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Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

versión impresa ISSN 1405-3322

Resumen

DE LA O-VILLANUEVA, Margarita et al. Erosive processes in the Presa I mine dam at Nacozari de García, Sonora, and their effect in the dispersion of pollutants. Bol. Soc. Geol. Mex [online]. 2013, vol.65, n.1, pp.27-38. ISSN 1405-3322.

The operation and exploitation of the Pilares breccia-pipe copper ore deposit and its subsequent cessation of activities in 1945 generated approximately 20 million tons in mine tailings and waste, currently covering a 19 hectares surface located within the urbanized area of Nacozari de Garcia, Sonora. The studied mine tailings are unconfined, with unstable slopes of 50º, lack of vegetation and seasonal efflorescent salts haved formed on the surface. Such characteristics generate high eolian and water erosion and the possible collapse of material. In this work, calculated erosion is classified as severe to very severe. Granulometric characteristics of the tailings mark significant differences in the intensity of water erosion. The physical characterization of the tailings shows two areas of different granulometry that influence in the oxidation of sulfides and metal release: an area of large particle size, and another of fine particle size produced by the flotation process. Climate indexes were estimated for a time period from 1960 to 2011. The aridity index of Martonne shows a rank from 47 to 66, varying from humid in the '60s and '70s to perhumid in the '80s, and humid at present. The Lang index shows values from 15.2 to 22.8, which classifies as a steppe. Copper contents in residential soils and airborne dust collected at two meters height exceed the geochemical background.

Palabras llave : efflorescent salts; mine tailings; metals, dust; Mexico.

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