Studia Quaternaria
Volume 21 (2002)


Depth distribution of heavy metals in lake sediments from lignite mine pit lakes of Lusatia (Germany)


Kurt Friese


Mine pit lakes from lignite mining in Lusatia posses a great environmental problem due to very low pH (< 4) and high acidity of more than 100 of these lakes. To study the range and penetration of possible contamination of the sediments of these lakes by heavy metals the depth distribution of aluminium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, lead, nickel and chromium were determined in four lakes (pit lake B, pit lake Felixsee, pit lake F, pit lake Waldsee) covering a broad range in pH (2.7 – 8.0), lake size (0.3 – 230 ha) and lake depth (5 – 17.5 m). According to the different acid status and history of the lakes the level of contamination is quite different for the four lakes investigated, especially for aluminium (1,800 – 39,000 mg/kg), iron (13,000 mg/kg – 45.7 wt-%) and manganese (28 – 1,095 mg/kg). In general, the mass concentrations for zinc, copper, lead, nickel and chromium are low (< 100 mg/kg for zinc and < 50 mg/kg for copper, lead, nickel and chromium) although varying among and within the four pit lakes.



Editor-in-Chief: Tomasz Goslar
Co-Editors: Małgorzata Latałowa
Wojciech Stankowski
Krystyna Szeroczyńska
Mariusz Lamentowicz