FAQ: What Is Abandoned Mine Drainage Site:.Edu?

Can Abandoned mines cause acid mine drainage?

Mine tailings (byproducts leftover from mining ), mine waste rock dumps, and coal spoils/overburdens all are contributing factors to acid mine drainage. But upon exposure to water and air, they react to form sulphuric acid. This acid further causes dissolution of harmful heavy metals from the rocks.

How can we prevent abandoned mine drainage?

Some common methods include: Reclamation of contaminated land by (1) adding lime or other alkaline materials to neutralize the acidity, and (2) adding uncontaminated top soil, planting vegetation, and modifying slopes to stabilize the soil and reduce infiltration of surface water into underlying contaminated material.

What is alkaline mine drainage?

Abandoned Mine Drainage, or AMD, is polluted water that flows out of abandoned mines. When it’s acidic (lower than 7 pH), it’s called Acid Mine Drainage. When it’s alkaline (higher than 7 pH), it’s called Alkaline Mine Drainage.

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What is acid mine drainage EPA?

Acid mine drainage is the formation and movement of highly acidic water rich in heavy metals. Heavy metals can be leached from rocks that come in contact with the acid, a process that may be substantially enhanced by bacterial action.

What is the root cause of acid mine drainage?

Mine drainage is formed when pyrite (an iron sulfide) is exposed and reacts with air and water to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. The acid runoff further dissolves heavy metals such as copper, lead, and mercury into groundwater or surface water.

How do you identify acid mine drainage?

Acid drainage is often marked by “yellow boy,” an orange-yellow substance (visible in the photo on this page) that occurs when the pH of acidic mine -influenced water raises above pH 3 (approaching more neutral conditions), so that the previously dissolved iron precipitates out.

How do you neutralize acid mine drainage?

The most prevalent method for treating AMD contamination is the addition of alkaline reagents such as lime, limestone, sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide. This treatment aims at neutralizing acidic water and the precipitation of heavy metals.

How long will Acid Mine Drainage continue?

It is not unusual for surface or underground mines to continue to yield AMD for many years or decades after mining has ceased. Legacy mining in the Appalachian Coal Region has numerous mines that continue to yield AMD more than 100 years after closure.

How can we reduce tailings left at iron mine sites?

Here are three of the more common alternatives, which can also reduce or avoid the need for water-covered TSFs: Paste or thickened tailings on surface – One way to help reduce the amount of water going to the TSF is through thickening the tailings, so that the product moves through the pipe in a plug-flow rather than a

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Is acid mine drainage harmful to humans?

When pyrite reacts with air and water it forms into the deadly liquid, sulfuric acid. Since pyrite contains iron sulfide, when it runs into the streams the water turns red, yellow or orange. Acid mine drainage is a worldwide problem; it leads to ecological damages to watersheds and contamination of humans resources.

Which of the following is a water contaminant that can cause acid mine drainage?

Mine drainage is formed when pyrite (an iron sulfide) is exposed and reacts with air and water to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. Some or all of this iron can precipitate to form the red, orange, or yellow sediments in the bottom of streams containing mine drainage.

What is the pH of acid mine drainage?

Acid drainage is caused by the oxidation of metallic compounds such as the mineral constituent of rocks and soils that is often present in coal mine slag. Most streams affected by coal mine drainage are acidic ( pH 2.5 to 6.0), with high iron and sulfate concentrations.

Where is acid mine drainage a problem?

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one of the major water quality issues in Colorado and at locations throughout the western U.S. USGS and INSTAAR researchers are collaborating on a variety of AMD projects as well as investigations of naturally-occurring acid rock drainage (ARD).

What is acid and metalliferous drainage?

Acid mine drainage, acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD), or acid rock drainage (ARD) is the outflow of acidic water from metal mines or coal mines. This liquid often contains toxic metals, such as copper or iron. These, combined with reduced pH, have a detrimental impact on the streams aquatic environments.

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What chemicals are in acid mine drainage?

Acid mine drainage ( AMD ) is the runoff produced when water comes in contact with exposed rocks containing sulfur-bearing minerals that react with water and air to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. This acidic run-off dissolves heavy metals including copper, lead, and mercury which pollute ground and surface water.

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