Tayel El-Hasan


The bed and suspended (slime) sediment phases associated with effluent water that are produced from phosphate-ore-upgrading process at Al-Abyad mine in the southern part of Jordan were analyzed chemically and mineralogically. The results show that the effluent water is highly oxic and mildly alkaline in nature. The geochemical behavior of each phase was controlled by the effluent water physicochemical parameters, sediment particle size, mineralogical constituents of the studied phases, and the prevailing climatic nature of the area. Bed sediments have higher concentrations of many elements than slime. Accordingly, the bed sediments can be considered as a sink rather than a pool for many elements. The geochemical dissociation of major oxides and trace elements between bed and slime sediments was evident using t-test, particularly between P2O5, SiO2 ,CaO, K2O, Mn, Sr, Y, and Co, and to lesser extent, V, U, Zn, and Cr. This might be attributed to effluent water characteristics, mineralogy, and the presence of fine-grained materials. The spatial distribution of major oxide and trace element concentrations along the stream drainage exhibited a slight increase with distance either in bed or slime sediment phases. However, they increased suddenly at the last three sampling sites, which might be dueto the abundance of fine-grained materials that are mainly composed of clay minerals (montmorillonite) that would enhance the adsorption process. Moreover, the XRD results confirmed the existence of elemental geochemical dissociation as a function of mineral control.