With depleted coal resources or deteriorating mining geological conditions, some coal mines have been abandoned in the Fengfeng mining district, China. Water that accumulates in an abandoned underground mine (goaf water) may be a hazard to neighboring mines and impact the groundwater environment. Groundwater samples at three abandoned mines (Yi, Er and Quantou mines) in the Fengfeng mining district and the underlying Ordovician limestone aquifer were collected to characterize their chemical and isotopic compositions and identify the sources of the mine water. The water was HCO3·SO4-Ca·Mg type in Er mine and the auxiliary shaft of Yi mine, and HCO3·SO4-Na type in the main shaft of Quantou mine. The isotopic compositions (δD and δ18O) of water in the three abandoned mines were close to that of Ordovician limestone groundwater. Faults in the abandoned mines were developmental, possibly facilitating inflows of groundwater from the underlying Ordovician limestone aquifers into the coal mines. Although the Sr2+ concentrations differed considerably, the ratios of Sr2+/Ca2+ and 87Sr/86Sr and the 34S content of SO4 2− were similar for all three mine waters and Ordovician limestone groundwater, indicating that a close hydraulic connection may exist. Geochemical and isotopic indicators suggest that (1) the mine waters may originate mainly from the Ordovician limestone groundwater inflows, and (2) the upward hydraulic gradient in the limestone aquifer may prevent its contamination by the overlying abandoned mine water. The results of this study could be useful for water resources management in this area and other similar mining areas.
Hydrogeology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018
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