Combination of different geophysical techniques for the location of historical waste in the Izery Mountains (SW Poland).

Affiliation

Institute of Environmental Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences, Skłodowskiej-Curie 34, Zabrze, Poland. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

An initial magnetic survey conducted on the soil surface in the Orle forest glade, located in the Izery Mountains (south-western Poland), indicated the existence of a strong magnetic anomaly. Most cores collected in the glade outside the area of magnetic anomaly show a vertical distribution of magnetic susceptibility typical for soils formed on a diamagnetic or paramagnetic background, in unpolluted areas and influenced only by natural processes. The different patterns of magnetic susceptibility values exhibited by cores collected in the area of the magnetic anomaly reveal the source of the magnetic signal as an anthropogenic layer of waste buried in the subsoil, which was dumped in this area during the historical activity of a glass factory that was active in Orle in the 18th and 19th centuries. Topsoil measurements of magnetic susceptibility revealed that this anthropogenic material has completely different magnetic properties than the natural geological background, therefore making possible the use of magnetic and geoelectrical techniques to determine the location of buried historical waste. Application of different magnetic and geoelectrical methods (soil magnetometry, magnetic gradiometry, EM profiling, electrical resistivity tomography), in combination with a previous magnetic survey, enabled assessment of the location, depth and thickness of the anthropogenic layer. The anthropogenic layer consisted of historical slags and ashes from glass production mixed with modern bottom ashes and construction waste dumped here during the second part of the 20th century. The anthropogenic material occurs in the form of a nonhomogeneous layer characterized by high magnetic susceptibility (>100 × 10-5 SI units) and low resistivity (<200 Ωm) as well as high and variable apparent conductivity (>25 mS/m). These properties are firmly different from the properties of the natural soil and parent rocks and enable fairly precise location of the anthropogenic layer using magnetic and geoelectrical measurements.

Keywords

Anthropogenic soil layers,EM profiling,Electrical resistivity tomography,Historical landfill,Soil magnetometry,

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