Skip to main content
Article
Tracking the Historical Traces of Soil Pollution from an Iron-Sintering Plant by Using Magnetic Susceptibility in Wawa, Ontario, Canada
WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION (2016)
  • A. Yurtseven-Sandker
  • Maria Cioppa, University of Windsor
Abstract
This study evaluates the present day effects of air pollutants emitted from an iron sintering plant near Wawa (Ontario, Canada) decades ago (1939-1998). During smelting and refining of iron ore, gaseous sulfur-rich emissions and large amounts of metal-containing (iron oxides) particulate materials were released in to the air, and eventually settled onto vegetation and soil cover. We test the feasibility of using magnetic measurements to investigate and quantify the soil pollution resulting from the sintering plant. Surface and subsurface magnetic susceptibility measurements, as well as various magnetic mineral properties, have been collected in a scheme designed to mimic the previously determined pollutant contamination zones. A total of 50 sites were sampled (with a sampling grid of 250 m) within and around the smelter kill zone to the northwest of Wawa. Results were plotted on cross sections perpendicular (X-X') and parallel (Y-Y') to the dominant wind direction in order to investigate magnetic properties of the soil samples as a function of both wind direction and distance from the source. Samples located in Rao and LeBlanc's (The Bryologist 70:141-17, 1967) pollution zones 1 and 2 typically have kappa(in-situ) values >120 x 10(-5) SI, while the zone 3 and 4 results are <100 x 10(-5) SI. Magnetic susceptibility enhancements at depths of 5-10 cm were found to be related to the presence of magnetic spherules (fly-ashes) at sites on the wind-parallel Y-Y' profile in the previously defined kill zone. An estimated minimum migration rate of iron-rich particulates is calculated for coarse sand and silt/clay sites as 0.24 and 0.1 cm/year, respectively.
Publication Date
December, 2016
DOI
10.1007/s11270-016-3140-4
Citation Information
A. Yurtseven-Sandker and Maria Cioppa. "Tracking the Historical Traces of Soil Pollution from an Iron-Sintering Plant by Using Magnetic Susceptibility in Wawa, Ontario, Canada" WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION Vol. 227 Iss. 12 (2016) ISSN: 0049-6979
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/maria-cioppa/1/