S8: Touro (A Coruña, ES)

Site “S-8”, Touro (A Coruña, Spain) Former Cu mine 42º52’38”N, 8º19’33”W

Brief description:

The Touro copper mine was active from 1974 until 1988, since its closure the area has been confined to extraction of material for road construction. The mine tailings cover an area of around 600 ha and are practically bare of vegetation. The geological substrate is amphibolite, with significant quantities of metal sulphides (pyrite, pyrrhotite, and chalcopyrite). The mine soils are shallow and extremely gravelly, and are classified as Spolic Technosols (Episkeletic). The uncontrolled oxidation of sulphides generates hyperacidic (pH 2-3) and hyperoxidising (>500 mvol) soils and waters, with a high electrical conductivity and high concentrations of sulphates, Fe, Al, and potentially toxic trace metal(loid)s. The climate of the region is Atlantic (oceanic), with a mean annual precipitation of 1900 mm and mean annual temperature of 12.6ºC.

The area selected for the experimental field plots was completely barren of vegetation. Three soil amendments (composted MSW or technosol mixtures elaborated by the company Tratamientos Ecológicos de Noroeste (TEN s.l.)) were incorporated in 2011. The field plots were planted with Agrostis capillaris cv. Highland or rooted cuttings of two Salix spp. (S. caprea Mauerbach (BOKU 01 AT-004) and S. viminalis) and P. nigra. The global objective is to establish short rotation coppicing systems for biomass production.

This site is part of the PhytoSUDOE Network of phytomanaged sites and is subject to long-term monitoring in Phy2SUDOE.