined. The functions of factors, processes and vectors were considered as the key connection link to develop a derived and integrated map, representing a visual synopsis of the Hg behavior dynamics in the study zone. Extoraz River (ER) collects Hg released from 13 micro basins sediments from the mining system, suggesting a continuous and changing amounts of Hg reservoirs. It expresses the environmental urgency of some of its micro basins. As study unit, SG shows the basis to estimates the Hg emissions to the atmosphere. The maximum Hg content in tailings were 4995.0 mg/kg, in sediments 14,145 mg/kg, and in soils 715.2 mg/kg. The corridor Camargo-Plazuela-R¡o Extoraz was the most contaminated segment (10 km).

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