Soil Health Surrounding former mining areas: characterization, risk analysis, and intervention

Research project | NORTE2020

Artistic Production, Processes and Technological Studies
  • Referência
  • NORTE-01-045-FEDER 000056
  • Financiamento
  • € 599.112,92
  • Financiamento i2ADS
  • € 38.307,35
  • Período
  • 04.01.2021 — 06.30.2023
  • Site do projeto

The waste resulting from coal mining activities, Sb-Au and W (N Portugal) deposited in heaps, represent a source of pollution in the surrounding soils and aquifers. Environmental pollution will be assessed to determine mitigation measures to restore the health of these resources. The sociological impact associated with the exploitation of geological resources and the perception of risks and dangers to the population will be addressed.

Within this framework, it is intended to carry out an integrated characterization of mining waste, soils, and waters affected by these mining structures, to identify the environmental impacts, and to contribute to their mitigation by assessing the health of soils and water. This integrated study, based on data from advanced methodologies and petrographic, geochemical, physical, geophysical, and environmental techniques allows the evaluation of the changes occurring in the waste materials and soils, providing insight into potential environmental impacts. On the other hand, leachates from these tailings reach the ecosystems promoting ecotoxicological effects on aquatic species and plants where bioavailable compounds represent significant stress to these species, as well as soil toxicity affecting plant growth, visible through their morphological parameters and pollen quality. The project includes only “RL1 – Soil health surrounding a former mining area: the case studies of coal, Sb-Au and W mines – A multidisciplinary approach to the effects of the mining activities on the health of the surrounding soils and waters”.


i2ADS Participation
Art provides a research space whose methods offer a range of discursive, visual, and sensorial/haptic strategies that complement the regimes of scientific rational objectivity. Considering the theme, we will employ as research methodology the format arts in residency. These collective and individual residencies will focus on the two sites of this Project and will function as incubators of new experiences, where human relations and knowledge are forged. Led by researchers/artists the residencies will: think about the health of the grounds and possible implications of poetic natures; meet, convene, and engage the local community in educational and artistic activities related to the focus of the research; investigate the topology of mediation of the sites to be studied, specifically the role that media and its representations play in the understanding and invention of space; collect on-site materials upon which collective artistic fabrications and reconstructions will be made; undertake the reconstruction and artistic updating of technologies used in and around the sites through technological archaeology that will act as a lens to study these specific sites.

  • Institutions
    Instituto de Ciências da Terra (ICT), FCUP (Coordenação)
    Centro de Recursos Naturais e Ambiente (CERENA), FEUP
    Centro de Investigação em Química da Universidade do Porto (CIQUP), FCUP
    Instituto de Sociologia da Universidade do Porto (IS-UP), FLUP
    Instituto de Investigação em Arte, Design e Sociedade (i2ADS), FBAUP
  • Principal Investigator
    Deolinda Flores (ICT/FCUP)

  • Coordinator i2ADS
    Graciela Machado

  • Scholarship holder i2ADS
    Cristiana Macedo