Changes in AMD discharge chemistry from the Alton, WV surface mine site, 1993-2010

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Authors:Neumann, Tiffany E.; Donovan, Joseph J.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
West Virginia University, Department of Geology and Geography, Morgantown, WV, United States
Volume Title:Geological Society of America, Northeastern Section, 46th annual meeting; Geological Society of America, North-Central Section, 45th annual meeting
Source:Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America, 43(1), p.85; Geological Society of America, Northeastern Section, 46th annual meeting; Geological Society of America, North-Central Section, 45th annual meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, March 20-22, 2011. Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States. ISSN: 0016-7592
Publication Date:2011
Note:In English
Summary:A surface mine near Alton, WV, has been producing acidic mine drainage continuously since the mid 1980's. In summer 2010, groundwater was resampled at 4 springs and 30 wells in a portion of the mine, previously sampled in 1993 and 1998-99, to determine temporal and spatial changes in water chemistry. In addition to attenuation of acidic weathering products due to natural depletion of pyritic material in the spoil by weathering, it is hypothesized that there may be additional effects from (a) continued leakage of alkaline sludge from a central disposal pond, and (b) introduction of alkaline waste-lime slurry into a 4-m deep trench in 2000-2001 as an experimental attempt at in-situ neutralization. Results show enlargement since 1993 of the zone of metal neutralization around the sludge pond, from which pond leakage induces radial groundwater movement, and the development of a new zone of neutralization downgradient from the alkaline slurry trench. Sulfate, iron, and calcium concentrations have all substantially declined from 1993 in all but a small number of wells. There are multiple possible interpretations for this decline, including natural attenuation of acid-forming reactions, man-induced alkaline recharge, depletion of gypsum and/or jarosite formed early in the spoil history as reaction products, and reduction in the rate of overburden carbonate dissolution. Additional research will attempt to address the question of the relative dominance of these mechanisms.
Subjects:Acid mine drainage; Discharge; Geochemistry; Mining; Pollution; Surface mining; United States; Upshur County West Virginia; West Virginia; Alton West Virginia
Coordinates:N384200 N390700 W0800400 W0802400
Record ID:2012031501
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
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