Natural landscapes degradation and chemical contamination in the near zone of karabash copper-smelting industrial complex

Tyumen State University Herald. Natural Resource Use and Ecology


Bulletin of Tyumen State University. Earth sciences (№7; №4). 2013

Natural landscapes degradation and chemical contamination in the near zone of karabash copper-smelting industrial complex

About the authors:

Vitaliy G. Linnik, Dr. Geogr. Sci., Principal Researcher, Laboratory of Evolutional Biogeochemistry and Geoecology Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, named after V.I. Vernadskiy, Russian Academy of Sciences
Vitaliy y. Khoroshavin, Cand. Geog. Sci., Head of Department of Physical Geography and  Ecology,  Institute  of  Mathematics,  Natural  Sciences  and  Information  Technologies,  Tyumen State University
Olga A. Pologrudova, Head of Environmental Research Laboratory, Tyumen State University


Study results of the natural landscapes degradation of territory, located in the zone of direct influence of the copper-smelting industrial complex of Karabash Town in Chelyabinsk Region reveal a very complicated ecological situation. The copper-smelting industrial complex in Town Karabash is the leader of Russian non-ferrous metallurgy. It has had an impact on the state of the region’s environment over 100 years. The study focuses on zoning of the territory of influence of the enterprise according to the degree of anthropogenic transformation of landscapes. On the leeward slopes of the mountain Zolotaja, which is situated to the east of the plant, landscape-geochemical peculiarities have been studied, which determine the conditions of accumulation and migration of compounds of heavy metals, the content of heavy metals in the surfacelayer eluvial, deluvial and alluvial sediments. Spatial character of the mountainous countryside has caused the need for adaptation of the standard methods of research of migration and accumulation of heavy metals. In the sampling of soil a land area was chosen up to 50x50 cm. Using a shovel, samples were selected from the surface layer up to 5 cm deep. The chemical analysis of the samples showed that the contents of Cu, Zn exceeds the allowable level by 36-40 times, Pb by 166 times.


1. Chernen'kova, T.V. Reakcija lesnoj rastitel'nosti na promyshlennoe zagrjaznenie [Reaction of silva to industrial pollution]. Moscow: Nauka, 2002. 191 p. (in Russian).

2. Kalabin, G.V., Moiseenko, T.I. Ecodynamics of technogenic provinces of mining production: from degradation to reconstruction. Doklady Akademii nauk — Reports of the Academy of Sciences. Vol. 437. 2011. No. 3. Pp. 398-403 (in Russian).

3. Udachin, V.N. Jekogeohimija gornopromyshlennogo tehnogeneza Juzhnogo Urala (Avtoref. diss. dokt.) [Ecogeochemistry of mining technogenesis in the Southern Urals (Doct. diss. abstract)]. Tomsk, 2012. 48 p. (in Russian).

4. Makunina, G.S. Degradation and chemical properties of soils in Karabash technogenic anomaly. Pochvovedenie — Pedology. 2002. No. 3. Pp. 368-376 (in Russian).

5. Rykus, M.V., Bazhin, E.A., Savel'ev, D.E., Snachev, V.I. Geology and geochemical properties of ultrabasites and gabbroids in the suture zone of the Southern and Middle Urals (Kyshtym area). Neftegazovoe delo — Oil and Gas Engineering. Vol. 7. 2009. No. 1. Pp. 72-80 (in Russian).

6. Makunina, G.S. Geoenvironmental characteristics of Karabash technogenic anomaly. Geojekologija, inzhenernaja geologija, gidrogeologija, geokriologija — Geoecology, geological engineering, geohydrology, geocryology. 2001. No. 3. Pp. 221-226 (in Russian).

7. Perel'man, A.I. Geohimija [Geochemistry]. Moscow: Vyshaya Shkola, 1979. 423 p.

(in Russian).

8. PND F 16.1:2.2:2.3:3.36-02. Metodika vypolnenija izmerenij valovogo soderzhanija medi, kadmija, cinka, svinca, nikelja, marganca, kobal'ta i hroma v pochvah, donnyh otlozhenijah i osadkah stochnyh vod i othodah metodom plamennoj atomnoabsorbcionnoj spektrometrii [Conservation normative document (Russia) 16.1:2.2:2.3:3.36-

02. Methods of estimation of gross consentration of Cu, Cd, Zn, Pb, Ni, Mn, Co, Cr in soils, bottom deposits, sewage sludge and waste by means of flame atomic absorption spectrometry] (in Russian).

9. Udachin, V.N., Williamson, B.J., Purvis, O.W., Spiro, B., Dubbin, W., Herrington, R.J., Mikhailova, I. Assessment of environmental impacts of active smelter operations and abandoned mines in Karabash, Ural Mountains of Russia. Sust. Devel. 2003. V. 11. P. 1–10.

10. Linnik, V.G., Saet, Ju.E., Smirnova, R.S. Operational mapping of geochemical fields for monitoring. Modelirovanie processov jekologicheskogo razvitija — Environmental development process modelling. Issue 13. Moscow: All-union Institute for Systems Research. 1986. Pp. 71-77 (in Russian).

11. Udachin, V.N., Dzhejdzhi, M., Aminov, P.G., Lonshhakova, G.F., Filippova, K.A., Derjagin, V.V., Udachina, L.G. Chemical composition of precipitation in the Southern Urals. Estestvennye i tehnicheskie nauki — Natural and technical sciences. 2010. No. 6. Pp. 304-311 (in Russian).

12. Ettler, V., Mihaljevič, M., Kříbek, B., Majer, V., Šebek, O. Tracing the spatial distribution and mobility of metal/metalloid contaminants in Oxisols in the vicinity of the Nkana copper smelter, Copperbelt province, Zambia. Geoderma. 164 (2011) 73–84.

13. Udachin, V.N., Derjagin, V.V., Kitagava, R., Aminov, P.G. Isotopic geochemistry of lake bottom sediments in the Southern Urals for estimation of mining technogenesis scale. Vestnik Tjumenskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta — Tyumen State University Herald. 2009. № 3. P. 144-149 (in Russian).