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International Journal of Coal Geology 65 (2006) 51 – 58 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijcoalgeo

Comparison of elements of environmental concern in regular and reclaimed soils, near abandoned coal mines Ptolemais–Amynteon, northern Greece: Impact on wheat crops
D. Pentaria, J. Typoua, F. Goodarzib, A.E. Foscolosa,b,*
b a Department of Mineral Resources Engineering, Technical Univ. Crete, Chania,Greece Geological Survey of Canada-Calgary, 3303 33rd Street N.W. Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2L2A7

Received 27 July 2004; received in revised form 1 March 2005; accepted 3 April 2005 Available online 20 June 2005

Abstract A comparative study related to the concentrations of trace elements especially those of environmental concern, occurring in regular and reclaimed soils on abandoned coalmines as well as on their respective wheat crops has been undertaken in the vicinity of Ptolemais–Amynteon, Greece. The aim was to assess the impact of land reclamation on the crops. The results of elemental analysis show that the concentration of As is 1.5 to 1.7 times higher in the regular soils than in the reclaimed ones, similarly Co is 2.4 to 2.6 times higher, Cr is 1.7 to 2.8 times higher, Ni is1.9 to3.1 times higher, Pb is 0.8 to 4.6 times higher, and Hg is equal to or 1.7 times higher. Cu, Cd and Se have the same concentration in both kind of soils and Mo and U are 1.7 to 2.0 times lower in the regular soils as compared to the reclaimed soils. Nevertheless, all concentrations are within the reported range for regular soils. Moreover, the concentrations of the studied elements in wheatgrains harvested from both types of soils are approximately the same. The reason for the uniform uptake of elements by the plants is the very low solubility of the elements in the soil solutions. This is attributed to the high soil pH and the nature of the occurrence or bonding of the elements in soil minerals. D 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Land reclamation; Trace elements;Environmental concern; Ptolemaida–Amynteon; Coal basin; Greece

1. Introduction Post mining restoration is very important in order to conform to the concept of environmentally
* Corresponding author. Department of Mineral Resources Engineering, Technical Univ. Crete, Chania, Greece. E-mail address: foscolos@mred.tuc.gr (A.E. Foscolos). 0166-5162/$ - see front matter D 2005 Elsevier B.V. Allrights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.coal.2005.04.008

sustainable development of coal mining operations. Coal exploitation in Greece has increased drastically from 900 thousands tons/year in 1955 to over 70 million tons/year in year 2002 (Public Power Corporation of Greece, 2003). The progress made in the last 10 years is presented in Fig. 1. Coal is exclusively used in Greece for power generation andhas led to the production of the most cost


D. Pentari et al. / International Journal of Coal Geology 65 (2006) 51–58 Table 1 Worldwide reserves and production of conventional energy sources (Reserves in equiv. barrrels of oil, BP Statistical Review of Energy Resources, June 2001) Energy Reserves Production Lifespan Annual Lifespan sources per year in years increase in years indemandsa
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004

In 106 tons

70 65 60 55 50 1992

Fig. 1. Brown coal production in million tons from 1993 to 2003.

Oilb Gasc Coal
a b

1047.4 1002.9 3487.9

29 16 18

36 61 199

2.2% 3.8% 1.8%

26 33d 84e

effective kilowatt-hour within the European Community (Fig. 2). The future outlook of using coal for power generation is excellent since oil andgas reserves remain diminishing very fast (Table 1), while coal reserves are plentiful. The drawback for using coal either for power generation or metallurgical processes are the SO2, NOx, CO2, volatile elements such as Hg, and particle emissions from the smoke stacks, as well as the destruction of landscape and the removal of fertile soil where agricultural activities take place. Recent...
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