The natural process of circulation of ground and atmospheric water through evaporation from the surface and precipitation from the atmosphere to the surface leads to colonization of the surface soil layer. The main source of salts in the soil is groundwater. Groundwater reaches the surface soil layer and evaporates, and its constituent salts accumulate in the soil. The concentration of salts on the surface can reach to 100% (crust). This process is widespread. Vast areas of solonetzes are located in deserts and semideserts of Asia, Australia, South America, northern Africa, and the western United States. This natural process can be applied in the field of extraction of natural resources from the bowels. The process of salting the soil surface is low and gradual and is subject to study for possible use in technological solutions for the extraction of minerals. In this chapter, the authors intend to show the beneficial advantages of the phenomenon of surface salinization of the soil layer. Water-soluble salts due to their high mobility allow directional mass transfer along the capillary system of the soil and deposition in the aeration zone. However, the utility does not belong to plant biota. This phenomenon can be effective and safely used in the creation of near-surface concentration zones. The natural process of the filtration upward of salt solutions from the depths of the massif to the surface will purposefully carry out the transfer of valuable components with deposition in the area of the evaporation barrier. The speed of the process of ascending capillary mass transfer is technologically low but rather suitable as a preparatory operation at the place of storage of industrial wastes and burials and in the formation of zones of high concentration of small substandard natural mineral deposits. The chapter presents the results of experimental studies of ascending mass transfer of useful components from the waste material of the concentrating production of nonferrous metals.
Part of the book: Salt in the Earth