The exposure of readily soluble components of overburden materials from surface coal mining to air and water results in mineral oxidation and carbonate mineral dissolution, thus increasing coal mine water conductivity. A conductivity benchmark of 300 µS/cm for mine water discharges in the Appalachian region has been suggested to protect aquatic life and the environment. A USGS screening-level leach test was applied to individual strata from three cores collected from a surface mine site in the central Appalachian region to generate preliminary conductivity rankings, which were used to classify strata for two disposal scenarios: (1) unmodified scenario, which included all extracted strata and (2) modified scenario, which excluded 15% (by mass) of the overburden materials with the highest conductivities. We evaluated overburden leaching conductivity using EPA Method 1627 in 18 dry–wet cycles, generating conductivities of 1020–1150 µS/cm for the unmodified scenario and 624–979 µS/cm for the modified scenario. Hence, overburden segregation was successful in reducing the leachate conductivity, but did not reach the proposed benchmark. The leachate was dominated by sulfate in the first four cycles and by bicarbonates in cycles 5–18 in columns with higher sulfur content, while bicarbonates were dominant throughout experiments with overburden having lower sulfur content. The use of conductivity rankings, isolation of potentially problematic overburden strata, and appropriate materials management could reduce conductivity in central Appalachian streams and other surface mining areas.
Mine Water and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 15, 2017
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.
Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.
It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera