Document Type: Case Study


1 Department of Environmental Science, Urmia Lake Research Institute, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


The Agh-Dareh and Zarshouran mines are two known active gold deposits in Takab, NW Iran. In the present study, the potentials of two species of Astragalus (A. microcephalus from Agh-Dareh and A. effusus from Zarshouran mines), as the dominant plants grown in these areas, were assessed for the bio-accumulation of the major, trace, and rare earth elements (REEs). The plant and soil samples were collected from the mining areas and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). According to the results obtained, A. effusus in the Zarshouran mine passed a high ability in the accumulation of some major elements such as S, P, K, Ca, and Zn. Although the amounts of the examined trace elements in the soil samples were more than those in the shoots of both examined plants, the potential of A. microcephalus in the absorbance and translocation of Cd, U, Tl, and Pb was more than that for A. effusus. It became clear that the performance of A. microcephalus from the Agh-Dareh mine in the uptake and transportation of REEs was more than that for A. effusus from the Zarshouran mine; also both plant species absorbed and transported much more light REEs than heavy REEs did. According to the results obtained, the present study provides some geochemical findings about the substrate and leads to the increasing information about the plants as a useful indicator of metal mineralization.