EGU2020-19676, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Soils of abandoned industrial wastes disposal sites: properties, processes, functioning

Igor Zamotaev1, Natalia Telnova1, Alexander Alexandrovskiy1, Raisa Gracheva1, Andrey Dolgikh1, Dmitry Karelin1, Yulia Konoplyanikova1, Pavel Mikheev2, Alexander Dobrianskiy1, and Eleonora Belova3
Igor Zamotaev et al.
  • 1Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russsian Federation (
  • 2Erisman Federal Research Center of Hygiene, Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor), , Moscow, Russsian Federation
  • 3National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, Moscow, Russsian Federation

Soils formed at once abandoned and recultivated industrial waste dumping sites are key research objects both as models of soil-forming processes in underdeveloped soils and indicators of persistent or potential environmental hazards of dumps themselves. Our studies of technogenic surface-like soil formations (TSF) and soils were conducted on a closed landfill and two abandoned filtration fields from sugar factories  in Kursk region, central part of European Russia.

Key properties of TSF and soils were defined with the assessments of their ecological, microbiological state and gas-geochemical condition. Set of methods (mesomorphological and micromorphological analysis, soil chemical and physico-chemical analysis, comparatively geographical method) was used for the detection of current elementary soil processes. Seasonal dynamics of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from soils to the atmosphere was also under consideration. Main used methodology is a research of sustainable properties of soil solid-phase (“soil memory”) together with soil functioning.

Long-term time series of high-detailed remote sensing data (from archive aerial photos of 1950s to actual satellite images and UAV optical photogrammetry) provided the possibility for the retrospective remote monitoring of the all abandoned dumps in study and reconstruction of their life cycles and land cover patterns.

As a result for the three industrial waste dumping sites of different types and the varying age of abandonment and recultivation history there were elaborated schemes of chrono-functional zoning. Each chrono-functional zone is characterized by the specific set of TSF and soils. Among them, it was described technogenic surface-like soil formations of closed landfill, calcareous technosols with several thick organic layers at the bottom of abandoned field filtration cells, calcic anthrosols of field filtration cells spontaneously used for agriculture after the abandonment of sugar factories.

The study is financially supported by RFBR project № 19–29–05025–mk.

How to cite: Zamotaev, I., Telnova, N., Alexandrovskiy, A., Gracheva, R., Dolgikh, A., Karelin, D., Konoplyanikova, Y., Mikheev, P., Dobrianskiy, A., and Belova, E.: Soils of abandoned industrial wastes disposal sites: properties, processes, functioning, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19676,, 2020


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displays version 1 – uploaded on 04 May 2020
  • CC1: Potentially toxic elements?, Pablo Higueras, 05 May 2020

    Are these soils affected by contamination with potentially toxic elements? 

    Pablo Higueras, Almadén School of Mines, UCLM, Spain. 

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Natalia Telnova, 05 May 2020

      Thak You for a question

      Surely, the soils formed at the abandoned landfill of indusrtial wastes (accumulators and batteries) have very high level of contamination with lead, cadmium, nickel, stibium (in some cases 1000 times as high as Clarke concentrations) even 30 years of landfill abandonment and its sucesive recultivation.

      We also studied soils formed on the abandoned elements of sugar waste treatment system. These soils have background content of heavy metals

      • CC2: Tranks, Pablo Higueras, 05 May 2020

        Thanks, we work on mine wastes, also with Pb, Zn, Cd... 

        Interesting matter. 

        Best regards, Pablo

  • AC2: Comment on EGU2020-19676, Natalia Telnova, 05 May 2020

    We studied soils formed at the abandoned industrial waste disposal sites in Kursk region, central part of European Russia, forest-steppe zone.
    We considered two cases of dumps: the one was a landfill of solid industrial wastes abandoned in 1990s, then recultivated in early2000s, and the other  
     - sugar waste lagoons of closed and operationg sugar factories.
    Multitemporal remote sensing analysis was done to find out the history of functioning  waste disposal sites in study 
    and map land use/land cover changes for the long-term period (from 1950s). 
    Chemical analysis of sampled soils and results of soil carbon dioxide emissions surveys revealed that soils formed at the landfill are heavily contaminated with several toxic elements 
    (cadmium, lead, stibium), but don't significantly differ in average CO2 emission rate from the background sites of old fallows and unmanaged overgrown slopes of beams and ravines.
    Soils of completely abandoned sugar waste lagoons are now presented mainly by Phaeozems but differed in subtypes and properties according to the age of abandonment 
    and successive overgrowth by grass or tree vegetation and currend land use. For the Garbic Technosol of periodically flooded by filtration sludge sugar waste lagoons 
    we fixed abnormally high CO2 soil emissions - more 10 times as high as in soils of completely abandoned lagoons.