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Ecology and Environment Protection
ArticleName Relationship between iron ore deposits and spread of heavy metals in shallow water rivers: natural and man-caused factors
DOI 10.17580/cisisr.2020.01.15
ArticleAuthor V. P. Samarina, T. P. Skufyina, Yu. Yu. Kostyukhin, D. Yu. Savon

Staryi Oskol Technological Institute — a branch of National University of Science and Technology “MISiS” (Staryi Oskol, Russia):

V. P. Samarina, Dr. Econ., Prof., Dept. of Economics, Management and Administration, E-mail:


Federal Research Center "Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences" (Apatity, Russia):
T. P. Skufina, Dr. Econ., Chief Scientific Researcher, Luzin Institute for Economic Studies, E-mail:


National University of Science and Technology “MISiS” (Moscow, Russia):
Yu. Yu. Kostyukhin, Dr. Econ., Prof., Head of Dept. of Industrial Management, E-mail:
D. Yu. Savon, Dr. Econ., Prof., Dept. of Industrial Management, E-mail:


This paper describes the results of a study that looked at the effect of natural and human factors related to iron ore deposits on the distribution of heavy metals. A case study of one of the low-water rivers situated in the area of the Kursk-Belgorod Magnetic Anomaly is considered. The study looked at the Oskol river, a typical low-water stream largely susceptible to heavy metal pollution. With the current mining, transportation and waste storage techniques, HMs spread over vast territories carried with dust and waste waters and thus pollute rivers, which in fact accumulate the contaminants. The paper describes the results of zoning of the low-water Oskol river, which is under the impact of various factors caused by iron ore deposits. The zoning was done based on the natural and technogenic features. The research was carried out based on the authors’ method. Hydrochemical anomalies were determined based on ‘Reference Hydrochemical Background’, which is formed on the basis of both natural and human factors. Concentrations of heavy metals significantly increase in the zone of direct impact of mining and steel companies and single-industry cities. This indicates a significant impact of man-caused pollution. The research showed that the low-water Oskol river is highly susceptible and has a low self-purification ability. Heavy metal pollution affects the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, ultimately affecting the quality of life and public health. The cropout of ferruginous quartzites with a high iron content, numerous mining and steel sites located in the river basin, the spread of heavy metals with air currents and surface waters over long distances – all this is causing a large-scale pollution. Because of this we cannot expect any real improvement in the next few years.

This research was funded through the grant by the Russian Science Foundation, Project No.: 19-18-00025 (the part dedicated to heavy metals and how they spread).

keywords Iron ore deposits, heavy metals, mining and steel companies, natural factors, human factors, low-water rivers, hydrochemical research

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