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Tools for the Integrated Management of Mining area and River basins - TIMMAR (http://www.timmar.biogeochemistry.ro)

Goal: The overall goal of TIMMAR is to develop a set of innovative environmental services and ecotechnologies useful for the integration of management plans of the stakeholders using resources located in catchments with tailing ponds in their structure

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Project log

Virgil Alexandru Iordache
added a research item
This remediation guide is a first draft that can serve to both students and researchers for interdisciplinary work. What is specific to our approach is the explicit inclusion of multiscale experimental methodology (from pot to field plot), and an up-scaling procedure from field plots to ecosystem scale. The document is structured in four chapters, as follows: I. Field research, II. Experimental research, III. Extrapolation of experimental results and IV. Working protocols used to complete steps I, II and III. Parts of the chapters IV B soil, IVC vegetation, IV D microorganisms and, IVE Water, are already available and provided to the interested readers.
Marilena Onete
added a research item
An anthropic ecosystem from Romania was investigated from acarological, vegetation and chemical point of view. The community structures of two groups of mites were studied (Acari: Mesostigmata, Oribatida) from a tailing pond, using transect method, in correlation with concentrations of heavy metals (As, Cu, Pb, Ni, Mn and Zn), with abiotic factors (altitude, aspect, soil temperature, soil humidity, soil pH) and biotic factor (vegetation coverage). Taking into account the mite communities, in total, 30 mite species were identified, with 1009 individuals and 18 immatures (10 species with 59 individuals, 5 immatures of Mesostigmata and 20 species with 950 individuals, 13 immatures of Oribatida). The investigated habitats from the tailing pond were grouped in five transects, with different degree of pollution, based on total metal loads. Taking into account of the connection between mites communities, abiotic factors and heavy metals, each transect were characterized through specific relationship. Using multivariate statistical analysis, we revealed that the occurrence of some Oribatida species was strongly correlated with vegetation coverage, soil pH and soil humidity, though concentrations of Cu, As, Mn, Ni and Zn also had an influence. Pb and Zn concentrations were shown to influence the occurrence of Mesostigmata mites. The heterogeneity of mites species richness at 2 m2 scale was correlated with a metric related to the heterogeneity of heavy metals at the same scale.
Virgil Alexandru Iordache
added a research item
Introducere: În bazinele hidrografice cu activități miniere în timpul inundațiilor o parte fluxul de sedimente poluate este reținut în lunca inundabilă. Din considerente geomorfologice și hidrologice este posibil să apară zone intens poluate și la distanță relativ mare de sursă. Obiectivul cercetării raportate aici a fost compararea caracteristicilor chimice ale solului între o zonă apropiată de surse de poluare și o zonă mai depărtată. Materiale și metode: Ca zonă mai apropiată s-a ales un sector de luncă localizat în aval de cel mai mare iaz de decantare din România, Roșia Poieni. La 40 km în aval s-a ales un al doilea sector de luncă unde s-a observat sedimentarea intensă, lângă localitatea Lungești. Prelevarea s-a făcut într-un sistem în rețea de 25x25 m. În teren s-a măsurat cu un aparat cu fluorescență cu raze X la suprafață, și din același punct s-a prelevat o probă pe adâncimea de 20 de cm. Proba a fost transferată în laborator și s-au făcut analize fizice și fizico-chimice. În această comunicare raportăm pH-ul şi conductivitatea electrică ale protosolului aluvial şi concentraţiile totale de Zr, Sr, Rb, Th, Pb, As, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ti şi K. După normalizarea distribuţiilor unde a fost necesar prin transformare logartmică compararea caracteristicilor fizico-chimice s-a făcut univariat în cazul elementelor cu origine în sursele de poluare miniere și multivariat pentru a detecta modul de grupare general al probelor prelevate în cele două zone. Pentru detectarea structurii spaţiale a variabilelor măsurate s-a făcut prelucrarea datelor în GIS. Rezultate: S-au constatat diferenţe statistic semnificative între valorile tuturor variabilelor măsurate cu excepţia As, Pb şi Mn. pH-ul la distanţă de sursa majoră de poluare de la Roşia Poieni este mai mare ca valoare medie, iar concentraţia de Cu mai mică. Concentraţiile elementelor poluante tind să fie inter-corelate, iar concentraţiile elementelor din fondul geochimic natural de asemenea. Heterogenitatea internă a valorilor măsurate în fiecare sector de luncă depinde în mod semnificativ de localizarea spaţială a probei pe gradientul lateral (distanţa de la râu) şi longitudinal (amonte-aval). În funcţie de poziţia pe plan local unele părţi din lunca de la Lungeşti sunt mai contaminate decât cele din lunca de la Valea Seşii. Concentraţiile elementelor poluante sunt discutate în raport cu cele măsurate de-a lungul întregii văi a Arieşului. Concluzii: Există diferenţe semnificative între concentraţiile de elemente din solul celor două sectoare de luncă, o heterogenitate internă mare a concentraţiilor şi o structură spaţială a acestora în fiecare zonă în parte.
Virgil Alexandru Iordache
added 2 research items
Seven institutional partners from four Romanian development regions joined in a consortium focused on the sustainable administration of water resources, river basins and wetlands. The goal of INTER-ASPA project is to create an innovation environment able to support over multiple strategic cycles the disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research of processes at the interface between water, soil, plants and air. The general objectives of the project are: 1) To manage the integration of research directions, infrastructure and human resources within the cluster of institutions to generate basic and applied knowledge about interface processes, 2) To produce a toolbox for environmental services supporting the integrated management of water, soil and biological diversity resources in Romania, 3) To open and manage communication channels with the end-users of the project’s products and to develop web accessible information systems. The correlated program of institutional development has a modular structure, covering aspects from strategic level to the tactical level of infrastructure and human resource formation, and to the operational level of four research projects. One project is mono-disciplinary in hydrogeology, one is inter-disciplinary, and two are trans-disciplinary, oriented towards the following societal and economic issues: information system for coupling surface and groundwater reactive surface models, tools for the modeling of soil-plants-atmosphere interface processes in function of nutrients and potentially toxic elements, tools for assessing the degree of ecosystems dependence on groundwater, and the integration of monitoring systems for solving complex environmental problems.
The project had three objectives: Objective 1 To produce cost-effective tools for the evaluation of metals’ stocks and their mineralogical forms in tailing dams, Objective 2 To produce effective tools for the remediation of tailing dams, Objective 3 To develop innovative environmental services for the design of coupled monitoring systems and coupled environmental management plans in contaminated river basins. The economic partner studied the potential of the tailing dams for extracting Au and Ag. The measured concentrations, the horizontal and vertical heterogeneity, as well as the small volumes do not recommend the studied tailing dams for economic use at the current market prices and available technologies. No geophysical measure was correlated with the total concentration in the tailing materials, but the electrical resistivity was correlated with conductivity and pH, allowing production of a 3D distribution of these variables controlling the mobility of metals. The field vegetation study pointed out the natural patterns of vegetation colonization on the tailing dam, while the pot and field experiment allowed the identification of an economically appropriate method for accelerating the succession in areas with no vegetation. Within objective 3 results showed that the main problems related to phreatic water influenced by AMD are related rather to the pollution with N and P from traditional households, the contamination with metals being secondary in the studied catchment. The floodplain functioned as an important trap for contaminated sediments, with the intensity of retention controlled by longitudinal geomorphological profile and the later distribution controlled by local geomorphology and the vegetation cover. A detailed organizational analysis of the companies and stakeholders was performed and recommendations for improving the environmental management system and the cooperation in projects aiming at controlling the effects of negative externalities.
Virgil Alexandru Iordache
added a research item
Introducere: O tehnică de îmbunătățire a fitostabilizării face apel la inoculurarea substratului de pe iazuri cu fungi micorizali. Obiectivul cercetării a fost să caracterizăm efectul procentului de fungi micorizali cu care s-a făcut inocularea substratului asupra concentrației de pigmenți asimilatori și gradului de peroxidare a lipidelor din plante. Materiale și metode: A fost instalat un experiment în teren, bivariat, cu două tipuri de amendamente de bază, sol curat (CS) și sol curat amestecat cu trifoi tocat (CST), inoculare cu fungi micorizalii pe suport de argilă expandată în trei concentrații, 0, 1 (CST1%) și 2% (CST2%) și un control (C), fiecare în 5 replicate, design cu randomizare în blocuri. Instalarea s-a făcut în septembrie 2015 cu specia Agrostis capillaris. Prelevările s-au făcut la patru momente (t2-t5) pe durata unui an. Pe substrat s-au analizat variabile fizico-chimice și chimice relevante, iar pe plante concentrațiile de elemente și un set de variabile între care pigmenți asimilatori și gradul de peroxidare a lipidelor. Rezultate: Concentrațiile de pigmenți asimilatori cresc de la C la CS la CST la t2, t3 și t5 și scad la t4. Peroxidarea lipidelor scade de la C la CS la CST la toate momentele de timp, atât în rădăcini, cât și în partea supraterană. La toate momentele de timp există diferențe semnificative între varianta cu 0% fungi și cele 1 și 2%, în privința pigmenților asimilatori, dar tendința variază de la un moment de prelevare la altul (crește la t2 și t5, scade la t4). Pentru ambele amendamente și pentru toate momentele de timp peroxidarea lipidelor scade de la varianta cu 0% fungi la cele cu 1 și 2%, atât în rădăcini cât și suprateran. Diferențele între momentele de timp reflectă probabil modificări fiziologice ale plantelor pe parcursul anului, cât și defazajele datorate maturizării mai rapide a plantelor acolo unde au avut condiții mai bune de dezvoltare. Concluzii: Mărirea procentului de la 1 la 2% a inoculării cu fungi micorizali crește concentrațiile de pigmenți asimilatori și scade gradul de peroxidare a lipidelor. Efectul depinde și de momentul de prelevare.
Virgil Alexandru Iordache
added a research item
Using fungi inoculation coupled with phyto-remediation on tailing dams in the quantities recommended by agricultural practices is cost prohibitive. In previous study we obtained better results with 1% fungi than with 7% fungi due to the negative effect associated to the expanded clay (support for fungi spores) in the particular conditions of the tailing material (already having a large hydrological conductivity). However, we have no information whether smaller increases in the percent of inoculated fungi are beneficial or not. In the study we report here the experimental design addressed the following questions: 1) which is the effect of fungi inoculation percent (1% vs. 2%) on tailing material amended with not sterilized top-soil, and 2) Is the effect of green fertilizer improved the substrate inoculation with fungi (1% vs. 2%). The effects of topsoil and green fertilizer compared to control were also assessed. By now we have four sampling moments for substrate and three sampling moments for plants (autumn, spring, and summer, only Agrostis capillaris). Plants species cover on plots was also characterized at the plant sampling moments. Measured variables include: in substrate heavy metals, pH, EC, extractable nutrients, and soil respiration, in plants heavy metals, P, N, assimilating pigments, mycorrhization degree. The results of data processing are presented in terms of the questions addressed, the dynamic of the plant species richness and cover is discussed. Increasing the fungi inculation from 1% to 2% had important effects on species richness, plant variables and soil variables. The patterns of plant community and individual plant development are consistent under fungi inoculation are consistent with the idea that an acceleration of ecological succession occurs. The results from the field experiment pointed out the dynamic nature of the phenomena. Monitoring in the long term with seasonal sampling seem to be a must for assessing the most efficient bioremediation solutions.
Virgil Alexandru Iordache
added a research item
We investigated two Romanian industrial regions- Copşa Mică and Zlatna, to assess the current situation of soil pollution and bioaccumulation of Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn in different vegetable species and possible risks to consumers. Both total and mobile forms of the metals were determined in soil samples, and metal content in the edible parts of root vegetable samples was also assessed. The concentrations of Pb and Zn in soil were higher in Copşa Mică than in Zlatna (566mg/kg vs 271mg/kg for Pb and 1143mg/kg vs 368mg/kg for Zn)·The metal mobility in soil from Copsa Mica decreases in the order Zn>Cu>Cd>Pb (1.88mg/kg, 0.40mg/kg, 0.22mg/kg, 0.16mg/kg, respectively), while in Zlatna, the order was Cu>Zn>Pb>Cd (0.88mg/kg, 0.29mg/kg, 0.04mg/kg, 0.01mg/kg, respectively), apparently depending on metal and soil conditions. In Copsa Mica, the amount of Pb and Cd in vegetable samples exceeded the maximum permissible limits in carrots (median concentration 0.32mg/kg for Pb and Cd) and in yellow onions (median concentration 0.24mg/kg for Cd). In Zlatna region, the content of Cd exceeded the maximum limits in yellow onions (median concentration 0.11mg/kg). The amount of Pb was higher than the maximum acceptable level in carrots from the Zlatna region (median concentration 0.12mg/kg). Cu and Zn levels were within the normal range in all vegetable samples. In the Zlatna region, the transfer factors for Pb and Cd were higher in carrots (median values of 9.9 for Pb and 21.0 for Cd) compared to carrots harvested in Copsa Mica (median values of 4.0 for Pb and 2.0 for Cd). Daily intake rates of metals through local vegetable consumption exceeded the limit values established by the European Food Safety Authority for Pb (1.2 to 2.4 times) and Cd (5.5 to 9.1 times) in both regions, with potential adverse health effects for the local population. The results highlight the need for total soil remediation action before fruit and vegetables produced in these polluted areas can be safely consumed.
Aurora Neagoe
added 2 research items
It is well known that changing the vegetation cover by bioremediation leads to changes in runoff and erosion intensity. However, this relation is not easy to be quantified. One possibility is to have direct measurements in the field using large experimental plots. The weakness of this approach is the lack of generality. At the other extreme another possibility is to have detailed physically based models incorporating information about vegetation traits and its distribution in space. The weakness of this approach is the lack data bases for such models. After screening the literature and identifying the knowledge gaps we propose a strategy attempting to link variables of vegetation at their measurement scale (above ground and belowground biomass and its mechanical properties) with variables of the soil surface at model discretization unit scale (detailed morphometry and spectral properties). The structure of the strategy is 1) to build models predicting the relevant plant variables from experimental and field studies in function of soil variables and other relevant driving factors (e.g types of human impact), 2) to build models relating surface roughness and soil cohesiveness in function of LiDAR and remote sensing measurements, and 3) to build coupling models relating the plant scale models with hydrological and erosion models (including up-scaling or down-scaling methodological models). Our approach is complementary with that formulated in general biodiversity and ecosystem services terms and allows the formulation of detailed research hypothesis / research projects dealing with coupled ecological, soil and hydrological processes.
The Romanian Government adopted in august 2015 the national strategy and the national plan for the management of contaminated sites. The total costs for risk assessment and rehabilitation of these sites is estimated to be about 8.5 billion euros. About 2.6 billion of there will be needed for the management of contaminated sites related to mining industry. This is an important opportunity for the use of new ecotechnologies in the remediation of abandoned tailing dams (http://www.timmar.biogeochemistry.ro/). Since 2014 we run a research project dedicated to the design of new tools for the integrated management of mining areas and river basins. Within this projects we organized together with local administrations an experimental area for long term field studies. This is complemented with infrastructure for performing ex-situ lysimeter experiments in an area organized in cooperation with Botanical Garden of the University of Bucharest. Currently, we have just started a new experiment at field scale having as objective the economic optimization of complex mixtures of amendments (mycorrhizal fungi, top soil and green fertilizer). We present the preliminary results of the initial pot experiment performed before the field experiment, the design and general aspect of the new field experiment, and compare it with previous results from other experiment performed on Romanian tailing dams.
Aurora Neagoe
added a project goal
The overall goal of TIMMAR is to develop a set of innovative environmental services and ecotechnologies useful for the integration of management plans of the stakeholders using resources located in catchments with tailing ponds in their structure