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Sample records for abandoned mercury mines

  1. INITIATIVES AND TREATMENT OF MERCURY IN ABANDONED MINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation discusses EPA's research activities and mitigation activities for mercury contaminated mine sites at the International meeting on mercury and artisanal gold mining in Lima, Peru. The topics discussed included the toxicological and enviornmental tasks associated ...

  2. Mercury methylation in mine wastes collected from abandoned mercury mines in the USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Hines, M.E.; Biester, H.; Lasorsa, B.K.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Speciation and transformation of Hg was studied in mine wastes collected from abandoned Hg mines at McDermitt, Nevada, and Terlingua, Texas, to evaluate formation of methyl-Hg, which is highly toxic. In these mine wastes, we measured total Hg and methyl-Hg contents, identified various Hg compounds using a pyrolysis technique, and determined rates of Hg methylation and methyl-Hg demethylation using isotopic-tracer methods. Mine wastes contain total Hg contents as high as 14000 ??g/g and methyl-Hg concentrations as high as 88 ng/g. Mine wastes were found to contain variable amounts of cinnabar, metacinnabar, Hg salts, Hg0, and Hg0 and Hg2+ sorbed onto matrix particulates. Samples with Hg0 and matrix-sorbed Hg generally contained significant methyl-Hg contents. Similarly, samples containing Hg0 compounds generally produced significant Hg methylation rates, as much as 26%/day. Samples containing mostly cinnabar showed little or no Hg methylation. Mine wastes with high methyl-Hg contents generally showed low methyl-Hg demethylation, suggesting that Hg methylation was dominant. Methyl-Hg demethylation was by both oxidative and microbial pathways. The correspondence of mine wastes containing Hg0 compounds and measured Hg methylation suggests that Hg0 oxidizes to Hg2+, which is subsequently bioavailable for microbial Hg methylation.

  3. Mercury in vegetation and soils at abandoned mercury mines in southwestern Alaska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, E.A.; Gray, J.E.; Theodorakos, P.M.

    2002-01-01

    We chemically analysed vegetation (willow and alder) and soil samples collected at three abandoned mercury (Hg) mines and at background sites in southwestern Alaska and compared Hg concentrations, speciation and distribution. Total Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were higher in vegetation and soil samples from all the mine sites compared to samples from the background sites, but there was no correlation between total-Hg concentrations in vegetation and total-Hg concentrations in soil or between total-Hg and MeHg concentrations. However, the percent MeHg of the total Hg was higher in samples from the background sites compared to samples from the mine sites and is higher in vegetation samples than in corresponding soil samples. The percent MeHg is an order of magnitude higher in the willow samples than in corresponding alder or soil samples. The percent of divalent Hg [Hg(II)] is highest in soil samples from the retort and background areas. The higher percent MeHg in vegetation and soil in samples from background sites may be explained by the higher proportions of reactive Hg species, such as Hg(II), at these sites compared to the surface mined and tailings areas where most of the Hg is in the elemental and cinnabar (HgS) forms. Dissolved gaseous Hg species are more readily accumulated in vegetation and are more readily methylated than solid phases like HgS and liquid Hg.

  4. Mercury dispersal to arroyo and coastal sediments from abandoned copper mine operations, el Boléo, Baja California.

    PubMed

    Kot, Fyodor; Shumilin, Evgueni; Rodríguez-Figueroa, Griselda Margarita; Mirlean, Nicolai

    2009-01-01

    Evidence for mercury dispersal in an arid coastal region of central Baja California (Mexico) suggests that abandoned copper mining operations are a noticeable source of mercury in the environment. There is a generally elevated level of mercury in alluvium of arroyos throughout the mining district (0.14-0.18 mg kg(-1)). In the first several dozen meters surrounding two of the biggest mines, mercury levels range from 0.26 to 3.16 mg kg(-1), forming a halo of anomalously high concentrations. The coastal marine sediments, particularly those close to the copper smelter in the town of Santa Rosalía, also display some mercury enrichment.

  5. Mercury contamination in agricultural soils from abandoned metal mines classified by geology and mineralization.

    PubMed

    Kim, Han Sik; Jung, Myung Chae

    2012-01-01

    This survey aimed to compare mercury concentrations in soils related to geology and mineralization types of mines. A total of 16,386 surface soils (0~15 cm in depth) were taken from agricultural lands near 343 abandoned mines (within 2 km from each mine) and analyzed for Hg by AAS with a hydride-generation device. To meaningfully compare mercury levels in soils with geology and mineralization types, three subclassification criteria were adapted: (1) five mineralization types, (2) four valuable ore mineral types, and (3) four parent rock types. The average concentration of Hg in all soils was 0.204 mg kg(-1) with a range of 0.002-24.07 mg kg(-1). Based on the mineralization types, average Hg concentrations (mg kg(-1)) in the soils decreased in the order of pegmatite (0.250) > hydrothermal vein (0.208) > hydrothermal replacement (0.166) > skarn (0.121) > sedimentary deposits (0.045). In terms of the valuable ore mineral types, the concentrations decreased in the order of Au-Ag-base metal mines ≈ base metal mines > Au-Ag mines > Sn-W-Mo-Fe-Mn mines. For parent rock types, similar concentrations were found in the soils derived from sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks followed by heterogeneous rocks with igneous and metamorphic processes. Furthermore, farmland soils contained relatively higher Hg levels than paddy soils. Therefore, it can be concluded that soils in Au, Ag, and base metal mines derived from a hydrothermal vein type of metamorphic rocks and pegmatite deposits contained relatively higher concentrations of mercury in the surface environment.

  6. Geochemistry and environmental threats of soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mine.

    PubMed

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Navarro, Andrés; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-07-01

    The closure of mercury mining areas is generally associated with a release of Hg and other metals into the environment due to the abandonment of mining wastes. Because of their potential toxic properties, the mobilization of particulate and soluble metal species is of major concern. In the present study, the environmental risks posed by soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mining area in Valle del Azogue (Almeria, Spain) are assessed through the determination of physical-chemical parameters, the quantification of metal concentrations, and the application of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity bioassays. Chemical analysis of soil samples revealed concentrations of Hg, As, Ba, Pb, Sb, and Zn above international intervention values. Results from terrestrial tests showed detrimental effects in all studied organisms (Eisenia foetida, Folsomia candida, and different plant species) and revealed the avoidance response of earthworms as the most sensitive endpoint. Surprisingly, the most toxic samples were not the ones with higher metal contents but the ones presenting higher electrical conductivity. Aquatic ecotoxicity tests with Vibrio fischeri, Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna, and Danio rerio were in accordance with terrestrial tests, confirming the need to couple environmental chemistry with ecotoxicological tools for the proper assessment of metal-contaminated sites. In view of the results, a remediative intervention of the studied area is recommended.

  7. Environmental and human exposure assessment monitoring of communities near an abandoned mercury mine in the Philippines: a toxic legacy.

    PubMed

    Maramba, Nelia P C; Reyes, Jose Paciano; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Panganiban, Lynn Crisanta R; Dioquino, Carissa; Dando, Nerissa; Timbang, Rene; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Castillo, Ma Teresa; Quitoriano, Carmela; Afuang, Maredith; Matsuyama, Akito; Eguchi, Tomomi; Fuchigami, Youko

    2006-10-01

    Abandoned mines are an important global concern and continue to pose real or potential threats to human safety and health including environmental damage/s. Very few countries had government mine regulation and reclamation policies until the latter part of the century where legal, financial and technical procedures were required for existing mining operations. Major reasons for mine closure may be mainly due to poor economies of the commodity making mining unprofitable, technical difficulties and national security. If the mine is abandoned, more often than not it is the government that shoulders the burden of clean-up, monitoring and remediation. The topic of abandoned mines is complex because of the associated financial and legal liability implications. Abandoned mercury mines have been identified as one of the major concerns because of their significant long-term environmental problems. Primary mercury production is still ongoing in Spain, Kyrgzystan, China, Algeria, Russia and Slovakia while world production declined substantially in the late 1980s. In the Philippines, the mercury mine located southeast of Manila was in operation from 1955 to 1976, before ceasing operation because of the decline in world market price for the commodity. During this time, annual production of mercury was estimated to be about 140,000 kg of mercury yearly. Approximately 2,000,000 t of mine-waste calcines (retorted ore) were produced during mining and roughly 1,000,000 t of these calcines were dumped into nearby Honda Bay to construct a jetty to facilitate mine operations where about 2000 people reside in the nearby three barangays. In October, 1994 the Department of Health received a request from the Provincial Health Office for technical assistance relative to the investigation of increasing complaints of unusual symptoms (e.g. miscarriages, tooth loss, muscle weakness, paralysis, anemia, tremors, etc.) among residents of three barangays. Initial health reports revealed significant

  8. Untreated abandoned mercury mining works in a scenic area of Asturias (Spain).

    PubMed

    Loredo, Jorge; Pereira, Alberto; Ordóñez, Almudena

    2003-07-01

    Mercury mining was a large and thriving industry during the last century in Asturias (NW Spain). At Brañalamosa, mining activity introduced significant quantities of wastes in spoil heaps located close to the mining operations. In these mining wastes, in addition to mercury, high concentrations of other potentially dangerous elements like As have been found. As a consequence, pollution and dereliction of the local environment occurred. This paper focuses on the environmental impact of these old mining operations and describes a preliminary assessment of the extent of contamination. This includes analytical data from systematic sampling of soils, stream sediments, wastes from spoil heaps, water and herbaceous plants in areas affected by mining activities. The potential risk that spoil materials imply for human health and the environment is documented on the basis of the application of EPA Risk Assessment methodology.

  9. Abandoned Mine Lands

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Abandoned Mine Lands are those lands, waters, and surrounding watersheds where extraction, beneficiation, or processing of ores and minerals (excluding coal) has occurred. These lands also include areas where mining or processing activity is inactive.

  10. Speciation of mercury in mine waste: case study of abandoned and active gold mine sites at the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai area of South Western Ghana.

    PubMed

    Nartey, V K; Klake, R K; Doamekpor, L K; Sarpong-Kumankomah, S

    2012-12-01

    Speciation determines toxicity, transport pathways and residence time of a metal in different compartments of the environment. This study investigated the speciation of mercury in soils, derived from sites known for dumping of mine wastes in the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai district, a gold mining community of the Western Region of Ghana. Soil samples were taken from the surface; depths of 20, 40 and 60 cm from mine waste at both abandoned and active mine sites. Each sample was analysed for total mercury, organic mercury and elemental mercury. After sample treatment, digestion and reduction with stannous chloride (SnCl(2)), total mercury content was determined using the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emissions Spectrometer (ICP-OES). Organic mercury content was determined employing a differential technique after disposing of elemental mercury by heating. Total mercury content in samples ranged from 0.067 to 0.876 mg/kg for surface soils. The same soil of depths 20, 40 and 60 cm had total mercury from 0.102 to 1.066, 0.037 to 4.037 and 0.191 to 4.998 mg/kg, respectively. For organic mercury, concentrations range from 0.012 to 0.260 mg/kg for surface soil. Soil depths of 20, 40 and 60 cm had organic mercury concentrations from 0.016 to 0.653, 0.041 to 1.093 and 0.101 to 2.546 mg/kg respectively. Elemental mercury concentrations in surface soils, soils at depths of 20, 40 and 60 cm ranged from 0.043 to 0.780; 0.017 to 0.749; 0.014 to 2.944 and 0.009 to 2.452 mg/kg respectively. Among the sites studied, only galamsey tailings (GM) showed a trend of increasing total mercury level with increasing depth. For the other sites, trends were not defined. There has been no defined trend for elemental mercury with depth at any of the sampling sites. Just as with total mercury, it was only GM that showed an increasing trend of organic mercury concentration with depth.

  11. Environmental geochemistry of abandoned mercury mines in West-Central Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Crock, J.G.; Fey, D.L.

    2002-01-01

    The Humboldt River is a closed basin and is the longest river in Nevada. Numerous abandoned Hg mines are located within the basin, and because Hg is a toxic heavy metal, the potential transport of Hg from these mines into surrounding ecosystems, including the Humboldt River, is of environmental concern Samples of ore, sediment, water, calcines (roasted ore), and leachates of the calcines were analyzed for Hg and other heavy metals to evaluate geochemical dispersion from the mines. Cinnabar-bearing ore samples collected from the mines contain highly elevated Hg concentrations, up to 6.9 %, whereas calcines collected from the mines contain up to 2000 mg Hg/kg. Stream-sediment samples collected within 1 km of the mines contain as much as 170 mg Hg/kg, but those collected distal from the mines (> 5 km) contain 8 km from the Humboldt River, and Hg is transported and diluted through a large volume of pediment before it reaches the Humboldt River. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Microbial mercury methylation in the Ngawha hot springs and the abandoned Puhipuhi mine, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gionfriddo, C. M.; Ogorek, J. M.; Thompson, C. D.; Power, J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Stott, M. B.; Moreau, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Hot springs and fumaroles release significant quantities of aqueous and gaseous mercury into the environment. Yet few studies have focused on the biogeochemical cycling of mercury in geothermal settings. In this study, we investigated the abundance, speciation, and partitioning of mercury in geothermal waters and sediments in the Ngawha geothermal field and Puhipuhi region of New Zealand. The Ngawha geothermal field contains over 20 hot springs with variable chemistry (pH 2.9 - 7.1, ORP 15.7 to 249.1 mV, 22-40.5°C), from which approximately 530 kg of mercury is released annually from deep geological sources, most of which remains in the local surficial waters and sediments. Puhipuhi is the site of an historic mercury mining operation located about 22 miles southeast of Ngawha. The mercury-bearing geological deposits at Ngawha and Puhipuhi were formed over the same period and are connected to the young basalt flows of the region. Puhipuhi no longer hosts active hot springs, but is transected by a stream that varies in chemistry (pH 5.1-7.2, ORP -3.8-115.3 mV, ~22°C). Total- and methylmercury concentrations were measured using ICP-MS and CVAFS. Preliminary analyses of dissolved total- and methylmercury levels across the hot springs ranged from 5-10,000 ng/L and 0.6-23.5 ng/L, respectively, indicating a wide range of environmental conditions exist and may support a diverse array of microbial communities. Due to their high mercury content, geothermal settings may hold clues about the evolution of microbial mercury resistance (detoxification response to environmental Hg), as the ancestral mer operon evolved in thermophilic bacteria such as Thermus thermophilus and Methylacidophilum infernorum. Thus, the Ngawha hot springs provide an opportunity to investigate the evolution of microbial responses to mercury. Adjacent sites often display radically different chemical traits, with implications for changes in microbial community structure and genetic responses to mercury

  13. Distribution, speciation, and transport of mercury in stream-sediment, stream-water, and fish collected near abandoned mercury mines in southwestern Alaska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Theodorakos, P.M.; Bailey, E.A.; Turner, R.R.

    2000-01-01

    Concentrations of total Hg, Hg (II), and methylmercury were measured in stream-sediment, stream-water, and fish collected downstream from abandoned mercury mines in south-western Alaska to evaluate environmental effects to surrounding ecosystems. These mines are found in a broad belt covering several tens of thousands of square kilometers, primarily in the Kuskokwim River basin. Mercury ore is dominantly cinnabar (HgS), but elemental mercury (Hg(o)) is present in ore at one mine and near retorts and in streams at several mine sites. Approximately 1400 t of mercury have been produced from the region, which is approximately 99% of all mercury produced from Alaska. These mines are not presently operating because of low prices and low demand for mercury. Stream-sediment samples collected downstream from the mines contain as much as 5500 ??g/g Hg. Such high Hg concentrations are related to the abundance of cinnabar, which is highly resistant to physical and chemical weathering, and is visible in streams below mine sites. Although total Hg concentrations in the stream-sediment samples collected near mines are high, Hg speciation data indicate that concentrations of Hg (II) are generally less than 5%, and methylmercury concentrations are less than 1% of the total Hg. Stream waters below the mines are neutral to slightly alkaline (pH 6.8-8.4), which is a result of the insolubility of cinnabar and the lack of acid- generating minerals such as pyrite in the deposits. Unfiltered stream-water samples collected below the mines generally contain 500-2500 ng/l Hg; whereas, corresponding stream-water samples filtered through a 0.45-??m membrane contain less than 50 ng/l Hg. These stream-water results indicate that most of the Hg transported downstream from the mines is as finely- suspended material rather than dissolved Hg. Mercury speciation data show that concentrations of Hg (II) and methylmercury in stream-water samples are typically less than 22 ng/l, and generally less than

  14. Evaluation of the water quality related to the acid mine drainage of an abandoned mercury mine (Alaşehir, Turkey).

    PubMed

    Gemici, Unsal

    2008-12-01

    Mobility of metals in water, mine wastes, and stream sediments around the abandoned Alaşehir mercury mine was investigated to evaluate the environmental effects around the area. Mine waters are dominantly acidic with pH values of 2.55 in arid season and 2.70 in wet season and are sulfate rich. Acidity is caused mainly by the oxidation of sulfide minerals. Pyrite is the main acid-producing mineral in the Alaşehir area. Of the major ions, SO(4) shows a notable increase reaching 3981 mg/l, which exceeds the WHO (WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, vol. 2. Health criteria and other supporting information, 1993) and TS (Sular-Içme ve kullanma sulari. Ankara: Türk Standartlari Enstitüsü, 1997) drinking water standard of 250 mg/L. Mine waters have As, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Al with concentrations higher than drinking water standards. Hg concentrations of adit water samples and surface waters draining the mine area are between 0.25 and 0.274 microg/L and are below the WHO (WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, vol. 2. Health criteria and other supporting information, 1993) drinking water standard of 1.0 microg/L. However, the concentrations are above the 0.012 microg/L standard (EPA, Water quality standards. Establishment of numeric criteria for priority toxic pollutants, states' compliance, final rule. Fed. Reg., 40 CFR, Part 131, 57/246, 60847-60916, 1992) used to protect aquatic life. Stream sediment samples have abnormally high values of especially Hg, As, Ni, and Cr metals. Geoaccumulation (Igeo) and pollution index (PI) values are significantly high and denote heavy contamination in stream sediments. The stream sediments derived from the mining area with the surface waters are potentially hazardous to the environment adjacent to the abandoned Hg mine and are in need of remediation.

  15. MERCURY FATE AND TRANSPORT IN GROUND WATER AT AN ABANDONED MINE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Clear Lake, one of California's largest freshwater lakes located approximately 150 km north of San Francisco, is an important natural, economic, and cultural resource for the surrounding community. Elevated mercury levels in fish, first identified in the late 1970s, have been a ...

  16. Mercury dispersion in soils of an abandoned lead-zinc-silver mine, San Quintín (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esbrí, José Maria; Martín-Crespo, T.; Gómez-Ortiz, D.; Monescillo, C. I.; Lorenzo, S.; Higueras, P.

    2010-05-01

    The mine considered on this work, namely San Quintín, is a filonian field with hydrothermal ores exploited during almost fifty years (1887-1934), producing 550.000Tm of galena, 550Tm of silver and 5.000 of sphalerite. Some rewashing works of tailings muds was achieved in recent times (1973-1985), including flotation tests of cinnabar ore from Almadén mines. The main problems remaining on the site are an active acid mine drainage (with pH ~ 2) and heavy metal dispersion on soils including gaseous mercury emissions. We present here results of a survey including soils sampling with mercury analysis and other pedological parameters, as well as determinations of mercury inmission in the atmosphere, using a common sampling grid. Analysis of soils samples has been carried out using an atomic absorption spectrometer AMA254, while air determinations were made by the same technique, using a Lumex RA-915+. The maps have been obtained by means of SURFER 8 software, as well as by ArcGIS software, and puts forward dispersion of mercury from cinnabar ore dump (108 ?g×g-1) to nearby soils (0.3 ?g×g-1 at 700 m of distance). The dispersion of mercury vapor exceed WHO level for chronic exposure (200 ng×m-3) in a small area (250 meters from cinnabar dump).

  17. Inactive and abandoned noncoal mines

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-08-01

    Volume 1 outlines the environmental, health and safety problems at IAMS (Inactive, Abandoned Mine Sites), remediation technologies, remediation costs, the methodology states used in preparing state reports, and state summary tables. It also describes the broad range of policy options for remediation of problems associated with IAMS. Volume 2 gives state reports for inactive and abandoned noncoal mines for the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Volume 3 lists the State reports for the inactive and abandoned noncoal mines for the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. A separate abstract is included for each of the 3 volumes of this set.

  18. Evolution of abandoned underground hardrock mine closures by the Texas abandoned mine land reclamation program

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, M.J.

    1997-12-31

    The Texas Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation program began investigating, designing and implementing hard rock abandoned underground mine closures, after a young boy fell to his death in an abandoned mine opening in 1982. This paper discusses the evolution of abandoned hard rock mine closures in west Texas, by the Texas AML program in response to the development of abandoned underground mine resource information. Case histories are presented of the Texas AML program`s efforts in west Texas including: mine history summaries; site characterization, environmental assessment; design and construction planning considerations, and construction cost information.

  19. WATER-ROCK INTERACTIONS INFLUENCING MERCURY FATE AND TRANSPORT FROM AN ABANDONED MINE SITE TO AN ADJACENT AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Clear Lake, located 150 km north of San Francisco, is one of the largest fresh water lakes in California and is an important economic resource for the region. Elevated mercury levels in fish in Clear Lake were identified in the late 1970s, resulting in a fish consumption advisor...

  20. Navajo Nation: Cleaning Up Abandoned Uranium Mines

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This site provides information about the progress of EPA's cleanup of abandoned uranium mines on Navajo and Hopi lands and in other areas of Arizona and New Mexico, including health impacts, major enforcement and removal milestones, and community actions.

  1. Sediment toxicity and bioaccumulation assessment in abandoned copper and mercury mining areas of the Nalón River basin (Spain).

    PubMed

    Méndez-Fernández, L; Rodríguez, P; Martínez-Madrid, M

    2015-01-01

    Sediment toxicity and metal bioaccumulation were assessed at sites affected by historical copper (Cu) and mercury (Hg) mining activities in the Nalón River basin, Asturias, Spain. Toxicity assessment of stream sediments was based on a 28-day oligochaete Tubifex tubifex sediment bioassay, which allowed the classification of sites into three levels of toxicity: 11 sites were classified as nontoxic (including Cu mine sites), three sites as potentially toxic, and seven sites as toxic (all located in Hg mine districts). The greatest levels of arsenic (As), chromium, Hg, lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in T. tubifex were measured at sites affected by Hg mining and the highest Cu levels in tissues at Cu mining sites. Chronic toxicity responses were best explained by As and Hg sediment concentrations and by As, Pb, and Zn tissue residues. Residue levels of As, Hg, Zn, and Pb were successfully used to predict sediment chronic toxicity and estimate effective tissue residues.

  2. 25 CFR 214.29 - Prospecting; abandonment of mines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... RESERVATION LANDS, OKLAHOMA, FOR MINING, EXCEPT OIL AND GAS § 214.29 Prospecting; abandonment of mines. All prospecting or mining operations or the abandonment of a well or mine shall be subject to the approval of the... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Prospecting; abandonment of mines. 214.29 Section...

  3. Abandoned Mine Lands: Site Information

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A catalogue of mining sites proposed for and listed on the NPL as well as mining sites being cleaned up using the Superfund Alternative Approach. Also mine sites not on the NPL but that have had removal or emergency response cleanup actions.

  4. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  5. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  6. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  7. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  8. Abandoned metal mine stability risk evaluation.

    PubMed

    Bétournay, Marc C

    2009-10-01

    The abandoned mine legacy is critical in many countries around the world, where mine cave-ins and surface subsidence disruptions are perpetual risks that can affect the population, infrastructure, historical legacies, land use, and the environment. This article establishes abandoned metal mine failure risk evaluation approaches and quantification techniques based on the Canadian mining experience. These utilize clear geomechanics considerations such as failure mechanisms, which are dependent on well-defined rock mass parameters. Quantified risk is computed using probability of failure (probabilistics using limit-equilibrium factors of safety or applicable numerical modeling factor of safety quantifications) times a consequence impact value. Semi-quantified risk can be based on failure-case-study-based empirical data used in calculating probability of failure, and personal experience can provide qualified hazard and impact consequence assessments. The article provides outlines for land use and selection of remediation measures based on risk.

  9. THE HERMAN PIT AND ITS ROLE IN MERCURY TRANSPORT AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE SUPERFUND SITE, CLEAR LAKE, CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) is an abandoned sulphur and cinnabar mine located on the eastern shore of the Oaks Arm of Clear Lake, Lake County, California. SBMM was one of the largest mercury producers in California and has been described as one of the most productive sh...

  10. Mercury methylation at mercury mines in the Humboldt River Basin, Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Crock, J.G.; Lasorsa, B.K.

    2002-01-01

    Total Hg and methylmercury concentrations were measured in mine-waste calcines (retorted ore), sediment, and water samples collected in and around abandoned mercury mines in western Nevada to evaluate Hg methylation at the mines and in the Humboldt River Basin. Mine-waste calcines contain total Hg concentrations as high as 14 000 ??g g-1. Stream-sediment samples collected within 1 km of the mercury mines contain total Hg concentrations as high as 170 ??g g-1, whereas stream sediments collected at a distance >5 km from the mines, and those collected from the Humboldt River and regional baseline sites, contain total Hg concentrations 8 km from the nearest mercury mines. Our data indicate little transference of Hg and methylmercury from the sediment to the water column due to the lack of mine runoff in this desert climate.

  11. 25 CFR 214.29 - Prospecting; abandonment of mines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Prospecting; abandonment of mines. 214.29 Section 214.29 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ENERGY AND MINERALS LEASING OF OSAGE... prospecting or mining operations or the abandonment of a well or mine shall be subject to the approval of...

  12. Evaluation of reclaimed abandoned bentonite mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Edinger, K.D.; Schuman, G.E.; Vance, G.F.

    1999-07-01

    In 1985, the Abandoned Mined Land Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality began reclamation of 4,148 ha of abandoned bentonite mined lands. Calcium amendments and sawmill wood wastes were applied to the regraded spoils to enhance water infiltration, displacement of Na on the clay spoil, and leaching of the displaced Na and other soluble salts. Revegetation of these lands was generally successful, but after several years small areas (0.1--0.2 ha) began to show signs of vegetation die-back and to prescribe corrective treatment options. A randomized block design was imposed on study areas near Upton, Colony, and Greybull, Wyoming to characterize spoil chemical properties of good, moderate, and dead vegetation zones, which were subjectively delineated by visual vegetation cover and density differences. Spoil analyses indicated exchangeable-sodium (Na) concentrations were high and the dead vegetation zones exhibited exchangeable-sodium-percentages (ESP) above 50%, while surrounding good vegetation zones exhibited ESP values <10%. This coupled with low soluble-Na concentrations (<2 cmol/kg) suggests insufficient calcium (Ca) amendments were initially applied to ameliorate the sodic conditions of the spoil. The sampling design used to determine Ca amendment rates, which consisted of a composite of 5 spoil cores taken from each 0.8 ha area, was apparently insufficient to account for the highly heterogeneous spoil material that occurred throughout these abandoned bentonite reclamation sites. To revegetate these small degraded sites, additional Ca amendment would be necessary and reseeding would be required. However, the authors recommend further monitoring of the affected sites to determine if unfavorable conditions continue to degrade the reclaimed landscape before any attempt is made to rehabilitate the affected sites. If the degraded sites are stable, further Remediation efforts are not warranted because small areas of little or no vegetation are

  13. Community Involvement Plan: Western Abandoned Uranium Mine Region

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Factsheets related to the Western Abandoned Uranium Mine Region, generally located along the Little Colorado River and Highway 89, and are in the Cameron, Coalmine Canyon, Bodaway/Gap, and Leupp Chapters.

  14. Working with Communities on Cleaning Up Abandoned Uranium Mines

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This site provides information about the EPA's work to inform and include communities in the cleanup of abandoned mines, including health impacts, major enforcement and removal milestones, and community actions.

  15. Abandoned Mine Detection in Western Pennsylvania Using Surface Wave Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, B.

    2015-12-01

    Abandoned mines throughout the Appalachian region of the United States have been recognized as problematic. Resource extraction from these mines has long ceased and few, if any, documents pertaining to these operations exist. Over time support structures internal to the mines may collapse and lead to subsidence, potentially damaging surface structures. A non-invasive, surface deployed seismic method to detect undisclosed, abandoned near-surface mines would be beneficial as a first step to remediation. The use of seismic surface waves to analyze the upper several tens of meters of the subsurface has become an important technique for near-surface investigations and may provide a method for detection of near-surface, abandoned mine shafts. While there are many undocumented abandoned mines throughout the Appalachians one known example exists within Butler County, Pennsylvania. Although little is known about the overall operation there is limited documentation which provides information as to the location of the mine tunnels. Currently there is no recognized surface subsidence associated with the mine however documents indicate that the abandoned mining operations have an estimated depth ranging from twenty to fifty feet. To assist with acquisition a seismic land streamer was constructed. Use of a land streamer increases the speed, ease and efficiency required to perform a seismic survey. Additionally the land streamer allows for the acquisition of seismic surface waves which were analyzed using the Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) method. Data were acquired by conducting multiple, adjacent surveys perpendicular to the suspected location of abandoned mine tunnels. Throughout the survey area to a depth of approximately 15 meters, shear wave velocities range between approximately 200-1200 m/s. Based upon shear wave velocity changes within the profile anomalies have been identified corresponding to the contrast between the suspected mined, and unmined, areas.

  16. Setting priorities for abandoned-mine land research. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-01-01

    In FY 1987, Congress transferred the abandoned mine land (AML) research program and $1.9 million in funding from the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) to the Bureau of Mines (BOM). Subsequently the BOM asked National Research Council (NRC) to recommend research priorities and criteria for evaluating AML reclamation research proposals. The committee identified the highest-priority research problems which are: water quality; subsidence; mine waste; and revegetation, are ranked as the top four research priorities in all regions.

  17. Remining to reclaim abandoned mined lands: Virginia`s initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Zipper, C.E.; Lambert, B.

    1998-12-31

    Abandoned Mined Lands (AML) are lands that were mined prior to implementation of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) in 1977, but were inadequately reclaimed. Re-mining of AML is being conducted on a routine basis by coal-mining operations in eastern states such as Virginia. Re-mining is a potentially important means of reclaiming AML. However, under current policies, re-mining operations often fail to permit and reclaim priority 1, 2, and 3 AML, especially those areas which present the most severe environmental problems. This paper describes policy issues which affect the potential for AML reclamation by re-mining operations in mountainous mining areas, such as Virginia; efforts underway in Virginia which seek to resolve those issues; and progress achieved to date under that initiative.

  18. 30 CFR 935.20 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE OHIO § 935.20 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Ohio Abandoned Mine Land...

  19. 30 CFR 935.20 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE OHIO § 935.20 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Ohio Abandoned Mine Land...

  20. Mercury Methylation at Mercury Mines In The Humboldt River Basin, Nevada, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, John E.; Crock, James G.; Lasorsa, Brenda K. )

    2002-12-01

    Total Hg and methylmercury concentrations were measured in mine-waste calcines (retorted ore), sediment, and water samples collected in and around abandoned mercury mines in western Nevada to evaluate Hg methylation at the mines and in the Humboldt River basin. Mine-waste calcines contain total Hg concentrations as high as 14 000?g/g. Stream-sediment samples collected within 1 km of the mercury mines contain total Hg concentrations as high as 170?g/g, whereas stream sediments collected>5 km from the mines, and those collected from the Humboldt River and regional baseline sites, contain total Hg concentrations<0.5?g/g. Similarly, methylmercury concentrations in mine-waste calcines are locally as high as 96 ng/g, but methylmercury contents in stream-sediments collected downstream from the mines and from the Humboldt River are lower, ranging from<0.05 to 0.95 ng/g. Stream-water samples collected below two mines studied contain total Hg concentrations ranging from 6 to 2000 ng/L, whereas total Hg in Humboldt River water was generally lower ranging from 2.1 to 9.0 ng/L. Methylmercury concentrations in the Humboldt River water were the lowest in this study (<0.02-0.27 ng/L). Although total Hg and methylmercury concentrations are locally high in mine-waste calcines, there is significant dilution of Hg and lower Hg methylation down gradient from the mines, especially in the sediments and water collected from the Humboldt River, which is> 8 km from any mercury mines. Our data indicate little transference of Hg and methylmercury from the sediment to the water column due to the lack of mine runoff in this desert climate.

  1. Impact of uranium mines closure and abandonment on groundwater quality.

    PubMed

    Rapantova, Nada; Licbinska, Monika; Babka, Ondrej; Grmela, Arnost; Pospisil, Pavel

    2013-11-01

    The aim of the study is to assess the evolving mine water quality of closed uranium mines (abandoned between 1958 and 1992) in the Czech Republic. This paper focuses on the changes in mine water quality over time and spatial variability. In 2010, systematic monitoring of mine water quality was performed at all available locations of previous uranium exploitation. Gravity flow discharges (mine adits, uncontrolled discharges) or shafts (in dynamic state or stagnating) were sampled. Since the quality of mine water results from multiple conditions-geology, type of sample, sampling depth, time since mine flooding, an assessment of mine water quality evolution was done taking into account all these conditions. Multivariate analyses were applied in order to identify the groups of samples based on their similarity. Evaluation of hydrogeochemical equilibrium and evolution of mine waters was done using the Geochemist's Workbench and PHREEQC software. The sampling proved that uranium concentrations in mine waters did not predominantly exceed 0.45 mg/L. In case of discharges from old adits abandoned more than 40 years ago, uranium concentrations were below the MCL of US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium in drinking water (0.03 mg/L). Higher concentrations, up to 1.23 mg/L of U, were found only at active dewatered mines. Activity concentration of 226Ra varied from 0.03 up to 1.85 Bq/L except for two sites with increased background values due to rock formation (granites). Radium has a typically increasing trend after mine abandonment with a large variability. Concerning metals in mine water, Al, Co and Ni exceeded legislative limits on two sites with low pH waters. The mine water quality changes with a focus on uranium mobility were described from recently dewatered mines to shafts with water level maintained in order to prevent outflows to surface water and finally to stagnating shafts and discharges of mine water from old adits. The results were in good agreement

  2. Abandoned Mine Waste Working Group report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-12-10

    The Mine Waste Working Group discussed the nature and possible contributions to the solution of this class of waste problem at length. There was a consensus that the mine waste problem presented some fundamental differences from the other classes of waste addresses by the Develop On-Site Innovative Technologies (DOIT) working groups. Contents of this report are: executive summary; stakeholders address the problems; the mine waste program; current technology development programs; problems and issues that need to be addressed; demonstration projects to test solutions; conclusion-next steps; and appendices.

  3. 78 FR 9803 - Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-12

    ... bill revised the AML program in areas of coal re-mining, abandoned coal refuse sites, as well as... Selection; Coordination with Other Programs; Land Acquisition, Management and Disposal; Reclamation on... of OSM, Tennessee revised its proposed amendment to read, ``Land Acquisition, Management and...

  4. Eastern Agency Navajo Abandoned Uranium Mine Open House

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Learn about the Contaminated Structures Program in the greater Eastern Agency with representatives from EPA, DOE, and Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands Program with updates on activities at NE Church Rock, Kerr-McGee/Quivira, and United Nuclear Co. Mill site.

  5. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  6. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  7. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  8. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  9. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  10. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  11. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  12. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  13. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  14. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  15. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  16. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  17. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  18. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  19. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  20. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  1. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  2. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  3. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  4. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  5. Wind Power Potential at Abandoned Mines in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    jang, M.; Choi, Y.; Park, H.; Go, W.

    2013-12-01

    This study performed an assessment of wind power potential at abandoned mines in the Kangwon province by analyzing gross energy production, greenhouse gas emission reduction and economic effects estimated from a 600 kW wind turbine. Wind resources maps collected from the renewable energy data center in Korea Institute of Energy Research(KIER) were used to determine the average wind speed, temperature and atmospheric pressure at hub height(50 m) for each abandoned mine. RETScreen software developed by Natural Resources Canada(NRC) was utilized for the energy, emission and financial analyses of wind power systems. Based on the results from 5 representative mining sites, we could know that the average wind speed at hub height is the most critical factor for assessing the wind power potential. Finally, 47 abandoned mines that have the average wind speed faster than 6.5 m/s were analyzed, and top 10 mines were suggested as relatively favorable sites with high wind power potential in the Kangwon province.

  6. Remote Sensing Applications to the Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clemens, E.; Warnick, L.

    1982-01-01

    Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Land Inventory demonstrated the effective use of remote sensing techniques within the context of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The inventory combined data from field work, a literature search, and photointerpretation to fulfill both State and Federal requirements. A primary project objective was to accurately identify and map all surface features and disturbances from abandoned surface and underground mining. Black-and-white aerial photographs were used to record pits, contour benches, highwalls, spoil material, graded and recontoured areas, impounded water, and serious erosion and slide prone areas. In addition, vegetation cover estimates and surrounding land uses were noted. The inventory data base provides Pennsylvania with a valuable resource management tool that should be systematically updated. The utilization of remotely sensed data from SPOT or LANDSAT-D satellites may prove valuable in the anticipated updating and monitoring of the Pennsylvania AML inventory over the next several years.

  7. Microgravity method for detection of abandoned mines in New Jersey

    SciTech Connect

    Ghatge, S.L. )

    1993-03-01

    The microgravity method has been used to detect two shallow, subsurface abandoned mines in northern New Jersey. Synthetic models simulated the expected gravity anomalies in the two areas. The first site, Lawrence Iron Mine, tested the applicability of microgravity for abandoned-mine detection. Two profile lines were laid out at right angles to the strike of the magnetite deposit in an amphibolite host rock. The broad gravity lows (magnitude 0.04 and 0.07 mGals) on the gravity profiles were modeled to show mine workings about 10 ft square and 5 ft deep that were filled with loose soil. Trenching confirmed the location of the buried mine. At the Schuyler Copper Mine, located in an urban area, data were collected along four parallel profile lines spaced 10 ft apart. An anomalous low (magnitude 0.03 mGals) on the gravity map was modeled and interpreted to be due to an empty vertical shaft. The shaft is more than 60 ft deep, about 12 ft long and 8 to 10 ft wide. It is capped by about 10 ft of unconsolidated material overlying sandstone bedrock. Drilling confirmed the results of the gravity model. The success of the method depended on the depth and size of the mine instrument accuracy, station spacing, station location and elevation control. Minimizing errors due to the instrument drift, station location and station elevation maximized the resolution of the technique.

  8. Siting of prison complex above abandoned underground coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Marino, G.G.

    1998-10-01

    This paper discusses in detail the process undertaken to mitigate the effects of any future mine subsidence on prison structures proposed above old abandoned underground workings. The site for a proposed prison complex purchased by the state of Indiana was located in west-central Indiana and was undermined by an old abandoned room and pillar mine. Based on a study of the mine map and subsurface verification of the extent of mining it was determined that all prison buildings and important structures could be placed above solid coal to the north. However, one masonry building was located within the potential draw zone of mine works that still contained significant mine voids. Based on empirical data the subsidence potential was estimated and the building was designed accordingly to be mine subsidence resistant. It was decided that a phase 2 prison complex should be constructed adjacent to and just south of the phase 1 complex. This complex would be directly above the underground workings. Subsequently, an extensive subsurface investigation program was undertaken to (1) ascertain whether or not mine areas where buildings would be located were already collapsed and thus only nominal, if any, subsidence could occur in the future and (2) verify the presence of solid coal areas within the mine as indicated on the mine map. Based on all the site information gathered subsidence profiles were developed from an empirical database of subsidence events in the Illinois coal basin. As a result of this work many structures on the site required no or nominal subsidence considerations. However, for others that could be affected potentially by future subsidence movement preliminary subsidence resistant designs were completed using the expected level of potential subsidence movement.

  9. APPLICATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL GROUNDWATER TRACERS AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, CALIFORNIA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper reports on boron, chloride, sulfate, δD, δ18O, and 3H concentrations in surface water and groundwater samples from the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, California (SBMM) to examine and provide constraints on the site’s groundwater system. SBMM is an abandoned sulfur and merc...

  10. 30 CFR 920.20 - Approval of Maryland abandoned mine plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Maryland abandoned mine plan. 920.20 Section 920.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE MARYLAND § 920.20 Approval of Maryland abandoned mine...

  11. Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund - a view from the West

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, J.D.

    1985-01-01

    Congress created the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund (AML) in 1977 as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. The AML is funded by a special tax on coal mining. About one-third of AML fees will be paid by coal operators in the western states. The author examines the disbursement of AML funds under the Reagan Administration. He describes how the western state governments expected a generous portion of the AML funds for coal and non-coal reclamation, as well as community impact assistance projects in their states. Finally, the author shows how the Office of Surface Mining has largely frustrated the western expectations through its interpretation of the AML disbursement priorities.

  12. Filling abandoned mines with fluidized bed combustion ash grout

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, D.D.; Reddy, T.P.; Black, D.C.; Ziemkiewicz, P.F.

    1998-10-01

    The hydraulic backfilling of abandoned room and pillar coal mines with ash-based grout holds promise as an environmentally beneficial method of ash disposal, capable of preventing acid mine drainage and subsidence. For this scheme to be economically viable, the grout must be sufficiently flowable so that mines can be filled from a small number of boreholes. This paper describes the development and testing of a water-ash-bentonite grout using ash from a coal and gob burning atmospheric pressure fluidized bed combustor. Bentonite was needed to prevent settling which would limit the ability of the grout to spread. Laboratory techniques were devised to measure the rheological parameters of the grout. A static model was developed to predict the maximum distance of spread due to gravity. A field injection of 765 m{sup 3} of grout into an inactive mine panel showed that the grout flows well enough to make hydraulic backfilling feasible.

  13. Asturian mercury mining district (Spain) and the environment: a review.

    PubMed

    Ordóñez, A; Álvarez, R; Loredo, J

    2013-11-01

    Mercury is of particular concern amongst global environmental pollutants, with abundant contaminated sites worldwide, many of which are associated with mining activities. Asturias (Northwest of Spain) can be considered an Hg metallogenic province with abundant epithermal-type deposits, whose paragenetic sequences include also As-rich minerals. These mines were abandoned long before the introduction of any environmental regulations to control metal release from these sources. Consequently, the environment is globally affected, as high metal concentrations have been found in soils, waters, sediments, plants, and air. In this paper, a characterization of the environmental affection caused by Hg mining in nine Asturian mine sites is presented, with particular emphasis in Hg and As contents. Hg concentrations found in the studied milieu are similar and even higher than those reported in previous studies for other mercury mining districts (mainly Almadén and Idrija). Furthermore, the potential adverse health effects of exposure to these elements in the considered sites in this district have been assessed.

  14. Remediation and rehabilitation of abandoned mining sites in Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helsen, S.; Rommens, T.; De Ridder, A.; Panayiotou, C.; Colpaert, J.

    2009-04-01

    Due to a particular geological setting, Cyprus is rich in ore deposits, many of them subject to extensive mining. Most of the mines have a long history, sometimes dating back to prehistorical times. These abandoned mines cause severe off-site environmental problems and health risks for the local population. Groundwater supplies are affected by the leaching of pollutants, surface water is contaminated because of water erosion, and harmful dust containing heavy metals or asbestos is spread due to wind erosion. In addition to the environmental risks associated with the abandoned mines, many of these sites are aestethically unattractive, and remain an economic burden to stakeholders and the public in general, due to the downgrading of surrounding areas, non-development and hence loss of revenue. These factors are important in Cyprus where tourism is a significant source of income for local communities. An EUREKA-project addresses the issue of abandoned mine clean-up and restoration. The main objectives of this study are : (1) To develop phytostabilization and -remediation techniques to stabilize and clean up sites characterized by high nickel and copper concentrations in the soil, using endemic plants (Alyssum spp. and mycorrhizal Pinus brutia). In some old mines, efforts were already made to stabilize slopes in an attempt to minimize soil erosion and spreading of pollutants. These restoration efforts, however, remained largely unsuccessful because vegetation that was planted could not cope with the harsh hydrogeochemical soil characteristics. Regeneration of the vegetation cover therefore failed ; (2) to demonstrate the risks associated to the environmental hazard of metal polluted mine spoils and outline a method by which to accomplish this type of risk assessment ; (3) to analyse costs and benefits of phytostabilization- and phytoremediation-based solution for the problem. Results of the first experiments are still preliminary and incomplete. However, it is expected

  15. Mercury pollution issues in mining districts (Armenia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saghatelyan, Armen; Sahakyan, Lilit; Belyaeva, Olga; Torosyan, Nver

    2015-04-01

    The issue of mercury (Hg) due to its chemical and geochemical peculiarities and a negative impact it produces on human health has a long history. Existence of international projects devoted to Hg research (AMAP Technical Background Report, 2013) and elaboration on a new convention to combat Hg pollution (http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Home/tabid/3360/Default.aspx) prove that Hg has already become a global concern. Presently, data on Armenia's area pollution with Hg available in international literature sources and reports are scarce and cover pollution sources only. According to published data (AMAP Technical Background Report, 2013), in 2009 summary emission of Hg on the entire territory of the Republic of Armenia made 222,723 kg, considerable shares of which fell on primary copper production (88,057 kg), cement production (57,094 kg), production of gold from large mines (46,728 kg), waste and other losses due to breakage and disposal in landfill (29,995 kg); besides, some quantities originated from amalgams, combustion of different-type fuel and garbage, and so on. One should mind, that these are calculated statistical data, which reflect neither a complete list of Hg pollution sources nor a realistic picture of levels of Hg pollution of different environmental compartments and risks. Local monitoring data on Hg pollution are not sufficient either. This abstract is aimed at revealing of Hg pollution problems in some of Armenia's mining regions through generalization of data on complex investigations implemented at the Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies NAS RA between 2005 and 2011, and is focused on Hg pollution of different environmental compartments: water - atmosphere - soil - farm produce - atmospheric precipitation - human bio-substrates. The obtained data indicate that as a result of ore mining and processing Hg enters onto the surface, travels through air and water migration streams and finally brings to pollution of all environmental compartments

  16. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  17. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  18. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  19. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  20. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  1. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  2. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  3. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  4. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  5. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  6. Mercury Methylation and Environmental Effects of Inactive Mercury Mines in the Circum-Pacific Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, J. E.

    2001-05-01

    Mercury mines worldwide contain of some the highest concentrations of mercury on earth, and as a result of local mercury contamination, these mines represent areas of environmental concern when mine-drainage enters downstream aquatic systems. The most problematic aspect of mine site mercury contamination is the conversion of inorganic mercury to highly toxic organic mercury compounds, such as methylmercury, and their subsequent uptake by aquatic organisms in surrounding ecosystems. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations were measured in sediment and water samples collected from several inactive mercury mines in Nevada, Alaska, and the Philippines, which are part of the circum-Pacific mineral belt. The mines studied represent different mercury deposit types and sizes, and climatic settings. Geochemical data collected from these mines indicate that areas surrounding hot-springs type mercury deposits generally have lower methylmercury concentrations than silica-carbonate mercury deposits. In hot-springs mercury deposits in Nevada and Alaska, ore is dominantly cinnabar with few acid-water generating minerals such as pyrite, and as a result, mine-water drainage has near neutral pH in which there is low solubility of mercury. Conversely, silica-carbonate deposits, such as Palawan, Philippines, contain abundant cinnabar and pyrite, and the resultant acidic-mine drainage generally has higher concentrations of mercury and methylmercury. Additional factors such as the proximity of mercury mines to wetlands, climatic effects, or mine wastes containing highly soluble mercury compounds potentially enhance mercury methylation. The Palawan mercury mine may be a unique example where several adverse environmental factors produced local mercury contamination, high mercury methylation, fish contamination, and mercury poisoning of humans that consumed these contaminated fish.

  7. Abandoned mine shafts and levels in the British coalfields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Christopher S.

    1988-07-01

    Industrial dereliction is a concern to all societies. In the United Kingdom the British government is trying to make its abandoned coalfields more attractive to new industry through a combination of land reclamation and job incentive programs. The most ambitious of these projects occurs in the South Wales Coalfield, which records 200 years of land defilement and the highest unemployment amplitudes in mainland Britain. In returning this area to a semblance of its previous state, problems arise over how best to fill and cap the many derelict pit shafts and abandoned shallow mines that riddle this region. This analysis reports on the methods of treatment used to achieve this end, along with the procedures used to minimize ground subsidence, water pollution, noxious gas emission, and the potential for physical injury. These environmental controls have application to the United States and Western Europe, where pockets of industrial blight are also symptomatic of a troubled local economy.

  8. Effect of atmospheric mercury deposition on selenium accumulation in rice (Oryza sativa L.) at a mercury mining region in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chao; Qiu, Guangle; Anderson, Christopher W N; Zhang, Hua; Meng, Bo; Liang, Liang; Feng, Xinbin

    2015-03-17

    Selenium (Se) is an important trace element for human nutrition and has an interactive effect on mercury (Hg) uptake by plants and Hg toxicity in animals. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the dominant source of dietary Se in China, however the effect of soil Hg contamination on the Se concentration in rice is unknown. We collected 29 whole rice plant samples and corresponding soils from an active artisanal mercury mining area and an abandoned commercial mercury mining area. The soil Se concentration was similar across the two mining areas and greater than the background concentration for China. However, the Se concentration in rice grain was dramatically different (artisanal area 51±3 ng g(-1); abandoned area 235±99 ng g(-1)). The total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentration in ambient air at the artisanal mining site was significantly greater than at the abandoned area (231 and 34 ng m(-3), respectively) and we found a negative correlation between TGM and the Se concentration in grain for the artisanal area. Principal component analysis indicated that the source of Se in rice was the atmosphere for the artisanal area (no contribution from soil), and both the atmosphere and soil for the abandoned area. We propose that TGM falls to soil and reacts with Se, inhibiting the translocation of Se to rice grain. Our data suggest that Se intake by the artisanal mining community is insufficient to meet Se dietary requirements, predisposing this community to greater risk from Hg poisoning.

  9. Fires in abandoned coal mines and waste banks

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, A.G.; Chaiken, R.F.

    1993-01-01

    Fires that occur in abandoned coal mines, waste banks, and in coal outcrops constitute a serious health, safety, and environmental hazard. Toxic fumes, the deterioration of air quality, and subsidence constitute the greatest hazards from these fires. Although fires on abandoned mined land (AML) occur in every coal-producing state, the severity of the problem varies. Methods to extinguish or control AML fires, including excavation, fire barriers, and sealing, are generally expensive and have a relatively low probability of success. This US Bureau of Mines report includes information from a variety of sources, i.e., agencies of the Federal Government, State agencies, research reports, conference proceedings, product information, and technical literature. This information has been collated into a comprehensive discussion of AML fire problems. Data on past fire control projects and on the estimated extent of the current problem have been compiled. Factors affecting the occurrence, propagation, and extinguishment of AML fires are discussed. Conventional fire control methods are described, and their probable effectiveness is evaluated. Information on the hazards of AML fires and safety considerations is included. The status of current technology, recent improvements in fire control methods, and areas of current research are discussed.

  10. U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ABANDONED MINE LAND REMEDIATION WORKSHOP

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mining activities in the US (not counting coal) produce 1-2 billion tons of mine waste annually. Since many of the ore mines involve sulfide minerals, the production of acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common problem from these abandoned mine sites. The combination of acidity, heavy...

  11. LAND REBORN: TOOLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY/NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ABANDONED MINE LAND PROGRAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mining activities in the US (not counting coal) produce 1-2 billion tons of mine waste annually. Since many of the ore mines involve sulfide minerals, the production of acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common problem from these abandoned mine sites. The combination of acidity, heavy...

  12. Mercury pollution in Wuchuan mercury mining area, Guizhou, Southwestern China: the impacts from large scale and artisanal mercury mining.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Shang, Lihai; Wang, Shaofeng

    2012-07-01

    To evaluate the environmental impacts from large scale mercury mining (LSMM) and artisanal mercury mining (AMM), total mercury (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were determined in mine waste, ambient air, stream water and soil samples collected from Wuchuan mercury (Hg) mining area, Guizhou, Southwestern China. Mine wastes from both LSMM and AMM contained high THg concentrations, which are important Hg contamination sources to the local environment. Total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations in the ambient air near AMM furnaces were highly elevated, which indicated that AMM retorting is a major source of Hg emission. THg concentrations in the stream water varied from 43 to 2100 ng/L, where the elevated values were mainly found in the vicinity of AMM and mine waste heaps of LSMM. Surface soils were seriously contaminated with Hg, and land using types and organic matter played an important role in accumulation and transportation of Hg in soil. The results indicated heavy Hg contaminations in the study area, which were resulted from both LSMM and AMM. The areas impacted by LSMM were concentrated in the historical mining and smelting facilities, while Hg pollution resulted from AMM can be distributed anywhere in the Hg mining area.

  13. Mercury mine drainage and processes that control its environmental impact

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rytuba, J.J.

    2000-01-01

    Mine drainage from mercury mines in the California Coast Range mercury mineral belt is an environmental concern because of its acidity and high sulfate, mercury, and methylmercury concentrations. Two types of mercury deposits are present in the mineral belt, silica-carbonate and hot-spring type. Mine drainage is associated with both deposit types but more commonly with the silica-carbonate type because of the extensive underground workings present at these mines. Mercury ores consisting primarily of cinnabar were processed in rotary furnaces and retorts and elemental mercury recovered from condensing systems. During the roasting process mercury phases more soluble than cinnabar are formed and concentrated in the mine tailings, commonly termed calcines. Differences in mineralogy and trace metal geochemistry between the two deposit types are reflected in mine drainage composition. Silica-carbonate type deposits have higher iron sulfide content than hot- spring type deposits and mine drainage from these deposits may have extreme acidity and very high concentrations of iron and sulfate. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations in mine drainage are relatively low at the point of discharge from mine workings. The concentration of both mercury species increases significantly in mine drainage that flows through and reacts with calcines. The soluble mercury phases in the calcines are dissolved and sulfate is added such that methylation of mercury by sulfate reducing bacteria is enhanced in calcines that are saturated with mine drainage. Where mercury mine drainage enters and first mixes with stream water, the addition of high concentrations of mercury and sulfate generates a favorable environment for methylation of mercury. Mixing of oxygenated stream water with mine drainage causes oxidation of dissolved iron(II) and precipitation of iron oxyhydroxide that accumulates in the streambed. Both mercury and methylmercury are strongly adsorbed onto iron oxyhydroxide over the p

  14. ASSESSING AND MANAGING MERCURY FROM HISTORIC AND CURRENT MINING ACTIVITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mining activities in the US (not counting coal) produce between one and two billion tons of mine waste annually. Since many of the ore mines involve sulfide minerals, the production of acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common problem from these abandoned mine sites. The combination o...

  15. Encouraging re-mining and reclamation of abandoned mined lands in Appalachia: Policy options

    SciTech Connect

    Santopietro, G.D.; Zipper, C.E.

    1996-01-01

    Abandoned mined lands (AML) are areas that were mined prior to implementation of federal controls over coal-mined land reclamation and were inadequately reclaimed. The majority of the US`s AML acreages were produced by coal mining in the Appalachian areas. Environmental problems include lands in barren or semi-barren condition, excessive sedimentation, acid water discharges, and unstable slopes. This article address the potential to reclame AMLs in the Appalachian region by creating incentives for environmental enhancement through re-mining. Background information of AML and on current policies affecting re-mining are reviewed and the results of a survey of individuals who are knowledgeable in remining policy issues are reported. 7 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  16. BOUNDS ON SUBSURFACE MERCURY FLUX FROM THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) in Lake County, California has been identified as a significant source of mercury to Clear Lake. The mine was operated from the 1860s through the 1950's. Mining started with surface operations, progressed to shaft mining, and later to open p...

  17. 30 CFR 935.25 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land... STATE OHIO § 935.25 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a..., 1986 August 17, 1987 Ohio AMLR Plan 3.7.4, 3.9.1; RAMP Committee role; AMLR program staff...

  18. 30 CFR 935.25 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land... STATE OHIO § 935.25 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a..., 1986 August 17, 1987 Ohio AMLR Plan 3.7.4, 3.9.1; RAMP Committee role; AMLR program staff...

  19. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  20. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  1. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  2. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  3. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  4. 30 CFR 918.20 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land... Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on February 3, 1986, effective December 10, 1986. Copies of the approved plan are available at: (a) Louisiana Department of Natural...

  5. 30 CFR 756.19 - Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine... PROGRAMS § 756.19 Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Crow Tribe's.... Copies of the approved Plan are available at the following locations: (a) Crow Tribal Council,...

  6. Virginia big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) roosting in abandoned coal mines in West Virginia

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, J.B.; Edwards, J.W.; Wood, P.B.

    2005-07-01

    We surveyed bats at 36 abandoned coal mines during summer 2002 and 47 mines during fall 2002 at New River Gorge National River and Gauley River National Recreation Area, WV. During summer, we captured three federally endangered Virginia big-eared bats at two mine entrances, and 25 were captured at 12 mine entrances during fall. These represent the first documented captures of this species at coal mines in West Virginia. Future survey efforts conducted throughout the range of the Virginia big-eared bat should include abandoned coal mines.

  7. Rehabilitation prioritization of abandoned mines and its application to Nyala Magnesite Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mhlongo, Sphiwe Emmanuel; Amponsah-Dacosta, Francis; Mphephu, Nndweleni Fredrick

    2013-12-01

    The issue of abandoned mine sites is a major environmental and social problem for the mining industry, communities and governments. Historical mine sites are characterized by significant environmental, health and safety problems. The aim of this study was to develop hazard maps that can assist in the prioritization of rehabilitation at Nyala Mine. The approach used involved site examination and characterization to establish the environmental conditions of the mine. Hazards at the mine were identified, scored, and rated using modified Historic Mine Site Scoring System. The scoring focused on source and exposure pathways. The developed hazard maps showed that the best approach of effectively reducing the physical and environmental hazards at Nyala Mine was to give priority to extremely and moderately hazardous pits; surface infrastructure and spoil dumps, and then to tailings dumps characterized with less physical hazards but extremely high environmental hazards. Pits and spoil materials which were found to be relatively less problematic in terms of physical hazards were to receive least attention. The use of this hazard-scoring and risk-ranking methodology coupled with the hazard maps would provide a more robust scientific basis for making sound decisions and prioritize actions that need to be taken to minimize or manage risks associated with various areas of the mine site.

  8. Mercury content in electrum from artisanal mining site of Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murao, Satoshi; Naito, Kazuki; Dejidmaa, Gunchin; Sie, Soey H.

    2006-08-01

    In Mongolia, artisanal gold mining, modern gold rush, in which people use mercury to extract gold, is being proliferated rapidly and the mercury contamination of mining site is becoming a serious social issue. For the risk assessment of mercury, it is necessary to understand how much mercury is introduced to the environment from what kind of materials during mining activity. It is already known that major contribution of the contamination comes from mercury that was bought at shops and brought to mining sites by miners. However, no information is available on how much mercury is removed from electrum (natural gold grain) to the environment. Since gold deposit is always accompanied by mercury anomaly, it is anticipated that electrum grains contain some amount of mercury of natural origin, and this mercury (primary mercury) contributes to some extent to the contamination. In order to clarify how much mercury is incorporated in electrum grains, micro-PIXE at CSIRO was used for grain-by-grain analysis. The result showed that electrum from study area contains mercury up to 8260 ppm. It is concluded that for the risk management of mercury contamination, release of natural mercury from electrum grains during smelting must not be ignored.

  9. Mercury and trace element contents of Donbas coals and associated mine water in the vicinity of Donetsk, Ukraine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolker, A.; Panov, B.S.; Panov, Y.B.; Landa, E.R.; Conko, K.M.; Korchemagin, V.A.; Shendrik, T.; McCord, J.D.

    2009-01-01

    Mercury-rich coals in the Donets Basin (Donbas region) of Ukraine were sampled in active underground mines to assess the levels of potentially harmful elements and the potential for dispersion of metals through use of this coal. For 29 samples representing c11 to m3 Carboniferous coals, mercury contents range from 0.02 to 3.5 ppm (whole-coal dry basis). Mercury is well correlated with pyritic sulfur (0.01 to 3.2 wt.%), with an r2 of 0.614 (one outlier excluded). Sulfides in these samples show enrichment of minor constituents in late-stage pyrite formed as a result of interaction of coal with hydrothermal fluids. Mine water sampled at depth and at surface collection points does not show enrichment of trace metals at harmful levels, indicating pyrite stability at subsurface conditions. Four samples of coal exposed in the defunct open-cast Nikitovka mercury mines in Gorlovka have extreme mercury contents of 12.8 to 25.5 ppm. This coal was formerly produced as a byproduct of extracting sandstone-hosted cinnabar ore. Access to these workings is unrestricted and small amounts of extreme mercury-rich coal are collected for domestic use, posing a limited human health hazard. More widespread hazards are posed by the abandoned Nikitovka mercury processing plant, the extensive mercury mine tailings, and mercury enrichment of soils extending into residential areas of Gorlovka.

  10. Constraining Modern and Historic Mercury Emissions From Gold Mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strode, S. A.; Jaeglé, L.; Selin, N. E.; Sunderland, E.

    2007-12-01

    Mercury emissions from both historic gold and silver mining and modern small-scale gold mining are highly uncertain. Historic mercury emissions can affect the modern atmosphere through reemission from land and ocean, and quantifying mercury emissions from historic gold and silver mining can help constrain modern mining sources. While estimates of mercury emissions during historic gold rushes exceed modern anthropogenic mercury emissions in North America, sediment records in many regions do not show a strong gold rush signal. We use the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to determine the spatial footprint of mercury emissions from mining and compare model runs from gold rush periods to sediment and ice core records of historic mercury deposition. Based on records of gold and silver production, we include mercury emissions from North and South American mining of 1900 Mg/year in 1880, compared to modern global anthropogenic emissions of 3400 Mg/year. Including this large mining source in GEOS-Chem leads to an overestimate of the modeled 1880 to preindustrial enhancement ratio compared to the sediment core record. We conduct sensitivity studies to constrain the level of mercury emissions from modern and historic mining that is consistent with the deposition records for different regions.

  11. Mercury Contamination from Historic Gold Mining in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alpers, Charles N.; Hunerlach, Michael P.

    2000-01-01

    Mercury contamination from historic gold mines represents a potential risk to human health and the environment. This fact sheet provides background information on the use of mercury in historic gold mining and processing operations in California, and describes a new USGS project that addresses the potential risks associated with mercury from these sources, with emphasis on historic hydraulic mining areas. Miners used mercury (quicksilver) to recover gold throughout the western United States at both placer (alluvial) and hardrock (lode) mines. The vast majority of mercury lost to the environment in California was from placer-goldmines, which used hydraulic, drift, and dredging methods. At hydraulic mines, placer ores were broken down with monitors (or water cannons, fig. 1) and the resulting slurry was directed throughsluices and drainage tunnels, where goldparticles combined with liquid mercury to form gold?mercury amalgam. Loss ofmercury in this process was 10 to 30 percent per season (Bowie, 1905), resulting in highly contaminated sediments at mine sites (fig. 2). Elevated mercury concentrations in present-day mine waters and sediments indicate thathundreds to thousands of pounds of mercury remain at each of the many sites affected by hydraulic mining. High mercury levels in fish, amphibians, and invertebrates downstream of the hydraulic mines are a consequence of historic mercury use. On the basis of USGS studies and other recent work, a better understanding is emerging of mercury distribution, ongoing transport, transformation processes, and the extent of biological uptake in areas affected by historic gold mining. This information will be useful to agencies responsible for prudent land and resource management and for protecting public health.

  12. 30 CFR 920.25 - Approval of Maryland abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Maryland abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 920.25 Section 920.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE MARYLAND § 920.25 Approval...

  13. 30 CFR 918.25 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 918.25 Section 918.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE LOUISIANA § 918.25 Approval...

  14. 30 CFR 917.20 - Approval of the Kentucky abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of the Kentucky abandoned mine reclamation plan. 917.20 Section 917.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE KENTUCKY § 917.20 Approval of the...

  15. 30 CFR 917.21 - Approval of Kentucky abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Kentucky abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 917.21 Section 917.21 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE KENTUCKY § 917.21 Approval...

  16. 30 CFR 918.20 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan. 918.20 Section 918.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE LOUISIANA § 918.20 Approval of...

  17. Fugitive Mercury Emissions From Nevada Gold Mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M. B.; Eckley, C. S.; Gustin, M.; Marsik, F.

    2008-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) can be released from point sources at gold mines (e.g. stacks associated with ore processing facilities) as well as from diffuse fugitive sources (e.g. waste rock dumps, heap leaches, etc). Fugitive Hg emissions have not been quantified for active gold mines and as such a large knowledge gap exists concerning the magnitude of total emissions from this source type. This study measured fugitive Hg emissions from two active gold mines in Northern Nevada. To contextualize the magnitude of the mine emissions with respect to those associated with natural surfaces, data were collected from undisturbed areas near the mines that are of similar geologic character. The initial results from this project have shown that there is a large range in surface Hg concentrations and associated emissions to the atmosphere from different surface types within a mine as well as between the two mines. At both mines, the lowest surface Hg concentrations and emissions were associated with the alluvium/overburden waste rock dumps. Surface Hg concentrations and emissions at nearby undisturbed sites were of similar magnitude. Surface concentrations and emissions were substantially higher from active heap leaches. In addition to the difference in fluxes for specific materials, measured emissions must be put within the context of material spatial extent and temporal variability. Here we compare Hg emission contributions from mining and undisturbed materials as a function of space and time (diel and seasonal), and illustrate the need for collection of these types of data in order to reduce uncertainties in understanding air-surface Hg exchange.

  18. Restoration of contaminated soils in abandoned mine areas (Tuscany, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad

    2016-04-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation have been nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, and have left on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including surface and groundwater, soils, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The main processes occurring at these sites are: rock disgregation, fragments migration, dust dispersion, oxidation (Eh>250mV), acidification (pH<7), hydrolisis and metal leaching, precipitation of oxides and sulphates. The restoration of these sites, therefore, is a primary objective, in order to reduce/eliminate the risk associated to the contamination sources of past activities, and the consequent environmental and human health hazard. The increasing environmental consciousness of general population compelled Public Administrators to set down effective legislation acts on this subject (e.g. D.L. 152/2006), and more generally on environmental contamination. In this work we present the results of a survey carried out at several mixed sulphides mine sites in Tuscany, exploited for at least a millennium, and closed in the last century. Biogeochemical analyses carried out on representative soil profiles (Spolic Technosols) and vegetation in the proximal and distal areas of ore exploitation show heavy metal concentrations (Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Zn) overcoming legislation limits on average. Ni, Cr and Mn concentrations, instead, are generally below the reference levels. The results obtained suggest that the abandoned mine sites represent actual natural laboratories where to experiment new opportunities for restoration of anthropogenically contaminated areas, and to study new pedogenetic trends from these peculiar parent materials. Moreover, plants growing on these substrates are genetically adapted to metal-enriched soils, and therefore may be utilized in phytoremediation of contaminated sites. Furthermore, the institution of natural parks in these areas could

  19. Land contamination and soil evolution in abandoned mine areas (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad; Spiandorello, Massimo

    2014-05-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation are nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, leaving on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including landscape, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The increasing environmental consciousness of general population compelled Public Administrators to set down effective legislation acts on this subject (e.g. D.L. 152/2006), and more generally on environmental contamination. In this work we present the results of a survey carried out at several mixed sulphides mine sites in Italy, exploited for at least a millennium, and closed in the '60s of the last century. Biogeochemical analyses carried out on 50 soil profiles (mostly Entisols and Inceptisols) and vegetation in the proximal and distal areas of ore exploitation show metal concentrations overcoming legislation limits on average (Cu up to 3160 mg kg-1 , Pb up to 23600 mg kg-1, Zn up to 1588 mg kg-1, Fe up to 52,30 %). Ni, Cr and Mn concentrations, instead, are generally below the reference levels. Metal concentrations in native vegetation of the examined areas are moderately to highly elevated. Significant amounts of Cu, Pb, Zn in roots of Plantago major and Silene dioica, in leaves of Taraxacum officinale, and Salix spp, have been recorded. Essential elements, in particular, present Translocation Coefficients (TC) >1, with Mn>Zn>Cu>Fe. Toxic elements (Cd, Cr, Pb), instead, present TC<1, suggesting a synergic/antagonist effect to occur among metals and plants, according to their role in mineral nutrition. The results obtained suggest the abandoned mine sites to represent actual natural aboratories where to experiment new opportunities for restoration of anthropogenically contaminated areas, and to study new pedogenetic trends from these peculiar parent materials. Moreover, the examined plants are genetically adapted to naturally metal-enriched soils, and therefore may be utilized in

  20. Geochemistry of selected mercury mine-tailings in the Parkfield Mercury District, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rytuba, James J.; Kotlyar, Boris B.; Wilkerson, Gregg; Olson, Jerry

    2001-01-01

    The Parkfield mercury district is located in the southern part of the California Coast Range mercury mineral belt and contains three silica-carbonate-type mercury deposits that have had significant mercury production. Mercury was first produced in the district in 1873, but the main period of production occurred from 1915-1922. Total production from the district is about 5,000 flasks of mercury (a flask equals 76 pounds of mercury) with most production coming from the Patriquin mine (1,875 flasks), and somewhat less from the King (1,600 flasks) and Dawson (1,470 flasks) mines. Several other small prospects and mines occur in the district but only minor production has come from them. In 1969, Phelan Sulphur Company carried out mineral exploration at the King mine and announced the discovery of 55,000 tons of mercury ore with an average grade of 5.2 pounds per ton. The King mine is located on federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Several other parcels of federal land are present adjacent to other mines and prospects in the Parkfield district. An environmental assessment of mine sites on and adjacent to federal land was carried out to determine the amount of mercury and other trace metals present in mine wastes and in sediments from streams impacted by past mining.

  1. Investigation of subsidence damages above abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Po-Ming.

    1988-01-01

    Abandoned mine lands (AML) subsidence is one of the most hazardous problems for personal property and community development. In order to improve the technique for subsidence diagnosis and the effectiveness of remedial measures, several methods and techniques have been developed in this research. A subsidence site investigation checklist is developed to guide the investigators with or without hands-on experience to collect a complete and necessary information for subsidence analysis during site investigation. A subsidence cause identification system is developed to streamline the process of analysis and for subsidence cause differentiation and identification over AML. A damage severity system is developed to evaluate the intensity of the damage to structures. A subsidence deduction model is developed based on the probability function integration method to reconstruct subsidence profile and subsurface failure zone for AML subsidence. The study is based on the case studies which include site investigation, surface subsidence survey, subsurface instrumentation, damage severity evaluation, subsidence deduction and statistical analysis. The results show that geologic conditions such as seam depth, seam height, ratios of strong and weak rocks do affect the subsidence damage area, subsidence factor, and damage severity. The relationship between above parameters can be expressed by a second order polynomial with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.7 to 0.9.

  2. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ...: Introduction Section 101—Findings Section 102—Purposes Section 201—Duties of Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands... September 3, 1996, are approved effective April 15, 1997. Section II, E, 1, Project selection, Sections...

  3. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund Report Section 413—Miscellaneous Powers, and Section 414—Interagency Cooperation Navajo Nation Rules II(D) (1) and (2)—Reclamation Priorities II(L) (1) and (2)—General...

  4. Mercury-contaminated hydraulic mining debris in San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bouse, Robin M.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Luoma, Samuel N.; Hornberger, Michelle I.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Smith, Richard E.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury concentrations in pre-Gold Rush sediment range between 0.03 and 0.08 μg g-1. In core sediments that have characteristics of the gold deposits and were deposited during the time of hydraulic mining, mercury concentrations can be up to 0.45 μg/g. Modern sediment (post-1952 deposition) contains mercury concentrations up to 0.79 μg/g and is likely a mix of hydraulic mining mercury and mercury introduced from other sources.

  5. MERCURY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ENVIRONMENT FROM HISTORIC MINING PRACTICES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Significant quantities of mercury have been released to the environment as a result of historic precious metal mining. Many gold and silver deposits are enriched in mercury, which is released during mining and processing activities. Historically in the U.S., although a modern ...

  6. Mercury contamination from historical gold mining in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alpers, Charles N.; Hunerlach, Michael P.; May, Jason T.; Hothem, Roger L.

    2005-01-01

    Mercury contamination from historical gold mines represents a potential risk to human health and the environment. This fact sheet provides background information on the use of mercury in historical gold mining and processing operations in California, with emphasis on historical hydraulic mining areas. It also describes results of recent USGS projects that address the potential risks associated with mercury contamination. Miners used mercury (quicksilver) to recover gold throughout the western United States. Gold deposits were either hardrock (lode, gold-quartz veins) or placer (alluvial, unconsolidated gravels). Underground methods (adits and shafts) were used to mine hardrock gold deposits. Hydraulic, drift, or dredging methods were used to mine the placer gold deposits. Mercury was used to enhance gold recovery in all the various types of mining operations; historical records indicate that more mercury was used and lost at hydraulic mines than at other types of mines. On the basis of USGS studies and other recent work, a better understanding is emerging of mercury distribution, ongoing transport, transformation processes, and the extent of biological uptake in areas affected by historical gold mining. This information has been used extensively by federal, state, and local agencies responsible for resource management and public health in California.

  7. SEASONAL VARIATIONS OF DISSOLVED MERCURY CONCENTRATIONS AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, CLEAR LAKE, CALIFORNIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR MINE DRAINAGE MONITORING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine in Lake County, California (SBMM) was operated from the 1860s through the 1950s. Mining for sulfur started with surface operations and then progressed to shaft and later open pit techniques to obtain mercury. SBMM is located adjacent to the shore o...

  8. RECENT GEOCHEMICAL SAMPLING AND MERCURY SOURCES AT SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM), located on the shore of Clear Lake in Lake County, California, has been identified as a significant source of mercury to the lake. Sulphur Bank was actively minded from the 1880's to the 1950's. Mining and processing operations at the Sulph...

  9. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  10. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  11. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  12. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  13. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  14. 30 CFR 918.25 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 918.25 Section 918.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... publication Citation/description February 3, 1986 November 10, 1986 Approval of AMLR program. June 12,...

  15. 30 CFR 906.25 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 906.25 Section 906.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... publication Citation/description April 29, 1985 January 9, 1986 Reclamation of noncoal sites. October 29,...

  16. 30 CFR 935.25 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 935.25 Section 935.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND..., 1986 August 17, 1987 Ohio AMLR Plan 3.7.4, 3.9.1; RAMP Committee role; AMLR program staff...

  17. Field trial for sealing abandoned mine shafts and adits with lightweight concrete. Report of investigations/1994

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, E.H.; Beckett, L.A.

    1993-10-01

    An abandoned mine shaft near Omar, in Logan County, WV, was permanently sealed through a cooperative agreement between the West Virginia Department of Commerce, Labor, and Environmental Research, Division of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Bureau of Mines, Abandoned Mine Lands (AML). An engineered shaft seal design was developed and demonstrated that featured lightweight concrete as a key material component at a wet density of about 45 lb/cu ft. A reinforced concrete cap designed for 5 psi live load was placed over the shaft seal.

  18. Environmental risks of abandoning a mining project already started: Romaltyn Mining Baia Mare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bud, I.; Duma, S.; Gusat, D.; Pasca, I.; Bud, A.

    2016-08-01

    The history of mining activity, which has been the economy engine in the region and has contributed to the formation of many localities, has been deleted too quickly. During all this time, in the world countries which have invested in mining sector have made considerable progress. The paper brings in question, within the framework of the theme, the implications arising from the abandonment of the Romaltyn project which mainly affects two objectives: Central Tailing Pond and Aurul Tailing Pond. The Central tailing pond constitutes an unfortunate source of pollution for groundwater, surface water, soil and air on a large area around it, because its location upstream of Baia Mare city and in the vicinity of a agricultural production zone. The consequences of the tailing pond maintenance in the current situation are: presence of sclerozing dust with sulphurs content scattered over large agricultural area; soil pollution by acidification; heavy metals release which enter in food chain and will be found in food. The final disposal of the pollution source is the only solution really safe in long term. Abandoning Aurul tailing pond in the current phase of construction involves high environmental risks. Taking in consideration the potential and the huge soil volume which are necessary for rehabilitation, isolation and rehabilitation of this area involve extremely high costs and the realization is, technically, almost impossible in the current context.

  19. Legacy soil contamination at abandoned mine sites: making a case for guidance on soil protection.

    PubMed

    Kostarelos, Konstantinos; Gavriel, Ifigenia; Stylianou, Marinos; Zissimos, Andreas M; Morisseau, Eleni; Dermatas, Dimitris

    2015-03-01

    Within the European Union, guidance in the form of a uniform Soil Directive does not exist and member states are left to enact their own legislation governing historic soil contamination. Several historic or "legacy" sites exist in Cyprus - an EU member state with a long history of mining and a significant number of abandoned mining sites. The gold-silver enrichment plant of Mitsero village was abandoned 70 years ago, yet soil samples inside and outside the plant were extremely low in pH, exhibited high leachability of heavy metals and high cyanide levels. Water samples collected from an ephemeral stream located down-gradient of the site contained high levels of heavy metals. Two abandoned open-pit mines (Kokkinopezoula and Mathiatis) were investigated, where elevated metal content in soil samples from the surrounding streams and spoil heaps, and extremely low pH and high metal content in water samples from the mine crater were measured.

  20. 77 FR 5740 - Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-06

    ... 1992: This bill revised the AML program in areas of coal remining, and abandoned coal refuse sites, as... Disposal; Reclamation on Private Land; Rights of Entry; Public Participation Policies; Organization... include landslide hazards, highwalls, flooding, erosion, sedimentation, acid drainage, coal...

  1. Reclamation planning for abandoned mining subsidence lands in eastern China --- A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Zhenqi Hu; Hehe Gu

    1995-09-01

    China has a long history of coal mining and more than 96% of coal output is taken from underground mines each year. With the excavation of coal from underground, severe subsidence often results, which produces many subsidence lands. Since the Chinese government enacted a reclamation stipulation in 1989, many abandoned mining subsidence lands were produced before 1989. Therefore, reclamation of abandoned subsidence lands has become the focus of research activities in our country. This paper explores the principle and methods of reclamation planning for abandoned mining subsidence lands and presents a case study in eastern China. A 373 ha of abandoned mining subsidence land in Anhui province was selected as an experiment site. Since China is a developing country and land shortage is severe in this area, the high economic benefits from the reclaimed land was the final reclamation goal. Based on the topography of subsidence lands --- some parts of the abandoned lands were wetland or lake-like troughs, restoring farmlands and fishponds were chosen as post-reclamation land uses. The elevation of reclaimed lands was the key for restoring farmland successfully because of the high underground water level in this area, and the optimum fishpond size and side-slope design were the keys to reach high reclamation income. The HDP (Hydraulic Dredge Pump) reclamation technique was used for restoring farmland and creating fishpond. A farming and aquaculture plan for high economic benefits was also designed. This project will make farmers, who own the lands, richer through reclamation.

  2. Prioritizing abandoned coal mine reclamation projects within the contiguous United States using geographic information system extrapolation.

    PubMed

    Gorokhovich, Yuri; Reid, Matthew; Mignone, Erica; Voros, Andrew

    2003-10-01

    Coal mine reclamation projects are very expensive and require coordination of local and federal agencies to identify resources for the most economic way of reclaiming mined land. Location of resources for mine reclamation is a spatial problem. This article presents a methodology that allows the combination of spatial data on resources for the coal mine reclamation and uses GIS analysis to develop a priority list of potential mine reclamation sites within contiguous United States using the method of extrapolation. The extrapolation method in this study was based on the Bark Camp reclamation project. The mine reclamation project at Bark Camp, Pennsylvania, USA, provided an example of the beneficial use of fly ash and dredged material to reclaim 402,600 sq mi of a mine abandoned in the 1980s. Railroads provided transportation of dredged material and fly ash to the site. Therefore, four spatial elements contributed to the reclamation project at Bark Camp: dredged material, abandoned mines, fly ash sources, and railroads. Using spatial distribution of these data in the contiguous United States, it was possible to utilize GIS analysis to prioritize areas where reclamation projects similar to Bark Camp are feasible. GIS analysis identified unique occurrences of all four spatial elements used in the Bark Camp case for each 1 km of the United States territory within 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 km radii from abandoned mines. The results showed the number of abandoned mines for each state and identified their locations. The federal or state governments can use these results in mine reclamation planning.

  3. Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Without Mercury

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Mercury-free techniques are safer for miners, their families and local communities. They can also help miners qualify for certification under fair-mined standards, potentially allowing them to market their gold at higher prices.

  4. Bat-compatible closures of abandoned underground mines in national park system units

    SciTech Connect

    Burghardt, J.E.

    1997-12-31

    Because bat habitat is threatened by increased urban development, deforestation, and exploitation of caves, abandoned mines have become critical to the survival of numerous bat species. To date, the National Park Service has placed 71 bat-compatible closures in 11 parks. Habitat surveys for bats and other species are an integral part of the abandoned mine inventory process. When surveys outside mines slated for closure reveal potential habitat, qualified wildlife biologists accompanied by experienced abandoned mine safety personnel conduct internal surveys. Several internal surveys are often useful to determine various species using a mine for different purposes through the seasons of the year. Once the determination is made that a mine slated for closure merits habitat preservation, gates are designed to suit the specific needs of resident species. Construction takes place in a season when the mine is uninhabited, or at a time and in a manner that will cause the least disturbance. The National Park Service and Bat Conservation International recently developed an interpretive warning sign which attempts to prevent vandalism of bat gates by educating the public on the potential hazards inside the mine, the value of bats in ecosystems, and the importance of bat conservation efforts. These signs are available through Bat Conservation International.

  5. Developing Isotope Tools for Identifying Mercury Mining Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koster van Groos, P. G.; Esser, B. K.; Williams, R. W.; Hunt, J. R.

    2009-12-01

    Mining operations in California during the past two centuries have resulted in widespread mercury contamination. Source control strategies are difficult and expensive to implement, in part because links between specific mercury sources and exposures are often uncertain. Examination of mercury’s stable isotopes can help resolve this issue. Sources with distinct isotope compositions may be traced through the environment. Mercury mining operations are predicted to have led to waste tailings, mercury metal products, and air emissions with different isotope compositions as a result of inefficient mercury extraction and recovery from ores. The predicted differences in isotope composition, based on estimated kinetic and diffusion isotope effects, are greater than the precision of current analytical methods using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometers (MC-ICP-MS). As such, mercury isotope measurements may help identify mercury originating from different mining operations. To support a mechanistic approach to mercury isotope fractionation, the isotope effects of diffusion through solids and gases are being investigated experimentally. Besides demonstrating the utility of mercury isotope analysis for source identification, this work is providing a mechanistic basis for differences in isotope compositions.

  6. Fires in abandoned coal mines and waste banks. Information circular/1993

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, A.G.; Chaiken, R.F.

    1993-01-01

    Fires that occur in abandoned coal mines, waste banks and in coal outcrops constitute a serious health, safety and environmental hazard. Toxic fumes, the deterioration of air quality, and subsidence constitute the greatest hazards from these fires. Although fires on abandoned mined land (AML) occur in every coal producing state, the severity of the problem varies. Methods to extinguish or control AML fires, including excavation, fire barriers and sealing, are generally expensive and have a relatively low probability of success. The report includes information from a variety of sources. Factors affecting the occurrence, propagation and extinguishment of AML fires are discussed. Conventional fire control methods are described, and their probable effectiveness is evaluated.

  7. New perspectives on a 140-year legacy of mining and abandoned mine cleanup in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yager, Douglas B.; Fey, David L.; Chapin, Thomas; Johnson, Raymond H.

    2016-01-01

    The Gold King mine water release that occurred on 5 August 2015 near the historical mining community of Silverton, Colorado, highlights the environmental legacy that abandoned mines have on the environment. During reclamation efforts, a breach of collapsed workings at the Gold King mine sent 3 million gallons of acidic and metal-rich mine water into the upper Animas River, a tributary to the Colorado River basin. The Gold King mine is located in the scenic, western San Juan Mountains, a region renowned for its volcano-tectonic and gold-silver-base metal mineralization history. Prior to mining, acidic drainage from hydrothermally altered areas was a major source of metals and acidity to streams, and it continues to be so. In addition to abandoned hard rock metal mines, uranium mine waste poses a long-term storage and immobilization challenge in this area. Uranium resources are mined in the Colorado Plateau, which borders the San Juan Mountains on the west. Uranium processing and repository sites along the Animas River near Durango, Colorado, are a prime example of how the legacy of mining must be managed for the health and well-being of future generations. The San Juan Mountains are part of a geoenvironmental nexus where geology, mining, agriculture, recreation, and community issues converge. This trip will explore the geology, mining, and mine cleanup history in which a community-driven, watershed-based stakeholder process is an integral part. Research tools and historical data useful for understanding complex watersheds impacted by natural sources of metals and acidity overprinted by mining will also be discussed.

  8. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg, P.E., P.P.

    1999-10-01

    This report represents the fourth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. During this reporting period the Engineering Design for remediation of the surface safety hazards associated with the White Meadow Mine was completed. Construction Plans and Technical Specifications were completed and competitive bids were solicited by the Township for completion of the work. The electrical resistivity survey analysis and report was completed for the Green Pond Mines site at the Township Compost Storage Facility. The geophysical survey results confirmed evidence of abandoned mining activity at the Green Pond Mine site which was previously identified. During this reporting period, the time frame of the Cooperative Agreement between the Township and the Department of Energy was extended. An additional site of subsidence with in the Township related to abandoned mining

  9. Mercury hazards from gold mining to humans, plants, and animals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eisler, R.

    2004-01-01

    Mercury contamination of the environment from historical and ongoing mining practices that rely on mercury amalgamation for gold extraction is widespread. Contamination was particularly severe in the immediate vicinity of gold extraction and refining operations; however, mercury--especially in the form of water-soluble methylmercury--may be transported to pristine areas by rainwater, water currents, deforestation, volatilization, and other vectors. Examples of gold mining-associated mercury pollution are shown for Canada, the United States, Africa, China, the Philippines, Siberia, and South America. In parts of Brazil, for example, mercury concentrations in all abiotic materials, plants, and animals--including endangered species of mammals and reptiles--collected near ongoing mercury-amalgamation gold mining sites were far in excess of allowable mercury levels promulgated by regulatory agencies for the protection of human health and natural resources. Although health authorities in Brazil are unable to detect conclusive evidence of human mercury intoxication, the potential exists in the absence of mitigation for epidemic mercury poisoning of the mining population and environs. In the United States, environmental mercury contamination is mostly from historical gold mining practices, and portions of Nevada remain sufficiently mercury-contaminated to pose a hazard to reproduction of carnivorous fishes and fish-eating birds. Concentrations of total mercury lethal to sensitive representative natural resources range from 0.1 to 2.0 ug/L of medium for aquatic organisms; from 2200 to 31,000 ug/kg body weight (acute oral) and 4000 to 40,000 ug/kg (dietary) for birds; and from 100 to 500 ug/kg body weight (daily dose) and 1000 to 5000 ug/kg diet for mammals. Significant adverse sublethal effects were observed among selected aquatic species at water concentrations of 0.03 to 0.1 ug Hg/L. For some birds, adverse effects--mainly on reproduction--have been associated with total

  10. 30 CFR 756.20 - Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's... RECLAMATION PROGRAMS § 756.20 Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan. Revisions to the following provisions of the Crow Tribe's Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan, as...

  11. Ground- and surface-water interactions involving an abandoned underground coal mine in Pike County, Indiana

    SciTech Connect

    Harper, D.; Olyphant, G.A.; Sjogren, D.R.

    1996-12-31

    Several highwall pits of an abandoned surface mine in the Springfield Coal Member (Pennsylvanian) are currently occupied by ponds with a total area of approximately 2.3 x 10{sup 4} m{sup 2}. These ponds are adjacent to an abandoned underground mine (Patoka Valley Coal and Coke Company No. 1 Mine) in the same coalbed. The mine underlies about 0.3 km{sup 2} and contains approximately 4 x 10{sup 5} m{sup 3} of flooded voids. Monitoring of water levels in wells that are screened in the mine and of the levels of adjacent ponds reveal that average hourly levels vary in unison across a range of less than one meter. The mean potentiometric level of the mine-aquifer, the neighboring ponds, and an artesian spring that issues through the outcrop of the coalbed, are at elevations of about 163 m above sea level. Long-term monitoring and a field experiment that involved pumping of a pond indicated that the mine was connected to two of the ponds and served to recharge, rather than discharge, the ponds. The monitoring and field experiment also allowed determination of the mine aquifers barometric efficiency (0.3) and its storativity (2 x 10{sup -3}) . A water-balance calculation indicates that the average recharge rate of the mine is about 0.1 mm/day.

  12. 30 CFR 75.1721 - Opening of new underground coal mines, or reopening and reactivating of abandoned or deactivated...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Opening of new underground coal mines, or reopening and reactivating of abandoned or deactivated coal mines, notification by the operator... LABOR COAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Miscellaneous §...

  13. 30 CFR 756.21 - Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's... RECLAMATION PROGRAMS § 756.21 Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan. Pursuant to 30 CFR 884.15, the Crow Tribe is required to submit to OSM by the date specified either...

  14. Hydrochemical characteristics of mine waters from abandoned mining sites in Serbia and their impact on surface water quality.

    PubMed

    Atanacković, Nebojša; Dragišić, Veselin; Stojković, Jana; Papić, Petar; Zivanović, Vladimir

    2013-11-01

    Upon completion of exploration and extraction of mineral resources, many mining sites have been abandoned without previously putting environmental protection measures in place. As a consequence, mine waters originating from such sites are discharged freely into surface water. Regional scale analyses were conducted to determine the hydrochemical characteristics of mine waters from abandoned sites featuring metal (Cu, Pb-Zn, Au, Fe, Sb, Mo, Bi, Hg) deposits, non-metallic minerals (coal, Mg, F, B) and uranium. The study included 80 mine water samples from 59 abandoned mining sites. Their cation composition was dominated by Ca2+, while the most common anions were found to be SO4(2-) and HCO3-. Strong correlations were established between the pH level and metal (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu) concentrations in the mine waters. Hierarchical cluster analysis was applied to parameters generally indicative of pollution, such as pH, TDS, SO4(2-), Fe total, and As total. Following this approach, mine water samples were grouped into three main clusters and six subclusters, depending on their potential environmental impact. Principal component analysis was used to group together variables that share the same variance. The extracted principal components indicated that sulfide oxidation and weathering of silicate and carbonate rocks were the primary processes, while pH buffering, adsorption and ion exchange were secondary drivers of the chemical composition of the analyzed mine waters. Surface waters, which received the mine waters, were examined. Analysis showed increases of sulfate and metal concentrations and general degradation of surface water quality.

  15. Environmental geochemistry of the abandoned Mamut Copper Mine (Sabah) Malaysia.

    PubMed

    van der Ent, Antony; Edraki, Mansour

    2016-11-15

    The Mamut Copper Mine (MCM) located in Sabah (Malaysia) on Borneo Island was the only Cu-Au mine that operated in the country. During its operation (1975-1999), the mine produced 2.47 Mt of concentrate containing approximately 600,000 t of Cu, 45 t of Au and 294 t of Ag, and generated about 250 Mt of overburden and waste rocks and over 150 Mt of tailings, which were deposited at the 397 ha Lohan tailings storage facility, 15.8 km from the mine and 980 m lower in altitude. The MCM site presents challenges for environmental rehabilitation due to the presence of large volumes of sulphidic minerals wastes, the very high rainfall and the large volume of polluted mine pit water. This indicates that rehabilitation and treatment is costly, as for example, exceedingly large quantities of lime are needed for neutralisation of the acidic mine pit discharge. The MCM site has several unusual geochemical features on account of the concomitant occurrence of acid-forming sulphide porphyry rocks and alkaline serpentinite minerals, and unique biological features because of the very high plant diversity in its immediate surroundings. The site hence provides a valuable opportunity for researching natural acid neutralisation processes and mine rehabilitation in tropical areas. Today, the MCM site is surrounded by protected nature reserves (Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site, and Bukit Hampuan, a Class I Forest Reserve), and the environmental legacy prevents de-gazetting and inclusion in these protected area in the foreseeable future. This article presents a preliminary geochemical investigation of waste rocks, sediments, secondary precipitates, surface water chemistry and foliar elemental uptake in ferns, and discusses these results in light of their environmental significance for rehabilitation.

  16. Behaviour of abandoned room and pillar mines in Illinois

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marino, G.G.; Bauer, R.A.

    1989-01-01

    Little comprehensive information has been reported on the behaviour of room-and-pillar mines. The objective of this paper is to present case data on mine failures in the Illinois basin for use in practice. Presented are results of an ongoing study and details on the site characteristics of cases where sags have developed on the surface. Site data are reported to show the geologic, mining, and sag conditions that existed. Sags mainly develop from pillar, floor, or pillar-floor failure. The character of the sags depends upon the type of mine failure as well as the overburden response. Preliminary results show that the statistical no-risk tributary pressure decreases over 300% as the mine age increases from about 2 to 100 years at a long-term value of approximately 300 psi (2070 kPa). As more information is collected and more analysis is done, the allowable tributary pressure can be determined for different site conditions. A plot is also reported that depicts the relationship of the maximum subsidence to site conditions. It was found that the modified subsidence factor was heavily dependent upon the overburden rock thickness. ?? 1989 Chapman & Hall Ltd.

  17. Oxidation of sulphide in abandoned mine tailings by ferrate.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yong-Hoon; Yu, Mok-Ryun; Chang, Yoon-Young; Kang, Seon-Hong; Yang, Jae-Kyu

    2015-01-01

    In this study, Fe(VI) was applied to treat three mine tailings containing different amounts of sulphides and heavy metals. Oxidation of sulphides by Fe(VI) was studied at pH 9.2 with variation of solid to solution ratio, Fe(VI) concentration and injection number of Fe(VI) solution. The major dissolved products from the treatment of mine tailings with Fe(VI) solution were sulphate and arsenic. Oxidation efficiency of sulphides was evaluated by reduction efficiency of Fe(VI) as well as by measurement of dissolved sulphate concentration. Even though inorganic composition of three mine tailings was different, reduction fraction of Fe(VI) was quite similar. This result can suggest that Fe(VI) was involved in several other reactions in addition to oxidation of sulphides. Oxidation of sulphides in mine tailing was greatly dependent on the total amount of sulphides as well as kinds of sulphides complexed with metals. Over the five consecutive injections of Fe(VI) solution, dissolved sulphate concentration was greatly decreased by each injection and no more dissolved sulphate was observed at the fifth injection. While dissolved arsenic was decreased lineally up to the fifth injection. Sulphate generation was slightly increased for all mine tailings as Fe(VI) concentration was increased; however, enhancement of oxidation efficiency of sulphides was not directly proportional to the initial Fe(VI) concentration.

  18. The siting of a prison complex above an abandoned underground coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Marino, G.G.

    1997-12-31

    This paper discusses in detail the process undertaken to mitigate the effects of any future mine subsidence on prison structures proposed above old abandoned underground workings. The site for a proposed prison complex purchased by the State of Indiana was located in west-central Indiana and was undermined by an old abandoned room and pillar mine. The original plan for construction consisted of one phase. Based on a study of the mine map and subsurface verification of the extent of mining it was determined that all prison buildings and important structures could be placed above solid coal to the north. One masonry building, however, was located within the potential draw zone of mine works which still contained significant mine voids. Based on empirical data the subsidence potential was estimated and the building was accordingly designed to be mine subsidence resistant. It was decided that a phase two prison complex should be constructed adjacent to and just south of the Phase I complex. This complex would be directly above the underground workings. The first stage of design was to minimize subsidence potential by positioning the exposure of significant structures to the subjacent mining assuming the mine map was sufficiently accurate. Subsequently, an extensive subsurface investigation program was then undertaken to: (1) ascertain whether or not mine areas where buildings would be located were already collapsed and thus only nominal, if any, subsidence could occur in the future; and (2) verify the presence of solid coal areas within the mine as indicated on the mine map. Based on all the site information gathered subsidence profiles were developed from an empirical data base of subsidence events in the Illinois Coal Basin. As a result of this work many structures on the site required no or nominal subsidence considerations.

  19. Comparison of Kriging and coKriging for soil contamination mapping in abandoned mine sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon

    2015-04-01

    Soil contamination mapping around abandoned mines is an important task for the planning and design of mine reclamation. This study compared the ordinary Kriging and the co-Kriging methods for the soil contamination mapping in abandoned mine sites. Four approaches were conducted as follows: (1) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) data only; (2) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (PXRF) data only; (3) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and integrated data from ICP and PXRF; and (4) soil contamination mapping using the co-Kriging and integrated data from ICP and PXRF. Results indicate that the approach 3 provides substantial improvements over other three approaches including a more reasonable spatial pattern of soil contamination and reduction in the error of its estimates.

  20. Abandoned PbZn mining wastes and their mobility as proxy to toxicity: A review.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Mélida; Mickus, Kevin; Camacho, Lucy Mar

    2016-09-15

    Lead and zinc (PbZn) mines are a common occurrence worldwide; and while approximately 240 mines are active, the vast majority have been abandoned for decades. Abandoned mining wastes represent a serious environmental hazard, as Pb, Zn and associated metals are continuously released into the environment, threatening the health of humans and affecting ecosystems. Iron sulfide minerals, when present, can form acid mine drainage and increase the toxicity by mobilizing the metals into more bioavailable forms. Remediation of the metal waste is costly and, in the case of abandoned wastes, the responsible party(ies) for the cleanup can be difficult to determine, which makes remediation a complex and lengthy process. In this review, we provide a common ground from a wide variety of investigations about concentrations, chemical associations, and potential mobility of Pb, Zn and cadmium (Cd) near abandoned PbZn mines. Comparing mobility results is a challenging task, as instead of one standard methodology, there are 4-5 different methods reported. Results show that, as a general consensus, the metal content of soils and sediments vary roughly around 1000mg/kg for Zn, 100 for Pb and 10 for Cd, and mobilities of Cd>Zn>Pb. Also, mobility is a function of pH, particle size, and formation of secondary minerals. New and novel remediation techniques continue to be developed in laboratories but have seldom been applied to the field. Remediation at most of the sites has consisted of neutralization (e.g. lime,) for acid mine discharge, and leveling followed by phytostabilization. In the latter, amendments (e.g. biochar, fertilizers) are added to boost the efficiency of the treatment. Any remediation method has to be tested before being implemented as the best treatment is site-specific. Potential treatments are described and compared.

  1. Microbial methane formation from hard coal and timber in an abandoned coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Kruger, M.; Beckmann, S.; Engelen, B.; Thielemann, T.; Cramer, B.; Schippers, A.; Cypionka, H.

    2008-07-01

    About 7% of the global annual methane emissions originate from coal mining. Also, mine gas has come into focus of the power industry and is being used increasingly for heat and power production. In many coal deposits worldwide, stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures of methane indicate a mixed thermogenic and biogenic origin. In this study, we have measured in an abandoned coal mine methane fluxes and isotopic signatures of methane and carbon dioxide, and collected samples for microbiological and phylogenetic investigations. Mine timber and hard coal showed an in-situ production of methane with isotopic signatures similar to those of the methane in the mine atmosphere. Enrichment cultures amended with mine timber or hard coal as sole carbon sources formed methane over a period of nine months. Predominantly, acetoclastic methanogenesis was stimulated in enrichments containing acetate or hydrogen/carbon dioxide. Molecular techniques revealed that the archaeal community in enrichment cultures and unamended samples was dominated by members of the Methanosarcinales. The combined geochemical and microbiological investigations identify microbial methanogenesis as a recent source of methane in abandoned coal mines.

  2. Release of toxic metals and metalloids from Los Rueldos mercury mine (Asturias, Spain).

    PubMed

    Loredo, J; Alvarez, R; Ordóñez, A

    2005-03-20

    The abandoned mercury mining works of "Los Rueldos" are located 20 km from Oviedo, along the northwestern border of the Asturian Central Coal Basin, in an area with intense tectonization. Hg mainly appears as cinnabar, but occasionally metacinnabar and native Hg are present; associated with Hg ore appear As-rich minerals (arsenopyrite, As-rich pyrite, realgar and scorodite). In the spoil heap, Hg content ranges from 14 to 2224 mg kg(-1), and As from 4746 to 62,196 mg kg(-1). Mine drainage and spoil heap leachates show acidic conditions (pH: 2.43-2.50), 2900-4600 mg l(-1) sulphate, 1.4-9.2 mg l(-1) As, 0.03-0.48 mg l(-1) Pb, and 3.6-14 microg l(-1) Hg. According to the analytical data and characteristics of the site, the application of corrective measurements to avoid the dispersion of contaminants in the environment must be considered.

  3. Utility of EXAFS in characterization and speciation of mercury-bearing mine wastes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kim, C.S.; Rytuba, J.J.; Brown, Gordon E.

    1999-01-01

    Extensive mining of large mercury deposits located in the California Coast Range has resulted in mercury contamination of both the local environment and water supplies. The solubility, dispersal, and ultimate fate of mercury are all affected by its chemical speciation, which can be most readily determined in a direct fashion using EXAFS spectroscopy. EXAFS spectra of mine wastes collected from several mercury mines in the California Coast Range with mercury concentrations ranging from 230 to 1060 mg/kg (ppm) have been analyzed using a spectral database of mercury minerals and sorbed mercury complexes. While some calcines have been found to consist almost exclusively of mercuric sulfide, HgS, others contain additional, more soluble mercury phases, indicating a greater potential for the release of mercury into solution. This experimental approach can provide a quantitative measurement of the mercury compounds present and may serve as an indicator of the bioavailability and toxicity levels of mercury mine wastes.

  4. Effects of Abandoned Arsenic Mine on Water Resources Pollution in North West of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Hajalilou, Behzad; Mosaferi, Mohammad; Khaleghi, Fazel; Jadidi, Sakineh; Vosugh, Bahram; Fatehifar, Esmail

    2011-01-01

    Background: Pollution due to mining activities could have an important role in health and welfare of people who are living in mining area. When mining operation finishes, environ­ment of mining area can be influenced by related pollution e.g. heavy metals emission to wa­ter resources. The present study was aimed to evaluate Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine ef­fects on drinking water resources quality and possible health effects on the residents of min­ing area in the North West of Iran. Methods: Water samples and some limited composite wheat samples in downstream of min­ing area were collected. Water samples were analyzed for chemical parameters according to standard methods. For determination of arsenic in water samples, Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometric Method (GFAAS) and for wheat samples X – Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Method (ICP) were used. Information about possible health effects due to exposure to arsenic was collected through interviews in studied villages and health center of Herris City. Results: The highest concentrations of arsenic were measured near the mine (as high as 2000 µg/L in Valiloo mine opening water). With increasing distance from the mine, concentration was decreased. Arsenic was not detectable in any of wheat samples. Fortunately, no health effects had been reported between residents of studied area due to exposure to arsenic. Conclusion: Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine has caused release of arsenic to the around en­vironment of the mine, so arsenic concentration has been increased in the groundwater and also downstream river that requires proper measures to mitigate spread of arsenic. PMID:24688901

  5. Using indicator kriging for the evaluation of arsenic potential contamination in an abandoned mining area (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Antunes, I M H R; Albuquerque, M T D

    2013-01-01

    Mining and mineral-processing activities can modify the environment in a variety of ways. Sulfide mineralization is notorious for producing waters with high metal contents. Arsenic is commonly associated with sulfide mineralization and is considered to be toxic in the environment at low levels. The studied abandoned mining area is located in central Portugal and the resulting tailings and rejected materials were deposited and exposed to the air and water for the last 50 years. Sixteen water sample-points were collected. One of these was collected outside the mining influence, with the aim of obtaining a reference background. The risk assessment, concerning the proximity to abandoned mineralized deposits, needs the evaluation of intrinsic and specific vulnerabilities aiming the quantification of the anthropogenic activities. In this study, two indicator variables were constructed. The first one (I(1)), a specific vulnerability, considers the arsenic water supply standard value (0.05 mg/L), and the probability of it being exceeded is dependent on the geologic and hydrological characteristics of the studied area and also on the anthropogenic activities. The second one (I(2)), an intrinsic vulnerability, considers arsenic background limit as cut-off value, and depends only on the geologic and hydro-geological characteristics of the studied area. At Segura, the arsenic water content found during December 2006 (1.190 mg/L) was higher than the arsenic water content detected in October 2006 (0.636 mg/L) which could be associated to the arsenic released from Fe oxy-hydroxide. At Segura abandoned mining area, the iso-probability maps of October 2006 and December 2006, show strong anomalies associated with the water drainage from abandoned mining activities. Near the village, the probability of exceeding the arsenic background value is high but lower than the probability of exceeding the arsenic water supply value. The arsenic anomalies indicate a high probability for water

  6. A field trail for sealing abandoned mine shafts and adits with lightweight concrete

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, E.H.; Beckett, L.A.

    1994-01-01

    An abandoned mine shaft near Omar, in Logan County, WV, was permanently sealed through a cooperative agreement between the West Virginia Department of Commerce, Labor, and Environmental Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, and the US Bureau of Mines (USBM), Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Program. An engineered shaft seal design was developed and demonstrated that featured lightweight concrete as a key material component at a wet density of about 45 lb/ft[sup 3]. A reinforced concrete cap designed for 5 psi live load was placed over the shaft seal. Applicable new concrete technologies relating to a 100-yr design life were utilized to assure future integrity of the shaft seal. Waterproofing methods were included in the shaft seal design to provide protection from ambient moisture and corrosive mine waters and to increase the long-term durability of the shaft seal. All construction methods used in the field trial are fully adaptable for the mine-reclamation contractor. The USBM research objectives were to develop a broad generic design that will be widely applicable to other adit-sealing and shaft-sealing problems throughout the mining industry.

  7. Mercury methylation in paddy soil: source and distribution of mercury species at a Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Lei; Anderson, Christopher W. N.; Qiu, Guangle; Meng, Bo; Wang, Dingyong; Feng, Xinbin

    2016-04-01

    Rice paddy plantation is the dominant agricultural land use throughout Asia. Rice paddy fields have been identified as important sites for methylmercury (MeHg) production in the terrestrial ecosystem and a primary pathway of MeHg exposure to humans in mercury (Hg) mining areas. We compared the source and distribution of Hg species in different compartments of the rice paddy during a complete rice-growing season at two different typical Hg-contaminated mining sites in Guizhou province, China: an abandoned site with a high Hg concentration in soil but a low concentration in the atmosphere and a current-day artisanal site with a low concentration in soil but a high concentration in the atmosphere. Our results showed that the flux of new Hg to the ecosystem from irrigation and atmospheric deposition was insignificant relative to the pool of old Hg in soil; the dominant source of MeHg to paddy soil is in situ methylation of inorganic Hg (IHg). Elevated MeHg concentrations and the high proportion of Hg as MeHg in paddy water and the surface soil layer at the artisanal site demonstrated active Hg methylation at this site only. We propose that the in situ production of MeHg in paddy water and surface soil is dependent on elevated Hg in the atmosphere and the consequential deposition of new Hg into a low-pH anoxic geochemical system. The absence of depth-dependent variability in the MeHg concentration in soil cores collected from the abandoned Hg mining site, consistent with the low concentration of Hg in the atmosphere and high pH of the paddy water and irrigation water, suggested that net production of MeHg at this site was limited. We propose that the concentration of Hg in ambient air is an indicator for the risk of MeHg accumulation in paddy rice.

  8. EFFECT OF PH AND REDOX CONDITIONS ON DESTABILIZATION OF MINING WASTES CONTAINING MERCURY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Clear Lake in Northern California has received inputs of mercury mining wastes from the Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine. About 1.2M tons of Hg-contaminated overburden and mine tailings were distributed over a 50-ha surface area due to mining operations from 1865-1957. The SBMM ws placed...

  9. Bioaccumulation of mercury in benthic communities of a river ecosystem affected by mercury mining.

    PubMed

    Zizek, Suzana; Horvat, Milena; Gibicar, Darija; Fajon, Vesna; Toman, Mihael J

    2007-05-15

    The presence of mercury in the river Idrijca (Slovenia) is mainly due to 500 years of mercury mining in this region. In order to understand the cycling of mercury in the Idrijca ecosystem it is crucial to investigate the role of biota. This study is part of an ongoing investigation of mercury biogeochemistry in the river Idrijca, focusing on the accumulation and speciation of mercury in the lower levels of the food chain, namely filamentous algae, periphyton and macroinvertebrates. Mercury analysis and speciation in the biota and in water were performed during the spring, summer and autumn seasons at four locations on the river, representing different degrees of mercury contamination. Total (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were measured. The results showed that the highest THg concentrations in biota correlate well with THg levels in sediments and water. The level of MeHg is spatially and seasonally variable, showing higher values at the most contaminated sites during the summer and autumn periods. The percentage of Hg as MeHg increases with the trophic level from water (0.1-0.8%), algae (0.5-1.3%), periphyton (1.6-8.8%) to macroinvertebrates (0.1-100%), which indicates active transformation, accumulation and magnification of mercury in the benthic organism of this heavily contaminated torrential river.

  10. Use of risk assessment to evaluate effects and plan remediation of abandoned mines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, T.P.

    2000-01-01

    A framework of risk assessment is elaborated for the evaluation of the effects of abandoned mines and mills. Steps in this process include environmental description, identification and characterization of sources, assessment of exposure, assessment of effects, risk characterization, and risk management of remediation. The development and use of ecological end-points for remediation is discussed in terms of the chemical constituents, toxicity tests and the biological community.

  11. Transport and fate of mercury under different hydrologic regimes in polluted stream in mining area.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yan; Larssen, Thorjørn; Vogt, Rolf D; Feng, Xinbin; Zhang, Hua

    2011-01-01

    Seepage from Hg mine wastes and calcines contains high concentrations of mercury (Hg). Hg pollution is a major environmental problem in areas with abandoned mercury mines and retorting units. This study evaluates factors, especially the hydrological and sedimentary variables, governing temporal and spatial variation in levels and state of mercury in streams impacted by Hg contaminated runoff. Samples were taken during different flow regimes in the Wanshan Hg mining area in Guizhou Province, China. In its headwaters the sampled streams/rivers pass by several mine wastes and calcines with high concentration of Hg. Seepage causes serious Hg contamination to the downstream area. Concentrations of Hg in water samples showed significant seasonal variations. Periods of higher flow showed high concentrations of total Hg (THg) in water due to more particles being re-suspended and transported. The concentrations of major anions (e.g., Cl-, F-, NO3- and SO4(2-)) were lower during higher flow due to dilution. Due to both sedimentation of particles and dilution from tributaries the concentration of THg decreased from 2100 ng/L to background levels (< 50 ng/L) within 10 km distance downstream. Sedimentation is the main reason for the fast decrease of the concentration, it accounts for 69% and 60% for higher flow and lower flow regimes respectively in the upper part of the stream. Speciation calculation of the dissolved Hg fraction (DHg) (using Visual MINTEQ) showed that Hg(OH)2 associated with dissolved organic matter is the main form of Hg in dissolved phase in surface waters in Wanshan (over 95%).

  12. Mercury speciation in piscivorous fish from mining-impacted reservoirs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuwabara, J.S.; Arai, Y.; Topping, B.R.; Pickering, I.J.; George, G.N.

    2007-01-01

    Guadalupe Reservoir (GUA), California, and Lahontan Reservoir (LAH), Nevada, U.S. are both affected either directly or indirectly by the legacy of gold and silver mining in the Sierra Nevada during the nineteenth century. Analysis of total mercury in fish from these lentic systems consistently indicate elevated concentrations (>1 ??g??g-1 wet weight; hereinafter, all concentrations are reported as wet weight unless indicated otherwise) well above the U.S. Environmenal Protection Agency's human consumption advisory level for fish (<0.3 ??g??g-1). Replicate X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) analyses on largemouth bass and hybrid striped bass from GUA and LAH were performed to determine predominant chemical species of mercury accumulated by these high-trophic-level piscivores that are exposed to elevated mercury through trophic transfer in mining-impacted lentic systems. Despite distinct differences in mercury source, the proximity of the source, and concentrations of complexing ligands, results of XANES analysis clearly indicated that mercury accumulated in these individual fish from the two reservoirs were dominated by methylmercury cysteine complexes. These findings are consistent with results from commercial fish species inhabiting marine environments which are presumed to include differing mercury sources (e.g., atmospheric, hydrothermal, or benthic). The dominance of methylmercury cysteine complexes in muscle tissues of fish obtained from such contrasting environments and exposure conditions suggests that a generic toxicological model for the consumption of fish could be applicable over a wide range of ecologic settings. ?? 2007 American Chemical Society.

  13. Hydrologic analysis for ecological risk assessment of watersheds with abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Gallagher, D.; Babendreier, J.; Cherry, D.

    1999-07-01

    As part of on-going study of acid mine drainage (AMD), a comprehensive ecological risk assessment was conducted in the Leading Creek Watershed in southeast Ohio. The watershed is influenced by agriculture and active and abandoned coal-mining operations. This work presents a broad overview of several quantitative measures of hydrology and hydraulic watershed properties available for in risk assessment and evaluates their relation to metrics of ecology. Data analysis included statistical comparisons of metrics of ecology, ecotoxicology, water quality, and physically based parameters describing land use, geomorphology, flow, velocity, and particle size. A multiple regression analysis indicated that abandoned mining operations dominated impacts upon aquatic ecology. It also indicated low flow velocity measurements and a ratio of maximum velocity to average velocity at low flow where helpful in describing variation in macroinvertebrate Total Taxa scores. Other key parameters also identified strong impact relationships with biodiversity trends and included pH, simple knowledge of any mining upstream, calculated % of the subshed covered by strip mines, and the measured depth of streambed sediments from site to site.

  14. Unexpected hydrologic perturbation in an abandoned underground coal mine: Response to surface reclamation?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harper, D.; Olyphant, G.A.; Hartke, E.J.

    1990-01-01

    A reclamation project at the abandoned Blackhawk Mine site near Terre Haute, Indiana, lasted about four months and involved the burial of coarse mine refuse in shallow (less than 9 m) pits excavated into loess and till in an area of about 16 ha. An abandoned flooded underground coal mine underlies the reclamation site at a depth of about 38 m; the total area underlain by the mine is about 10 km2. The potentiometric levels associated with the mine indicate a significant (2.7 m) and prolonged perturbation of the deeper confined groundwater system; 14 months after completing reclamation, the levels began to rise linearly (at an average rate of 0.85 cm/d) for 11 months, then fell exponentially for 25 months, and are now nearly stable. Prominent subsidence features exist near the reclamation site. Subsidence-related fractures were observed in cores from the site, and such fractures may have provided a connection between the shallower and deeper groundwater systems. ?? 1990 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  15. The risk of collapse in abandoned mine sites: the issue of data uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longoni, Laura; Papini, Monica; Brambilla, Davide; Arosio, Diego; Zanzi, Luigi

    2016-04-01

    Ground collapses over abandoned underground mines constitute a new environmental risk in the world. The high risk associated with subsurface voids, together with lack of knowledge of the geometric and geomechanical features of mining areas, makes abandoned underground mines one of the current challenges for countries with a long mining history. In this study, a stability analysis of Montevecchia marl mine is performed in order to validate a general approach that takes into account the poor local information and the variability of the input data. The collapse risk was evaluated through a numerical approach that, starting with some simplifying assumptions, is able to provide an overview of the collapse probability. The final results is an easy-accessible-transparent summary graph that shows the collapse probability. This approach may be useful for public administrators called upon to manage this environmental risk. The approach tries to simplify this complex problem in order to achieve a roughly risk assessment, but, since it relies on just a small amount of information, any final user should be aware that a comprehensive and detailed risk scenario can be generated only through more exhaustive investigations.

  16. USGS Abandoned Mine Lands Research Presented at the NAAMLP Meeting in Billings, Mont., Sept. 25, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Kate; Church, Stan

    2006-01-01

    The following talk was an invited presentation given at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands Programs meeting in Billings, Montana on Sept. 25, 2006. The objective of the talk was to outline the scope of the U.S. Geological Survey research, past, present and future, in the area of abandoned mine research. Two large Professional Papers have come out of our AML studies: Nimick, D.A., Church, S.E., and Finger, S.E., eds., 2004, Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Basin and Boulder mining districts, Boulder River watershed, Jefferson County, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1652, 524 p., 2 plates, 1 DVD, URL: http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/usgspubs/pp/pp1652 Church, S.E., von Guerard, Paul, and Finger, S.E., eds., 2006, Integrated Investigations of Environmental Effects of Historical Mining in the Animas River Watershed, San Juan County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1651, 1,096 p., 6 plates, 1 DVD (in press). Additional publications and links can be found on the USGS AML website at URL: http://amli.usgs.gov/ or are accessible from the USGS Mineral Resource Program website at URL: http://minerals.usgs.gov/.

  17. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TONWSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg

    2003-02-01

    This report represents the tenth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government-Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, engineering continued during this reporting period toward development of the Construction Plans and Technical Specifications for the remediation work. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted periodically at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort.

  18. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg

    2003-12-01

    This report represents the thirteenth Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this semi annual reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township's Jacobs Road Compost Storage Facility, construction was completed during this reporting period and surface monitoring began. Surface monitoring was conducted periodically at the Mt. Hope Road subsidence work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort.

  19. Lessons learned from the U.S. Geological Survey abandoned mine lands initiative: 1997-2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kimball, Briant A.; Church, Stanley E.; Besser, John M.

    2006-01-01

    Growth of the United States has been facilitated, in part, by hard-rock mining in the Rocky Mountains. Abandoned and inactive mines cause many significant environmental concerns in hundreds of watersheds. Those who have responsibility to address these environmental concerns must have a basic level of scientific information about mining and mine wastes in a watershed prior to initiating remediation activities. To demonstrate what information is needed and how to obtain that information, the U.S. Geological Survey implemented the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Initiative from 1997 to 2002 with demonstration studies in the Boulder River watershed in Montana and the Animas River watershed in Colorado. The AML Initiative included collection and analysis of geologic, hydrologic, geochemical, geophysical, and biological data. The synergy of this interdisciplinary analysis produced a perspective of the environmental concerns that could not have come from a single discipline. Two examples of these perspectives include (1) the combination of hydrological tracer techniques, structural geology, and geophysics help to understand the spatial distribution of loading to the streams in a way that cannot be evaluated by monitoring at a catchment outlet, and (2) the combination of toxicology and hydrology combine to illustrate that seasonal variability of toxicity conditions occurs. Lessons have been learned by listening to and collaborating with land-management agencies to understand their needs and by applying interdisciplinary methods to answer their questions.

  20. Environmental assessment of mining industry solid pollution in the mercurial district of Azzaba, northeast Algeria.

    PubMed

    Seklaoui, M'hamed; Boutaleb, Abdelhak; Benali, Hanafi; Alligui, Fadila; Prochaska, Walter

    2016-11-01

    To date, there have been few detailed studies regarding the impact of mining and metallogenic activities on solid fractions in the Azzaba mercurial district (northeast Algeria) despite its importance and global similarity with large Hg mines. To assess the degree, distribution, and sources of pollution, a physical inventory of apparent pollution was developed, and several samples of mining waste, process waste, sediment, and soil were collected on regional and local scales to determine the concentration of Hg and other metals according to their existing mineralogical association. Several physico-chemical parameters that are known to influence the pollution distribution are realized. The extremely high concentrations of all metals exceed all norms and predominantly characterize the metallurgic and mining areas; the metal concentrations significantly decrease at significant low distances from these sources. The geo-accumulation index, which is the most realistic assessment method, demonstrates that soils and sediments near waste dumps and abandoned Hg mines are extremely polluted by all analyzed metals. The pollution by these metals decreases significantly with distance, which indicates a limited dispersion. The results of a clustering analysis and an integrated pollution index suggest that waste dumps, which are composed of calcine and condensation wastes, are the main source of pollution. Correlations and principal component analysis reveal the important role of hosting carbonate rocks in limiting pollution and differentiating calcine wastes from condensation waste, which has an extremely high Hg concentration (˃1 %).

  1. Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Abandoned Mine Lands as Signifcant Contamination Problem in Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horvath, E.; Jordan, G.; Fugedi, U.; Bartha, A.; Kuti, L.; Heltai, G.; Kalmar, J.; Waldmann, I.; Napradean, I.; Damian, G.

    2009-04-01

    INTRODUCTION Wide-spread environmental contamination associated with historic mining in Europe has triggered social responses to improve related environmental legislation, the environmental assessment and management methods for the mining industry. Pollution by acid mine drainage (AMD) from ore and coal mining is the outstanding and most important source of mining-induced environmental pollution. Younger et al. (2002) estimates that watercourses polluted by coal mine drainage could be in the order of 2,000 to 3,000 km, and 1,000 to 1,500 km polluted by metal mine discharges for the EU 15 Member States (Younger et al. 2002). Significance of contamination risk posed by mining is also highlighted by mine accidents such as those in Baia Mare, Romania in 2002 and in Aznalcollar, Spain in 1999 (Jordan and D'Alessandro 2004). The new EU Mine Waste Directive (Directive 2006/21/EC) requires the risk-based inventory of abandoned mines in the EU. The cost-effective implementation of the inventory is especially demanding in countries with extensive historic mining and great number of abandoned mine sites, like Romania. The problem is further complicated in areas with trans-boundary effects. The objective of this investigation to carry out the risk-based contamination assessment of a mine site with possible trans-boundary effects in Romania. Assessment follows the source-pathway-receptor chain with a special attention to heavy metal leaching from waste dumps as sources and to transport modelling along surface water pathways. STUDY AREA In this paper the Baiut mine catchment located in the Gutai Mts., Romania, close to the Hungarian border is studied. The polymetallic deposites in the Tertiary Inner-Carpathian Volcanic Arc are exposed by a series of abandoned Zn and Pb mines first operated in the 14th century. Elevation in the high relief catchment ranges from 449m to 1044m. Geology is characterised by andesites hosting the ore deposits and paleogene sediments dominating at the

  2. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg, P.E., P.P.

    2001-04-01

    This report represents the sixth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the White Meadow Mine site, after amended specifications were prepared and continued negotiations took place with the Property Owner, the property ownership was transferred during the reporting period. As a result in the change in property ownership, the remediation project was then to be done by the new Property Owner out of the responsibility of Rockaway Township under this Cooperators Agreement. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, no additional field work was undertaken during this reporting period subsequent to the previous completion of the geophysical survey. With the termination of the White Meadow

  3. Study of heavy metals transport by runoff and sediments from an abandoned mine: Alagoa, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerardo, R.; de Lima, J. L. M. P.; de Lima, M. I. P.

    2009-04-01

    Over time, several studies have been designed to understand heavy metals fate and its impact on the environment and on human health. However, only a few studies have focused on the transport of heavy metals in mining areas through the various hydrological processes such as runoff, infiltration, and subsurface flow. In particular, heavy rainfall events have a great impact on the dispersion of metals existing in the soil. This problem is often more serious in abandoned and inactive mining sites causing environmental problems. In Portugal, there are 175 identified abandoned mines that continuously threaten the environment through acid drainage waters that pollute the soil as well as surface and groundwater. An example is the abandoned mine of Alagoa, located near the village of Penacova (Centre of Portugal); in this site mining activities ceased about 30 years ago. The area is characterized by very steep slopes that are confining with a small stream; the mining excavation by-products were deposited on these slopes. We have selected this mine as a case study, aiming at understanding the transport mechanisms and dispersion of heavy metals and at contributing to the definition of the most appropriate mitigation measures for this area that is contaminated by heavy metals from the mine tailings. So far a total of 30 soil samples from 3 contaminated zones were collected and analysed for pH, texture and heavy metal content, using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results indicate that the contents of Zn and Pb in the soil samples are in the range from 95-460 mg/kg and 67-239 mg/kg, respectively, which exceed the critical limit-values defined by the Portuguese legislation. These metals are dispersed downslope and downstream from the mine tailings by storm water. The next step of this work is to investigate the transport of heavy metals by runoff, by mobilization of sediments and by subsurface flow. Three spatial scales tests will be conducted: on the mine tailings, on the slope

  4. Mercury hazards from gold mining to humans, plants, and animals.

    PubMed

    Eisler, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    Mercury contamination of the environment from historical and ongoing mining practices that rely on mercury amalgamation for gold extraction is widespread. Contamination was particularly severe in the immediate vicinity of gold extraction and refining operations; however, mercury, especially in the form of water-soluble methylmercury, may be transported to pristine areas by rainwater, water currents, deforestation, volatilization, and other vectors. Examples of gold mining-associated mercury pollution have been shown for Canada, the U.S., Africa, China, the Philippines, Siberia, and South America. In parts of Brazil, for example, mercury concentrations in all abiotic materials, plants, and animals, including endangered species of mammals and reptiles, collected near ongoing mercury amalgamation gold mining sites were far in excess of allowable mercury levels promulgated by regulatory agencies for the protection of human health and natural resources. Although health authorities in Brazil are unable to detect conclusive evidence of human mercury intoxication, the potential exists in the absence of mitigation for epidemic mercury poisoning of the mining population and environs. In the U.S., environmental mercury contamination is mostly from historical gold mining practices, and portions of Nevada remain sufficiently mercury contaminated to pose a hazard to reproduction of carnivorous fishes and fish-eating birds. Concentrations of total mercury lethal to sensitive representative natural resources range from 0.1 to 2.0 microg/L of medium for aquatic organisms; from 2,200 to 31,000 microg/kg BW (acute oral) and from 4,000 to 40,000 microg/kg (dietary) for birds; and from 100 to 500 microg/kg BW (daily dose) and from 1,000 to 5,000 microg/kg diet for mammals. Significant adverse sublethal effects were observed among selected aquatic species at water concentrations of 0.03-0.1 microg Hg/L. For some birds, adverse effects, mainly on reproduction, have been associated with

  5. CHARACTERIZATION AND EH/PH-BASED LEACHING TESTS OF MERCURY-CONTAINING MINING WASTES FROM THE SULFUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mine waste rock and roaster tailings were collected from the Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) located in Clearlake Oaks, California. The site has been under investigation as a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) site. Leaching profiles o...

  6. INFLUENCE OF PH AND OXIDATION-REDUCTION (EH) POTENTIAL ON THE DISSOLUTION OF MERCURY-CONTAINING MINE WASTES FROM THE SULFUR BANK MERCURY MINE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mine waste rock and roaster tailings were collected from the Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) located in Clearlake Oaks, California. The site has been under investigation as a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) site. Characterization an...

  7. Atmospheric mercury emissions from polluted gold mining areas (Venezuela).

    PubMed

    García-Sánchez, A; Contreras, F; Adams, M; Santos, F

    2006-12-01

    Soil, waste rock and mud from mercury-gold amalgamation mining areas of El Callao (Venezuela) are highly enriched in Hg (0.5-500 microg g(-1)) relative to natural background concentrations (<0.1 microg g(-1)). Mercury fluxes to the atmosphere from twelve polluted sites of this area were measured in situ (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) using a Plexiglas flux chamber connected to a portable mercury analyzer (model RA-915+; Lumex, St. Petersburg, Russia). Mercury fluxes ranged between 0.65 and 420.1 microg m(-2) h(-1), and the average flux range during the diurnal hours was 9.1-239.2 microg m(-2) h(-1). These flux values are five orders of magnitude higher than both reported world background Hg fluxes (1-69 ng m(-2) h(-1)) and the regional values, which are in the range 2-10 ng m(-2) h(-1). The flux results obtained in this study are, however, similar to those measured at Hg polluted sites such as chloro-alkali plants or polymetallic ore mining districts (>100,000 ng m(-2) h(-1)). The results from this study also show that Hg emissions from the soil are influenced by solar radiation, soil temperature and soil Hg concentration. Our data suggest that solar radiation may be the dominant factor affecting Hg degrees emission since the major species of mercury in polluted soil is Hg degrees (85-97% of total Hg). The simple release of Hg degrees vapor is probably the dominant process occurring with incident light in the field. The apparent activation energy for mercury emission indicates that the volatilization of mercury mainly occurred as a result of the vaporization of elemental mercury in soil. The degree of Hg emission differed significantly among the soil sites studied, which may be due to variations in soil texture, organic matter content and soil compaction.

  8. The Remediation of Abandoned Iron Ore Mine Subsidence in Rockaway Township, New Jersey

    SciTech Connect

    Gartenberg, Gary; Poff, Gregory

    2010-06-30

    This report represents the twenty-seventh and Final Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this last reporting period ending June 30, 2010 and a summary of the work accomplished since the agreement inception in 1997. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperator's Agreement between the United States Government - Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperator's Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township's Jacobs Road Compost Storage Facility, surface monitoring continued after completion of construction in September 2003. Surface monitoring was conducted periodically at the Mt. Hope Road subsidence work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort. In March 2007, a seventh collapse occurred over a portion of the White Meadow Mine in a public roadway at the intersection of Iowa and Erie Avenues in Rockaway Township. After test drilling, this portion of the mine was remediated by drilling and grouting the stopes.

  9. Evidence of Mercurial Contamination and Denundation Downstream of New Idria Mercury Mine, San Benito County, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Letsinger, H. E.; Sharma, R. K.; Weinman, B.

    2014-12-01

    California's Central Valley water quality and soils are essential to the survival of the valley's communities and agriculture. Therefore, detection of possible contaminants within the valley streams and soils are paramount to the protection of this land and the people that depend upon it. Here we explore the impact of the contaminated stream beds near the New Idria Mercury Mine site, San Benito County, California. Previous work by Ganguli et al. (2000) has been done in this area to determine the mercury levels associated with the water that flows near the ghost town of New Idria. We performed geochemical analyses on the finer bed sediments from channels draining the area, as well as the coarser sediments taken from along the channel banks, to determine mercury transport downriver from the source. Using a novel application of tau, a mass transfer coefficient typically used in critical zone studies or soil production and weathering rates, we determine downstream weathering, accumulation, and transport of mercury. Our initial geochemical data showed higher tau values upstream as well as within the banks of the contaminated streambed and a greater accumulation of mercury near the pollution source (i.e., mine tailings, (τ ~ 103)). Tau results also show elevated mercurial levels existing downstream, with accumulations in mid- (τ ~ 102) and down-stream (τ ~ 10) reaches. Combining tau results with more traditional indices of chemical weathering (CIA) support consistent overall Hg-weathering processes with low levels of chemical weathering and higher dominance of coupled physical-anthropogenic weathering.

  10. Relationship between plant biodiversity and heavy metal bioavailability in grasslands overlying an abandoned mine.

    PubMed

    Hernández, A J; Pastor, J

    2008-04-01

    Abandoned metal mines in the Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid, Spain, are often located in areas of high ecological value. This is true of an abandoned barium mine situated in the heart of a bird sanctuary. Today the area sustains grasslands, interspersed with oakwood formations of Quercus ilex and heywood scrub (Retama sphaerocarpa L.), used by cattle, sheep and wild animals. Our study was designed to establish a relationship between the plant biodiversity of these grasslands and the bioavailability of heavy metals in the topsoil layer of this abandoned mine. We conducted soil chemical analyses and performed a greenhouse evaluation of the effects of different soil heavy metal concentrations on biodiversity. The greenhouse bioassays were run for 6 months using soil samples obtained from the mine polluted with heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd) and from a control pasture. Soil heavy metal and Na concentrations, along with the pH, had intense negative effects on plant biodiversity, as determined through changes in the Shannon index and species richness. Numbers of grasses, legumes, and composites were reduced, whilst other species (including ruderals) were affected to a lesser extent. Zinc had the greatest effect on biodiversity, followed by Cd and Cu. When we compared the sensitivity of the biodiversity indicators to the different metal content variables, pseudototal metal concentrations determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were the most sensitive, followed by available and soluble metal contents. Worse correlations between biodiversity variables and metal variables were shown by pseudototal contents obtained by plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Our results highlight the importance of using as many different indicators as possible to reliably assess the response shown by plants to heavy metal soil pollution.

  11. Public views of reclaiming an abandoned coal mine: the Macoupin County project

    SciTech Connect

    Bernard, J. R.

    1980-07-01

    An abandoned underground coal mine waste area in Macoupin County, Illinois, has been reclaimed for demonstration and research purposes near the city of Staunton. According to federal law, end uses of reclaimed coal mines must be determined in part by local concerns. This study examined local residents' preferences for land uses and their social and economic evaluations of reclamation at the Macoupin County site. Personal interviews with 119 residents revealed preferences for recreational use of the demonstration area; however, responses were probably influenced by prior awareness of land-use intentions. Generally, very positive evaluations of the reclamation were received. Willingness to pay for reclamation appears to be linked to fulfillment of desired recreational uses on the site and socioeconomic status of the respondent. In general, the research results provide further evidence that the value of abatement of environmental damage from mining is recognized and supported in economic terms at the public level.

  12. Detection of abandoned mines/caves using airborne LWIR hyperspectral data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Sylvia S.; Roettiger, Kurt A.

    2012-09-01

    The detection of underground structures, both natural and man-made, continues to be an important requirement in both the military/intelligence and civil communities. There are estimates that as many as 70,000 abandoned mines/caves exist across the nation. These mines represent significant hazards to public health and safety, and they are of concern to Government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. NASA is interested in the detection of caves on Mars and the Moon in anticipation of future manned space missions. And, the military/ intelligence community is interested in detecting caves, mines, and other underground structures that may be used to conceal the production of weapons of mass destruction or to harbor insurgents or other persons of interest by the terrorists. Locating these mines/caves scattered over millions of square miles is an enormous task, and limited resources necessitate the development of an efficient and effective broad area search strategy using remote sensing technologies. This paper describes an internally-funded research project of The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) to assess the feasibility of using airborne hyperspectral data to detect abandoned cave/mine entrances in a broad-area search application. In this research, we have demonstrated the potential utility of using thermal contrast between the cave/mine entrance and the ambient environment as a discriminatory signature. We have also demonstrated the use of a water vapor absorption line at12.55 μm and a quartz absorption feature at 9.25 μm as discriminatory signatures. Further work is required to assess the broader applicability of these signatures.

  13. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg, P.E., P.P.

    2001-04-01

    This report represents the seventh Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, research and preliminary design was performed during this reporting period toward development of the engineering plans and Technical Specifications for the remediation work. At the White Meadow Mine site, the remediation project was conducted last reporting period by others, out of the responsibility of Rockaway Township under this Cooperators Agreement. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort.

  14. Application Of Immobilized Sulfate Reducing Bacteria For Permeable Reactive Barriers In Abandoned Coal Mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, K.; Hur, W.; Choi, S.; Min, K.; Baek, H.

    2006-05-01

    The decline of the Korean coal industry has been drastic in production and consumption. This has been resulted mainly from the environmental concern and the collapse of commercial viability, which has eventually necessitated the government to implement the coal industry rationalization policies to reduce coal production and close down uneconomical mines. The overall drainage rates from abandoned coal mines reaches up to 80,000 ton/day. As a measure of controlling the acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines, reactive materials in the pathways of drainage, designed to intercept and to transform the contaminants into environmentally acceptable forms can be applied at mines with small drainage rates. The main objective of this study is to design a permeable reactive barrier(PRB) to treat low flow and/or low contaminant loads of acid mine drainage. The PRB is comprised of immobilized sulfate reducing bacteria in hard beads and limestone to remove heavy metals and to raise the pH of AMD. A laboratory reactor was used to prepare a mixed culture of sulfate reducing bacteria. The microbes were separated and mixed with biodegradable matrix to form spherical beads. In order to maintain the viability of micro-organisms for a prolonged period, substrates such as saw dust, polysaccharide or glycerol was supplemented for the beads preparation. The strength of beads fortified by powered limestone to control the permeability of PRB. Different mixtures of limestone and the immobilized beads were tested to determine hydraulic conductivity and AMD treatment capacities. The characteristics of the spherical beads at various pH of AMD was investigated.

  15. Mercury contamination from historical mining territory at Malachov Hg-deposit (Central Slovakia).

    PubMed

    Dadová, Jana; Andráš, Peter; Kupka, Jiří; Krnáč, Jozef; Andráš, Peter; Hroncová, Emília; Midula, Pavol

    2016-02-01

    Environmental contamination caused by mercury is a serious problem worldwide. The study was conducted in order to identify Hg contamination in soil, technosoil from dumps, groundwater, and surface water in the surroundings of the abandoned Hg deposit of Malachov in Central Slovakia. Soil from the Malachovský brook valley was classified as cambi-soil (rendzina). The highest Hg concentrations (44.24 mg kg(-1)) were described in the soil from the mining area at the Vel'ká Studňa locality. In the groundwater, the maximal Hg content is 0.84 μg L(-1), and in the surface water it is 394 μg L(-1). The speciation study proved that in most samples, Hg occurs in the form of cinnabarite. The release of Hg into the environment as a consequence of weathering is limited.

  16. Application of environmental groundwater tracers at the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Engle, M.A.; Goff, F.; Jewett, D.G.; Reller, G.J.; Bauman, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    Boron, chloride, sulfate, ??D, ??18O, and 3H concentrations in surface water and groundwater samples from the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM), California, USA were used to examine geochemical processes and provide constraints on evaporation and groundwater flow. SBMM is an abandoned sulfur and mercury mine with an underlying hydrothermal system, adjacent to Clear Lake, California. Results for non-3H tracers (i.e., boron, chloride, sulfate, ??D, and ??18O) identify contributions from six water types at SBMM. Processes including evaporation, mixing, hydrothermal water input and possible isotopic exchange with hydrothermal gases are also discerned. Tritium data indicate that hydrothermal waters and other deep groundwaters are likely pre-bomb (before ???1952) in age while most other waters were recharged after ???1990. A boron-based steady-state reservoir model of the Herman Impoundment pit lake indicates that 71-79% of its input is from meteoric water with the remainder from hydrothermal contributions. Results for groundwater samples from six shallow wells over a 6-month period for ??D and ??18O suggests that water from Herman Impoundment is diluted another 3% to more than 40% by infiltrating meteoric water, as it leaves the site. Results for this investigation show that environmental tracers are an effective tool to understand the SBMM hydrogeologic regime. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  17. Statistical evaluation of hydrologic conditions in the vicinity of abandoned underground coal mines around Cannelburg, Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harper, D.; Olyphant, G.A.

    1993-01-01

    A statistical analysis of daily water-level changes in an abandoned coal mine indicates that precipitation affects the potentiometric level of the mine, independent of associated atmospheric pressure changes and changes in the water level of an overlying aquifer. The independent statistical effect of precipitation (0.99 cm of water-level change per centimeter of rainfall) is interpreted to reflect either lateral percolation from the coalbed's subcrop (1.2 km from the mine) or rapid recharge through mine-associated pathways, such as poorly plugged shafts, boreholes, or subsidence fractures. The relationship between water-level changes in the mine's voids and changes in the overlying aquifer is also statistically significant, but the regression coefficient (0.04) is an order of magnitude smaller than that for precipitation, indicating that vertical percolation (which is represented by covariance of the two aquifers) through undisturbed overburden may be less effective than the recharge associated with precipitation that bypasses the overburden. An equivalent analysis of water-level changes in an underlying unmined coalbed indicated that precipitation had a weaker direct effect (regression coefficient of 0.34, compared with 0.99), although it was still the dominant independent variable. In contrast, the effect of water-level changes in an overlying aquifer (the flooded mine itself) was relatively stronger (regression coefficient of 0.15, compared with 0.04), indicating that vertical percolation through interburden is more important at depth. ?? 1993.

  18. Abandoned metal mines and their impact on receiving waters: A case study from Southwest England.

    PubMed

    Beane, Steven J; Comber, Sean D W; Rieuwerts, John; Long, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Historic mine sites are a major source of contamination to terrestrial and river environments. To demonstrate the importance of determining the significance of point and diffuse metal contamination and the related bioavailability of the metals present from abandoned mines a case study has been carried out. The study provides a quantitative assessment of a historic mine site, Wheal Betsy, southwest England, and its contribution to non-compliance with Water Framework Directive (WFD) Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) for Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. Surface water and sediment samples showed significant negative environmental impacts even taking account of the bioavailability of the metal present, with lead concentration in the stream sediment up to 76 times higher than the Canadian sediment guidelines 'Probable Effect Level'. Benthic invertebrates showed a decline in species richness adjacent to the mine site with lead and cadmium the main cause. The main mine drainage adit was the single most significant source of metal (typically 50% of metal load from the area, but 88% for Ni) but the mine spoil tips north and south of the adit input added together discharged roughly an equivalent loading of metal with the exception of Ni. The bioavailability of metal in the spoil tips exhibited differing spatial patterns owing to varying ambient soil physico-chemistry. The data collected is essential to provide a clear understanding of the contamination present as well as its mobility and bioavailability, in order to direct the decision making process regarding remediation options and their likely effectiveness.

  19. Mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Antioquia, Colombia: The world's highest per capita mercury pollution.

    PubMed

    Cordy, Paul; Veiga, Marcello M; Salih, Ibrahim; Al-Saadi, Sari; Console, Stephanie; Garcia, Oseas; Mesa, Luis Alberto; Velásquez-López, Patricio C; Roeser, Monika

    2011-12-01

    The artisanal gold mining sector in Colombia has 200,000 miners officially producing 30tonnes Au/a. In the Northeast of the Department of Antioquia, there are 17 mining towns and between 15,000 and 30,000 artisanal gold miners. Guerrillas and paramilitary activities in the rural areas of Antioquia pushed miners to bring their gold ores to the towns to be processed in Processing Centers or entables. These Centers operate in the urban areas amalgamating the whole ore, i.e. without previous concentration, and later burn gold amalgam without any filtering/condensing system. Based on mercury mass balance in 15 entables, 50% of the mercury added to small ball mills (cocos) is lost: 46% with tailings and 4% when amalgam is burned. In just 5 cities of Antioquia, with a total of 150,000 inhabitants: Segovia, Remedios, Zaragoza, El Bagre, and Nechí, there are 323 entables producing 10-20tonnes Au/a. Considering the average levels of mercury consumption estimated by mass balance and interviews of entables owners, the mercury consumed (and lost) in these 5 municipalities must be around 93tonnes/a. Urban air mercury levels range from 300ng Hg/m(3) (background) to 1million ng Hg/m(3) (inside gold shops) with 10,000ng Hg/m(3) being common in residential areas. The WHO limit for public exposure is 1000ng/m(3). The total mercury release/emissions to the Colombian environment can be as high as 150tonnes/a giving this country the shameful first position as the world's largest mercury polluter per capita from artisanal gold mining. One necessary government intervention is to cut the supply of mercury to the entables. In 2009, eleven companies in Colombia legally imported 130tonnes of metallic mercury, much of it flowing to artisanal gold mines. Entables must be removed from urban centers and technical assistance is badly needed to improve their technology and reduce emissions.

  20. Tracing lead pollution sources in abandoned mine areas using stable Pb isotope ratios.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Eun-Jin; Lee, Jung-A; Park, Jae-Seon; Lee, Khanghyun; Lee, Won-Seok; Han, Jin-Seok; Choi, Jong-Woo

    2014-02-01

    This study focused on Pb isotope ratios of sediments in areas around an abandoned mine to determine if the ratios can be used as a source tracer. For pretreatment, sediment samples were dissolved with mixed acids, and a multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS, Nu plasma II) was used to investigate the Pb isotopic composition of the samples. The measured isotope ratios were then corrected for instrumental mass fractionation by measuring the (203)Tl/(205)Tl ratio. Repeated measurements with the NIST SRM 981 reference material showed that the precision of all ratios was below 104 ppm (±2σ) for 50 ng/g. The isotope ratios ((207)Pb/(206)Pb) found were 0.85073 ± 0.0004~0.85373 ± 0.0003 for the main stream, while they were 0.83736 ± 0.0010 for the tributary and 0.84393 ± 0.0002 for the confluence. A binary mixing equation for isotope ratios showed that the contributions of mine lead to neighboring areas were up to 60%. Therefore, Pb isotope ratios can be a good source tracer for areas around abandoned mines.

  1. Corrosion control when using passively treated abandoned mine drainage as alternative makeup water for cooling systems.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ming-Kai; Chien, Shih-Hsiang; Li, Heng; Monnell, Jason D; Dzombak, David A; Vidic, Radisav D

    2011-09-01

    Passively treated abandoned mine drainage (AMD) is a promising alternative to fresh water as power plant cooling water system makeup water in mining regions where such water is abundant. Passive treatment and reuse of AMD can avoid the contamination of surface water caused by discharge of abandoned mine water, which typically is acidic and contains high concentrations of metals, especially iron. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of reusing passively treated AMD in cooling systems with respect to corrosion control through laboratory experiments and pilot-scale field testing. The results showed that, with the addition of the inhibitor mixture orthophosphate and tolyltriazole, mild steel and copper corrosion rates were reduced to acceptable levels (< 0.127 mm/y and < 0.0076 mm/y, respectively). Aluminum had pitting corrosion problems in every condition tested, while cupronickel showed that, even in the absence of any inhibitor and in the presence of the biocide monochloramine, its corrosion rate was still very low (0.018 mm/y).

  2. Hydrogeological definition and applicability of abandoned coal mines as water reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Ordóñez, A; Jardón, S; Álvarez, R; Andrés, C; Pendás, F

    2012-08-01

    Hydrogeologically, the Central Coal Basin (Asturias, Spain) is characterized by predominantly low-permeability materials that make up a multilayer aquifer with very low porosity and permeability values, where the sandstones act as limited aquifers, and wackes, mudstones, shales and coal seams act as confining levels. Preferential groundwater flow paths are open fractures and zones of decompression associated with them, so the hydraulic behaviour of the system is more associated with fracturing than lithology. Thus, abandoned and flooded mines in the area acquire an important role in the management of water resources, setting up an artificial "pseudo-karst" aquifer. This paper evaluates the potential application of the abandoned mines as underground reservoirs, both for water supply and energetic use, mainly through heat pumps and small hydropower plants. In particular, the groundwater reservoir shaped by the connected shafts Barredo and Figaredo has been chosen, and a detailed and multifaceted study has been undertaken in the area. The exposed applications fit with an integrated management of water resources and contribute to improve economic and social conditions of a traditional mining area in gradual decline due to the cessation of such activity.

  3. A science-based, watershed strategy to support effective remediation of abandoned mine lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buxton, Herbert T.; Nimick, David A.; Von Guerard, Paul; Church, Stanley E.; Frazier, Ann G.; Gray, John R.; Lipin, Bruce R.; Marsh, Sherman P.; Woodward, Daniel F.; Kimball, Briant A.; Finger, Susan E.; Ischinger, Lee S.; Fordham, John C.; Power, Martha S.; Bunch, Christine M.; Jones, John W.

    1997-01-01

    A U.S. Geological Survey Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative will develop a strategy for gathering and communicating the scientific information needed to formulate effective and cost-efficient remediation of abandoned mine lands. A watershed approach will identify, characterize, and remediate contaminated sites that have the most profound effect on water and ecosystem quality within a watershed. The Initiative will be conducted during 1997 through 2001 in two pilot watersheds, the Upper Animas River watershed in Colorado and the Boulder River watershed in Montana. Initiative efforts are being coordinated with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and other stakeholders which are using the resulting scientific information to design and implement remediation activities. The Initiative has the following eight objective-oriented components: estimate background (pre-mining) conditions; define baseline (current) conditions; identify target sites (major contaminant sources); characterize target sites and processes affecting contaminant dispersal; characterize ecosystem health and controlling processes at target sites; develop remediation goals and monitoring network; provide an integrated, quality-assured and accessible data network; and document lessons learned for future applications of the watershed approach.

  4. Chemical Data for Rock, Sediment, Biological, Precipitate, and Water Samples from Abandoned Copper Mines in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koski, Randolph A.; Munk, LeeAnn

    2007-01-01

    In the early 20th century, approximately 6 million metric tons of copper ore were mined from numerous deposits located along the shorelines of fjords and islands in Prince William Sound, Alaska. At the Beatson, Ellamar, and Threeman mine sites (fig. 1), rocks containing Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb sulfide minerals are exposed to chemical weathering in abandoned mine workings and remnant waste piles that extend into the littoral zone. Field investigations in 2003 and 2005 as well as analytical data for rock, sediment, precipitate, water, and biological samples reveal that the oxidation of sulfides at these sites is resulting in the generation of acid mine drainage and the transport of metals into the marine environment (Koski and others, 2008; Stillings and others, 2008). At the Ellamar and Threeman sites, plumes of acidic and metal-enriched water are flowing through beach gravels into the shallow offshore environment. Interstitial water samples collected from beach sediment at Ellamar have low pH levels (to ~3) and high concentrations of metals including iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, lead, and mercury. The abundant precipitation of the iron sulfate mineral jarosite in the Ellamar gravels also signifies a low-pH environment. At the Beatson mine site (the largest copper mine in the region) seeps containing iron-rich microbial precipitates drain into the intertidal zone below mine dumps (Foster and others, 2008). A stream flowing down to the shoreline from underground mine workings at Beatson has near-neutral pH, but elevated levels of zinc, copper, and lead (Stillings and others, 2008). Offshore sediment samples at Beatson are enriched in these metals. Preliminary chemical data for tissue from marine mussels collected near the Ellamar, Threeman, and Beatson sites reveal elevated levels of copper, zinc, and lead compared to tissue in mussels from other locations in Prince William Sound (Koski and others, 2008). Three papers presenting results of this ongoing investigation of

  5. Chemical Data for Rock, Sediment, Biological, Precipitate, and Water Samples from Abandoned Copper Mines in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koski, Randolph A.; Munk, LeeAnn

    2007-01-01

    Introduction In the early 20th century, approximately 6 million metric tons of copper ore were mined from numerous deposits located along the shorelines of fjords and islands in Prince William Sound, Alaska. At the Beatson, Ellamar, and Threeman mine sites (fig. 1), rocks containing Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb sulfide minerals are exposed to chemical weathering in abandoned mine workings and remnant waste piles that extend into the littoral zone. Field investigations in 2003 and 2005 as well as analytical data for rock, sediment, precipitate, water, and biological samples reveal that the oxidation of sulfides at these sites is resulting in the generation of acid mine drainage and the transport of metals into the marine environment (Koski and others, 2008; Stillings and others, 2008). At the Ellamar and Threeman sites, plumes of acidic and metal-enriched water are flowing through beach gravels into the shallow offshore environment. Interstitial water samples collected from beach sediment at Ellamar have low pH levels (to ~3) and high concentrations of metals including iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, lead, and mercury. The abundant precipitation of the iron sulfate mineral jarosite in the Ellamar gravels also signifies a low-pH environment. At the Beatson mine site (the largest copper mine in the region) seeps containing iron-rich microbial precipitates drain into the intertidal zone below mine dumps (Foster and others, 2008). A stream flowing down to the shoreline from underground mine workings at Beatson has near-neutral pH, but elevated levels of zinc, copper, and lead (Stillings and others, 2008). Offshore sediment samples at Beatson are enriched in these metals. Preliminary chemical data for tissue from marine mussels collected near the Ellamar, Threeman, and Beatson sites reveal elevated levels of copper, zinc, and lead compared to tissue in mussels from other locations in Prince William Sound (Koski and others, 2008). Three papers presenting results of this ongoing

  6. Stormflow hydrochemistry of a river draining an abandoned metal mine: the Afon Twymyn, central Wales.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Patrick; Reid, Ian; Wood, Paul J

    2013-03-01

    Contaminated drainage from metal mines is a serious water-quality problem facing nations that exploit metal mineral resources. Measurements of river hydrochemistry during baseflow are common at mine sites, whilst detailed hydrochemical information regarding stormflow is limited and often confined to a single event. This study investigates the seasonal evolution of stormflow hydrochemistry at an abandoned metal mine in central Wales, UK, and the possible sources and mechanisms of metal release. Significant flushing of metals was observed during stormflow events, resulting in concentrations that severely exceeded water-quality guidelines. The relationship between metal concentrations and river discharge suggests dissolution of efflorescent metal sulphates on the surface of the mine spoil as the principal source of the contamination. High fluxes of Pb during stormflows are linked to extended periods of dry weather prior to storm events that produced water table drawdown and encouraged oxidation of Pb sulphide in the mine spoil. However, some Pb flushing also occurred following wet antecedent conditions. It is suggested that Fe oxide reduction in mine spoil and translatory flows involving metal-rich pore waters results in flushing during wetter periods. Detailed measurements of stormflow hydrochemistry at mine sites are essential for accurate forecasting of long-term trends in metals flux to understand metal sources and mechanisms of release, to assess potential risks to water quality and instream ecology, and to gauge the potential effectiveness of remediation. In order to protect riverine and riparian ecosystems, it is suggested that routine monitoring of stormflows becomes part of catchment management in mining-impacted regions.

  7. Ohio's Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Program: a Study of Data Collection and Evaluation Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sperry, S. L.

    1982-01-01

    The planning process for a statewide reclamation plan of Ohio abandoned minelands in response to the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 included: (1) the development of a screening and ranking methodology; (2) the establishment of a statewide review of major watersheds affected by mining; (3) the development of an immediate action process; and (4) a prototypical study of a priority watershed demonstrating the data collection, analysis, display and evaluation to be used for the remaining state watersheds. Historical methods for satisfying map information analysis and evaluation, as well as current methodologies being used were discussed. Various computer mapping and analysis programs were examined for their usability in evaluating the priority reclamation sites. Hand methods were chosen over automated procedures; intuitive evaluation was the primary reason.

  8. Application of multispectral scanner data to the study of an abandoned surface coal mine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spisz, E. W.

    1978-01-01

    The utility of aircraft multispectral scanner data for describing the land cover features of an abandoned contour-mined coal mine is considered. The data were obtained with an 11 band multispectral scanner at an altitude of 1.2 kilometers. Supervised, maximum-likelihood statistical classifications of the data were made to establish land-cover classes and also to describe in more detail the barren surface features as they may pertain to the reclamation or restoration of the area. The scanner data for the surface-water areas were studied to establish the variability and range of the spectral signatures. Both day and night thermal images of the area are presented. The results of the study show that a high degree of statistical separation can be obtained from the multispectral scanner data for the various land-cover features.

  9. Effect of biochar produced at different pyrolysis temperature on the soil respiration of abandoned mine soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yong Seong; Kim, Juhee; Hwang, Wonjae; Hyun, Seunghun

    2015-04-01

    Contaminated soils near an abandoned mine site included the high acidic mine tailing have received great interest due to potential risk to human health, because leachable elements in low pH continuously release from mine site soil with ground water and precipitation event. Biochar, which is the obtained pyrolysis process of biomass, is used as a soil amendments and carbon storage. Especially, many researchers report that the biochar application to soil show increasing soil pH, CEC, adsorption capacity of various elements, as well as, enhanced microbial activity. Therefore, biochar application to contaminated soil near abandoned mine site is expected to have a positive effects on management of these site and soils through the decreased leachability of contaminants. However, effects of biochar application to these site on the soil respiration, as a common measure of soil health, are poorly understood. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of biochar application to abandoned mine site soil on the microbial activity with soil respiration test. Biochar was obtained from giant Miscanthus in a slow pyrolysis process (heating rate of 10° C min-1 and N2 gas flow rate of 1.2 L min-1) at the temperature of 400° C (BC4) and 700° C (BC7), respectively. All biochar samples were prepared with grinding and sieving for particle size control (150~500μm). Soil sample was collected from abandoned mine site at Korea (36° 58'N, 128° 10'E). Main contaminants of this soil were As (12.5 g kg-1), Pb (7.3 g kg-1), and Zn (1.1 g kg-1). Biochars were applied (5% by dry weight) to the soil (final mixture weight were 800g), and then moisture contents were adjusted to 100% field capacity (-0.33 bar) in the respirometer with vacuum pump. CO2 efflux of each samples was continuously assessed using continuous aeration system (air flow rate 25 cc min-1) using air cylinder during 130hr (at 20° C and darkness condition). The CO2 emitted from the samples were carried to the

  10. The basis for ecotoxicological concern in aquatic ecosystems contaminated by historical mercury mining.

    PubMed

    Wiener, James G; Suchanek, Thomas H

    2008-12-01

    The Coast Range of California is one of five global regions that dominated historical production of mercury (Hg) until declining demand led to the economic collapse of the Hg-mining industry in the United States. Calcines, waste rock, and contaminated alluvium from inactive mine sites can release Hg (including methylmercury, MeHg) to the environment for decades to centuries after mining has ceased. Soils, water, and sediment near mines often contain high concentrations of total Hg (TotHg), and an understanding of the biogeochemical transformations, transport, and bioaccumulation of this toxic metal is needed to assess effects of these contaminated environments on humans and wildlife. We briefly review the environmental behavior and effects of Hg, providing a prelude to the subsequent papers in this Special Issue. Clear Lake is a northern California lake contaminated by wastes from the abandoned Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site. The primary toxicological problem with Hg in aquatic ecosystems is biotic exposure to MeHg, a highly toxic compound that readily bioaccumulates. Processes that affect the abundance of MeHg (including methylation and demethylation) strongly affect its concentration in all trophic levels of aquatic food webs. MeHg can biomagnify to high concentrations in aquatic food webs, and consumption of fish is the primary pathway for human exposure. Fish consumption advisories have been issued for many North American waters, including Clear Lake and other mine-impacted waters in California, as a means of decreasing MeHg exposure. Concerns about MeHg exposure in humans focus largely on developmental neurotoxicity to the fetus and children. Aquatic food webs are also an important pathway for MeHg exposure of wildlife, which can accumulate high, sometimes harmful, concentrations. In birds, wild mammals, and humans, MeHg readily passes to the developing egg, embryo, or fetus, life stages that are much more

  11. Size fractionation in mercury-bearing airborne particles (HgPM 10) at Almadén, Spain: Implications for inhalation hazards around old mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, Teresa; Higueras, Pablo; Jones, Tim; McDonald, Iain; Gibbons, Wes

    Almadén has a >2000y mining history and an unprecedented legacy of mercury contamination. Resuspended airborne particles were extracted from mine waste (Las Cuevas), retort site soil (Almadenejos), and urban car park dust (Almadén), separated into fine (PM 10) and coarse (PM >10 μm ) fractions, analysed for mercury using ICP-MS, and individual HgPM characterised using SEM. Cold extractable mercury concentrations in PM 10 range from 100 to 150 μg g -1 (car parks), to nearly 6000 μg g -1 (mine waste), reaching a world record of 95,000 μg g -1 above the abandoned retort at Almadenejos where ultrafine HgPM have pervaded the brickwork and soil and entered the food chain: edible wild asparagus stem material from here contains 35-65 μg g -1 Hg, and pig hair from animals living, inhaling and ingesting HgPM 10 at the site yielded 8-10 μg g -1. The PM 10 fraction (dusts easily wind transported and deeply inhaled) contains much more mercury than the coarser fraction. The contribution of HgPM 10 to ecosystem contamination and potential human health effects around old mercury mines has been underestimated.

  12. INTERACTIVE ABANDONED MINE LANDS WORKSHOP SERIES - ACID MINE WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this interactive workshop is to present and discuss active and passive acid mine wastes cleanup technologies and to discuss the apparent disconnect between their development and their implementation. The workshop addressed five main barriers to implementing innovat...

  13. National inventory of abandoned mine land problems: an emphasis on health, safety, and general welfare impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Honea, R.B.; Baxter, F.P.

    1984-07-01

    In 1977 Congress passed the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, which provided for the abatement of abandoned mine land (AML) problems through a reclamation program funded by a severance tax on current mining. AML was defined as any land, including associated buildings, equipment, and affected areas, that was no longer being used for coal mining by August 1977. This act also created the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) in the Department of the Interior to administer the AML program and to assume other regulatory and research responsibilities. This report documents the design, implementation, and results of a National inventory of the most serious problems associated with past mining practices. One of the objectives of the Inventory was to help OSM and the participating states locate, identify, and rank AML problems and estimate their reclamation costs. Other objectives were to encourage states and Indian tribes to collect such data and to provide OSM with the information necessary to guide its decision-making processes and to quantify the progress of the reclamation program. Because only limited funds were available to design and implement the National inventory and because the reclamation fund established by the Act may never be sufficient to correct all AML problems, OSM has focused on only the top-priority problems. It is stressed that this is not an inventory of AML features but rather an inventory of AML impacts. It should be noted that the data and analysis contained in this report are based on a data collection effort conducted by the states, Indian tribes, and OSM contractors between 1979 and mid-1982.

  14. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SYNTHETIC SOIL MATERIALS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED MINED LAND SITES

    SciTech Connect

    Song Jin

    2006-03-01

    Abandoned mine sites associated with coal and metal mining across the western United States have been left as unproductive wastelands. The availability of soil materials or other materials to support the restoration of the vegetative cover and enhance the recovery of such areas is limited. The restoration of these areas often requires the use of available amendments such as organic waste products or to help stabilize the soil. Many of the organic waste products, including sewage sludge, clarifier sludge, fly ash sludge, and other by-products from the agricultural industries such as compost can be employed for beneficial uses. This study looked at the feasibility of applying organic waste products to a mine soil in Montana to increase soil fertility and enhance plant productivity. Waste rock samples were tested for acid forming potential via acid base accounting. Samples cores were constructed and leached with simulated rainwater to determine amendment affect on metal leaching. A greenhouse study was completed to determine the most suitable amendment(s) for the field mine land site. Results from the acid base accounting indicate that acid formed from the waste rock would be neutralized with the alkalinity in the system. Results also show that metals in solution are easily held by organics from the amendments and not allowed to leach in to the surrounding water system. Data from the greenhouse study indicated that the amendment of sewage sludge was most promising. Application of 2% sewage sludge along with 1% sewage sludge plus 1% clarifier sludge, 2% compost, and no treatment were used for mine land application. Initial results were encouraging and it appears that sewage sludge may be a good reclamation option for mine lands.

  15. Mercury methylation influenced by areas of past mercury mining in the Terlingua district, Southwest Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Hines, M.E.; Biester, H.

    2006-01-01

    Speciation and microbial transformation of Hg was studied in mine waste from abandoned Hg mines in SW Texas to evaluate the potential for methyl-Hg production and degradation in mine wastes. In mine waste samples, total Hg, ionic Hg2+, Hg0, methyl-Hg, organic C, and total S concentrations were measured, various Hg compounds were identified using thermal desorption pyrolysis, and potential rates of Hg methylation and methyl-Hg demethylation were determined using isotopic-tracer methods. These data are the first reported for Hg mines in this region. Total Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations were also determined in stream sediment collected downstream from two of the mines to evaluate transport of Hg and methylation in surrounding ecosystems. Mine waste contains total Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations as high as 19,000 ??g/g and 1500 ng/g, respectively, which are among the highest concentrations reported at Hg mines worldwide. Pyrolysis analyses show that mine waste contains variable amounts of cinnabar, metacinnabar, Hg0, and Hg sorbed onto particles. Methyl-Hg concentrations in mine waste correlate positively with ionic Hg2+, organic C, and total S, which are geochemical parameters that influence processes of Hg cycling and methylation. Net methylation rates were as high as 11,000 ng/g/day, indicating significant microbial Hg methylation at some sites, especially in samples collected inside retorts. Microbially-mediated methyl-Hg demethylation was also observed in many samples, but where both methylation and demethylation were found, the potential rate of methylation was faster. Total Hg concentrations in stream sediment samples were generally below the probable effect concentration of 1.06 ??g/g, the Hg concentration above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment dwelling organisms; whereas total Hg concentrations in mine waste samples were found to exceed this concentration, although this is a sediment quality guideline and is not directly applicable

  16. Geochemical Characterization of the Waste Rock Dump at the abandoned Geo-pung Mine, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, S.; Lee, H.; Cheong, Y.; Yim, G.; Park, H.

    2008-05-01

    To propose basic data for the establishment of the reclamation plan of the mine waste rock dumps, the geochemical studies including Acid-Base Accounting (ABA) test, water quality analyses of leachate and run-off waters, metal extraction test, and pot test were performed at the abandoned Geo-pung mine, located in the middle part of Korea. The acid generation capacities of the Geo-pung mine waste rocks (samples from ten points at the waste dump) showed high acid forming potential except for one point (G7). The maximum value of NAPP (Net Acid Producing Potential), which calculated by total sulfur (MPA, Maximum Potential Acidity, kg H2SO4/t) and ANC (Acid Neutralizing Capacity), was 80.94 kg H2 SO4/t. The results of the chemical analysis showed that the leachate from the waste rock dump have high concentration of Al (56 mg/l), Mn (39 mg/l), Cu (26.3 mg/l), Zn (155.3 mg/l), SO42- (1430 mg/l) and low pH (3.19). Run-off waters (surface flow of waste dump when rain) were, although partly different, showed high concentration of Al (1.7 ~ 20.2 mg/l), Cu (1.8 ~ 14.7 mg/l), Zn (2.4 ~ 26.5 mg/l) and low pH (3.08 ~ 4.07). From the metal extraction test, concentration of zinc was showed high level, from 579 mg/kg to 3,934 mg/kg. The upper parts of the Geo-pung mine waste dump have very low nutrient which needed for plant growth. The organic content was 9 g/kg, bioavailable phosphate was 0.1 mg/kg, and the exchangeable cation (K, Na, Mg) content also under the limit value (1 mg/kg) for the plant growth. The result of pot test also showed that this waste dump is unsuitable for media for plant growth due to lack of nutrient components. So when establish the reclamation plan of the Geo- pung mine waste dump, the cover system which have the function of prevention of sulfide oxidation and provision of nutrient with neutralize materials for revegetation must be considered. key words : Abandoned Mine, Waste Rock Dump, Acid-Base Accounting, Cover System

  17. Mercury as a serious health hazard for children in gold mining areas.

    PubMed

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Gothe, Raffaella Matteucci; Beinhoff, Christian; Siebert, Uwe; Drasch, Gustav

    2008-05-01

    In many developing countries, mercury is used to extract gold from ore in small-scale mining areas. Exposure through mercury in these small-scale mining communities is a serious health hazard, especially to the children living and working there. Many children begin working with immediate contact to mercury from the very early age of seven. In Indonesia and Zimbabwe, 166 children were clinically examined for mercury. The mercury concentration in the blood, urine, and hair was analyzed. Compared to the control groups, the exposed children showed typical symptoms of mercury intoxication, such as ataxia. The children working with mercury had high levels of this substance in the various biomonitors. The exposure derives mainly from the liquid mercury used to bind gold, forming an amalgam. The amalgam is heated and the smelting amalgam releases mercury vapor plus the wanted gold. Mercury vapor in contrast to liquid mercury is highly toxic. This elemental, vaporized mercury is the main form of exposure. Since in over 50 countries children live in small-scale gold mining areas and are exposed in a similar way to mercury, immediate action is needed to reduce this severe chemical health hazard for children. Child labor with hazardous substances such as mercury must be stopped.

  18. Bioaccessibility of U, Th and Pb in solid wastes and soils from an abandoned uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Foulkes, Michael; Millward, Geoffrey; Henderson, Samuel; Blake, William

    2016-12-12

    Bioaccessible U, Th, Pb and the (238)U decay products (214)Pb and (210)Pb have been determined, using a modified Unified BARGE Method (UBM), in waste solids and soils from an abandoned uranium mine in South West England, UK. Maximum aqua regia extractable concentrations for U, Th and Pb were 16,200, 3.8 and 4750 μg g(-1), respectively. (238)U had highest activity concentrations near the mine shaft, where the decay products(214)Pb and (210)Pb had values of 235 and 180 Bq g(-1), respectively. UBM extractions gave mean gastro-intestinal bioaccessibility factors (BAFs) for U and Pb in the waste solids of 0.05 and 0.03, respectively, whereas those for the soils were significantly higher at 0.24 and 0.17. The mean BAFs for the transient radionuclides, (214)Pb and (210)Pb, were similar to those for stable Pb implying that the stable and radioactive Pb isotopes were attached to similar sites on the particles. The doses arising from the ingestion of particulate (210)Pb due to soil pica behaviour were in the range 0.2-65 and < 0.1-6.2 μSv day(-1) for a 1-year old child or an adult (>17 years), respectively. The results suggest that the health risk posed by abandoned uranium mines, with waste rock and tailings, throughout the world should take account of the dose due to both bioaccessible radionuclides, as well as their stable counterparts.

  19. Nanominerals and potentially hazardous elements from coal cleaning rejects of abandoned mines: Environmental impact and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Fdez-Ortiz de Vallejuelo, Silvia; Gredilla, Ainara; da Boit, Kátia; Teixeira, Elba C; Sampaio, Carlos H; Madariaga, Juan Manuel; Silva, Luis F O

    2017-02-01

    Soils around coal mining are important reservoir of hazardous elements (HEs), nanominerals, and ultrafine compounds. This research reports and discusses the soil concentrations of HEs (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in coal residues of abandoned mines. To assess differences regarding environmental impact and risk assessment between coal abandoned mines from the Santa Catarina state, eighteen coal cleaning rejects with different mineralogical and chemical composition, from eight abandoned mines were collected. Nanominerals and ultra-fine minerals from mining-contaminated areas were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM), providing new information on the mineralogy and nano-mineralogy of these coal residues. The total contents of 57 elements (HEs, alkali metals, and rare earth elements) were analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The calculation of NWACs (Normalized Average Weighted Concentration), together with the chemometric analysis by Principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed the variability of the samples regarding their city and their mine of origin. Moreover, the results confirmed the existence of hotspots in mines near urban areas.

  20. Hydrologic conditions in the coal mining district of Indiana and implications for reclamation of abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Olyphant, G.A.; Harper, D.

    1998-12-31

    Bedrock strata of the mining district of Indiana (Indiana Coal Mining District, ICMD) include numerous coalbeds of economic importance, together with underclays, roof shales, limestones, and sandstones of Pennsylvanian age. These are typically poor aquifers with low hydraulic conductivities and specific yields. Surficial materials include loess, till, alluvium, and other deposits of pleistocene age. The loess and till also have low hydraulic conductivities, so that very few shallow aquifers exist in the vicinities of abandoned mine land (AML) sites, except where they are close to the alluvial fill of large bedrock valleys. The hydrologic cascade at AML sites in Indiana is strongly conditioned by the existence of elevated deposits of coarse-grained coal-preparation refuse and flooded underground mine workings. Flooded mines are the principal conduits of groundwater flow in the area, but their boundaries, flowpaths, and mechanisms of recharge and discharge are very different from those of natural aquifers and are poorly understood. Acidic mine drainage often emerges as seepages and springs on the edges of the elevated refuse deposits, but the low permeability of the natural surficial materials and bedrock inhibits the development of off-site groundwater contaminant plumes. The water balance across the surface of the refuse deposits is critical to reclamation planning and success. Enhancing runoff through reduction of infiltration capacity has the beneficial effect of reducing recharge through the acid-generating refuse, but the excess runoff may be accompanied by soil erosion that can lead to reclamation failure. Furthermore, during cool seasons and stormy periods, a well vegetated surface promotes recharge through increased infiltration, resulting in greater rates of acidic baseflow seepage. Passive Anoxic Limestone Drains (PALDs) have been successfully coupled with wetland treatment systems to improve surface waters that discharge from AML sites. Storm runoff from

  1. Atmospheric mercury emissions from mine wastes and surrounding geologically enriched terrains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gustin, M.S.; Coolbaugh, M.F.; Engle, M.A.; Fitzgerald, B.C.; Keislar, R.E.; Lindberg, S.E.; Nacht, D.M.; Quashnick, J.; Rytuba, J.J.; Sladek, C.; Zhang, H.; Zehner, R.E.

    2003-01-01

    Waste rock and ore associated with Hg, precious and base metal mining, and their surrounding host rocks are typically enriched in mercury relative to natural background concentrations (<0.1 ??g Hg g-1). Mercury fluxes to the atmosphere from mineralized areas can range from background rates (0-15 ng m-2 h-1) to tens of thousands of ng m-2 h-1. Mercury enriched substrate constitutes a long-term source of mercury to the global atmospheric mercury pool. Mercury emissions from substrate are influenced by light, temperature, precipitation, and substrate mercury concentration, and occur during the day and night. Light-enhanced emissions are driven by two processes: desorption of elemental mercury accumulated at the soil:air interface, and photo reduction of mercury containing phases. To determine the need for and effectiveness of regulatory controls on short-lived anthropogenic point sources the contribution of mercury from geologic non-point sources to the atmospheric mercury pool needs to be quantified. The atmospheric mercury contribution from small areas of mining disturbance with relatively high mercury concentrations are, in general, less than that from surrounding large areas of low levels of mercury enrichment. In the arid to semi-arid west-ern United States volatilization is the primary means by which mercury is released from enriched sites.

  2. Abandoned mine lands: a mid-course review of the national reclamation program for coal. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-11-01

    The Committee on Abandoned Mine Lands (CAML) analyzed how the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Office of Surface Mining (OSM) has and is administering the Title IV (Abandoned Mine Lands) Program of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. In the course of focusing on the effectiveness of the program, the Committee evaluated the program not only in terms of its probable accomplishments over its fifteen-year life, between 1977 and 1992, when the program statutorily ends, but also the magnitude and nature of the AML problems remaining to be remedied in the post-1992 period, if Congress decides to extend it. The Committee made nineteen recommendations about how OSM could improve the AML program's current effectiveness as well as prepare to assist Congress in reaching a decision to terminate or extend the program. Over the fifteen-year life of the program, some $3.3 billion will have been spent.

  3. Characterization and speciation of mercury-bearing mine wastes using X-ray absorption spectroscopy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kim, C.S.; Brown, Gordon E.; Rytuba, J.J.

    2000-01-01

    Mining of mercury deposits located in the California Coast Range has resulted in the release of mercury to the local environment and water supplies. The solubility, transport, and potential bioavailability of mercury are controlled by its chemical speciation, which can be directly determined for samples with total mercury concentrations greater than 100 mg kg-1 (ppm) using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). This technique has the additional benefits of being non-destructive to the sample, element-specific, relatively sensitive at low concentrations, and requiring minimal sample preparation. In this study, Hg L(III)-edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra were collected for several mercury mine tailings (calcines) in the California Coast Range. Total mercury concentrations of samples analyzed ranged from 230 to 1060 ppm. Speciation data (mercury phases present and relative abundances) were obtained by comparing the spectra from heterogeneous, roasted (calcined) mine tailings samples with a spectral database of mercury minerals and sorbed mercury complexes. Speciation analyses were also conducted on known mixtures of pure mercury minerals in order to assess the quantitative accuracy of the technique. While some calcine samples were found to consist exclusively of mercuric sulfide, others contain additional, more soluble mercury phases, indicating a greater potential for the release of mercury into solution. Also, a correlation was observed between samples from hot-spring mercury deposits, in which chloride levels are elevated, and the presence of mercury-chloride species as detected by the speciation analysis. The speciation results demonstrate the ability of XAS to identify multiple mercury phases in a heterogeneous sample, with a quantitative accuracy of ??25% for the mercury-containing phases considered. Use of this technique, in conjunction with standard microanalytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction and electron probe microanalysis

  4. Long term monitoring of water basin of an abandoned copper open pit mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolov, H.; Borisova, D.

    2012-04-01

    Nonoperating open pit mines, very often as a matter of fact abandoned, create serious ecological risk for the region of their location especially for the quality of the water since the rainfall fills the bottom of the pit forming water body having different depth. This water as a rule has very high concentration of the metals in it and is highly toxic. One example for such opencast, idle copper mine is Medet located in the central part of Bulgaria who was started for exploitation in 1964 and at that moment being the largest in Europe for production of copper concentrate. In the vicinity of it after autumn and spring rains there are many cases reported for water contamination by heavy metals such as arsenic, copper, cadmium in the rivers running close to this open pit mine. This justifies the need for long term and sustainable monitoring of the area of the water basin of this idle mine in order to estimate its acid drainage and imaging spectroscopy combined with is-situ investigations is proved to provide reliable results about the area of the water table. In the course of this study we have investigated historical data gathered by remote sensing which allowed us to make conclusions about the year behavior of this area. Our expectations are that the results of this research will help in the rehabilitation process of this idle mine and will provide the local authorities engaged in water quality monitoring with a tool to estimate the possible damage caused to the local rivers and springs. With this research we also would like to contribute to the fulfillment of the following EU Directives: Directive 2006/21/°C on the Management of Waste from the Extractive Industries and Directive 2004/35/ °C on Environmental Liability with regard to the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage.

  5. Women, mercury and artisanal gold mining : Risk communication and mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinton, J. J.; Veiga, M. M.; Beinhoff, C.

    2003-05-01

    Artisanal miners employ rudimentary techniques for minéral extraction and often operate under hazardous, labour intensive, highly disorganized and illegal conditions. Gold is the main mineral extracted by artisanal miners, and the ecological and human health impacts resulting from mercury (Hg) use in gold extraction warrant special consideration. More than 30% of world's 13 million artisanal miners are women and, as they are often perceived to be less suited for labour intensive mining methods, the majority of women work in the processing aspect of artisanal mining, including amalgamation with Hg. As women are also predominantly responsible for food preparation, they are in an excellent position to respond to health risks associated with consumption of Hg-contaminated foods in impacted areas. In addition to their influence on consumption habits, women in artisanal mining communities may be in a position to effect positive change with respect to the technologies employed. Thus, gender sensitive approaches are necessary to reduce exposure risks to women and their families, promote clean technologies and support the development of stronger, healthier artisanal mining communities. This paper describes the roles of women in artisanal gold mining, highlights their importance in reducing the Hg exposure in these communities, and provides insight into how risks from Hg pollution can effectively be communicated and mitigated.

  6. Glionitrin A, an antibiotic-antitumor metabolite derived from competitive interaction between abandoned mine microbes

    SciTech Connect

    Park, H.B.; Kown, H.C.; Lee, C.H.; Yang, H.O.

    2009-02-15

    The nutrient conditions present in abandoned coal mine drainages create an extreme environment where defensive and offensive microbial interactions could be critical for survival and fitness. Coculture of a mine drainage-derived Sphingomonas bacterial strain, KMK-001, and a mine drainage-derived Aspergillus fumigatus fungal strain, KMC-901, resulted in isolation of a new diketopiperazine disulfide, glionitrin A (1). Compound 1 was not detected in monoculture broths of KMK-001 or KMC-901. The structure of 1, a (3S,10aS) diketopiperazine disulfide containing a nitro aromatic ring, was based on analysis of MS, NMR, and circular dichroism spectra and confirmed by X-ray crystal data. Glionitrin A displayed significant antibiotic activity against a series of microbes including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. An in vitro MTT cytotoxicity assay revealed that 1 had potent submicromolar cytotoxic activity against four human cancer cell lines: HCT-116, A549, AGS, and DU145. The results provide further evidence that microbial coculture can produce novel biologically relevant molecules.

  7. Resistance to and Accumulation of Heavy Metals by Actinobacteria Isolated from Abandoned Mining Areas

    PubMed Central

    El Baz, Soraia; Baz, Mohamed; El Gharmali, Abdelhay; Imziln, Boujamâa

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of high concentrations of heavy metals in environments can cause many human health risks and serious ecological problems. Nowadays, bioremediation using microorganisms is receiving much attention due to their good performance. The aim of this work is to investigate heavy metals resistance and bioaccumulation potential of actinobacteria strains isolated from some abandoned mining areas. Analysis of mining residues revealed that high concentration of zinc “Zn” was recorded in Sidi Bouatman, Arbar, and Bir Nhass mining residues. The highest concentration of lead “Pb” was found in Sidi Bouatman. Copper “Cu,” cadmium “Cd,” and chromium “Cr” were found with moderate and low concentrations. The resistance of 59 isolated actinobacteria to the five heavy metals was also determined. Using molecular identification 16S rRNA, these 27 isolates were found to belong to Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis genera. The results showed different levels of heavy metal resistance; the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) recorded was 0.55 for Pb, 0.15 for Cr, and 0.10 mg·mL−1 for both Zn and Cu. Chemical precipitation assay of heavy metals using hydrogen sulfide technic (H2S) revealed that only 27 isolates have a strong ability to accumulate Pb (up to 600 mg of Pb per g of biomass for Streptomyces sp. BN3). PMID:25763383

  8. Application of decision tree model for the ground subsidence hazard mapping near abandoned underground coal mines.

    PubMed

    Lee, Saro; Park, Inhye

    2013-09-30

    Subsidence of ground caused by underground mines poses hazards to human life and property. This study analyzed the hazard to ground subsidence using factors that can affect ground subsidence and a decision tree approach in a geographic information system (GIS). The study area was Taebaek, Gangwon-do, Korea, where many abandoned underground coal mines exist. Spatial data, topography, geology, and various ground-engineering data for the subsidence area were collected and compiled in a database for mapping ground-subsidence hazard (GSH). The subsidence area was randomly split 50/50 for training and validation of the models. A data-mining classification technique was applied to the GSH mapping, and decision trees were constructed using the chi-squared automatic interaction detector (CHAID) and the quick, unbiased, and efficient statistical tree (QUEST) algorithms. The frequency ratio model was also applied to the GSH mapping for comparing with probabilistic model. The resulting GSH maps were validated using area-under-the-curve (AUC) analysis with the subsidence area data that had not been used for training the model. The highest accuracy was achieved by the decision tree model using CHAID algorithm (94.01%) comparing with QUEST algorithms (90.37%) and frequency ratio model (86.70%). These accuracies are higher than previously reported results for decision tree. Decision tree methods can therefore be used efficiently for GSH analysis and might be widely used for prediction of various spatial events.

  9. Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) of faulting and subsidence at an abandoned coal mine in the Walloon Coal Measures, Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brook, Martin; MacDonald-Creevey, Amanda; Smith, Ben

    2016-04-01

    As urban and suburban areas expand into previously unoccupied sites, the problem of accurately determining the locations of abandoned mine workings and the possible effects of fault reactivation on surface subsidence becomes more important. Here, we present the results of DC electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) surveys above an abandoned coal mine in the Jurassic Walloon Coal Measures of the Clarence-Moreton Basin, Queensland. Objectives were to: (1) locate the surface entrance to a coal mine access shaft, (2) determine the extent of the mine workings, (3) determine if the workings are open, partly- or fully-collapsed, (4) locate the possible existence of a high angle fault delineating the western extent of the workings. Coal seams were mined underground by the bord-and-pillar technique at the site until the first half of the 20th century to within ~20 m of the ground surface. This has led to ground settlement post-abandonment, with an additional hazard of this stress-redistribution being the possible reactivation of steeply-dipping faults known to pervade the coal measures. After an initial site reconnaissance, desktop study and modelling, it was determined that existing mine plans, maps and records were poorly kept and inaccurate, making a satisfactory geotechnical risk assessment prior to land development and construction difficult. The 2D ERI transects, coupled with boreholes, identified lateral zones of moderate-high resistivity that are interpreted to be partly-collapsed workings. The second key feature identified was a reverse fault that delineated the western edge of the mine workings. The key outcome is that for abandoned mine risk assessment to be optimised, careful integration of geophysical data and direct testing needs to be made.

  10. Science for watershed decisions on abandoned mine lands; review of preliminary results, Denver, Colorado, February 4-5, 1998

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nimick, David A.; Von Guerard, Paul

    1998-01-01

    From the Preface: There are thousands of abandoned or inactive mines on or adjacent to public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service. Mine wastes from many of these abandoned mines adversely affect resources on public lands. In 1995, an interdepartmental work group within the Federal government developed a strategy to address remediation of the many abandoned mines on public lands. This strategy is based on using a watershed approach to address the abandoned mine lands (AML) problem. The USGS, working closely with the Federal land-management agencies (FLMAs), is key for the success of this watershed approach. In support of this watershed approach, the USGS developed an AML Initiative with pilot studies in the Boulder River in Montana and the Animas River in Colorado. The goal of these studies is to design and implement a reliable strategy that will supply the scientific information to the FLMAs so that land managers can develop efficient and cost-effective remediation of AML. The symposium 'Science for Watershed Decisions on Abandoned Mine Lands: Review of Preliminary Results' held in Denver, Colorado, on February 4-5, 1998, provided the FLMAs a first look at the techniques, data, and interpretations being generated by the USGS pilot studies. This multidisciplined effort already is proving very valuable to land managers in making science-based AML cleanup decisions and will continue to be of increasing value as additional and more complete information is obtained. Ongoing interaction between scientists and land managers is essential to insure the efficient continuation and success of AML cleanup efforts.

  11. Spatial distribution of environmental risk associated to a uranium abandoned mine (Central Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antunes, I. M.; Ribeiro, A. F.

    2012-04-01

    The abandoned uranium mine of Canto do Lagar is located at Arcozelo da Serra, central Portugal. The mine was exploited in an open pit and produced about 12430Kg of uranium oxide (U3O8), between 1987 and 1988. The dominant geological unit is the porphyritic coarse-grained two-mica granite, with biotite>muscovite. The uranium deposit consists of two gaps crushing, parallel to the coarse-grained porphyritic granite, with average direction N30°E, silicified, sericitized and reddish jasperized, with a width of approximately 10 meters. These gaps are accompanied by two thin veins of white quartz, 70°-80° WNW, ferruginous and jasperized with chalcedony, red jasper and opal. These veins are about 6 meters away from each other. They contain secondary U-phosphates phases such as autunite and torbernite. Rejected materials (1000000ton) were deposited on two dumps and a lake was formed in the open pit. To assess the environmental risk of the abandoned uranium mine of Canto do Lagar, were collected and analysed 70 samples on stream sediments, soils and mine tailings materials. The relation between samples composition were tested using the Principal Components Analysis (PCA) (multivariate analysis) and spatial distribution using Kriging Indicator. The spatial distribution of stream sediments shows that the probability of expression for principal component 1 (explaining Y, Zr, Nb, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Hf, Th and U contents), decreases along SE-NW direction. This component is explained by the samples located inside mine influence. The probability of expression for principal component 2 (explaining Be, Na, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, As, Rb, Sr, Mo, Cs, Ba, Tl and Bi contents), increases to middle stream line. This component is explained by the samples located outside mine influence. The spatial distribution of soils, shows that the probability of expression for principal component 1 (explaining Mg, P, Ca, Ge, Sr, Y, Zr, La, Ce, Pr

  12. Risk assessment of toxic heavy metals in the abandoned metal mine areas, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J. S.; Chon, H. T.

    2003-04-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the risk of adverse health effects on human exposure to toxic heavy metals influenced by past mining activities. Environmental geochemical survey was undertaken in the abandoned metal mine areas (Dongil Au-Ag-Cu-Zn mine, Okdong Cu-Pb-Zn mine, Myungbong Au-Ag mine). After appropriate sample preparation, tailings, soils, crop plants and groundwaters were analyzed for As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Health risk assessment of toxic heavy metals has been performed with chemical analytical data for environmental media. Arsenic and other heavy metals are highly elevated in the tailings from the Dongil mine (8,720 As mg/kg, 5.9 Cd mg/kg, 3,610 Cu mg/kg, 5,850 Pb mg/kg, 630 Zn mg/kg), but heavy metals except As from the Okdong mine (72 As mg/kg, 53.6 Cd mg/kg, 910 Cu mg/kg, 1,590 Pb mg/kg, 5,720 Zn mg/kg) and only As from the Myungbong mine (5,810 As mg/kg). These significant concentrations can impact on soils and waters around the tailing files. Also, elevated levels of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn are found in agricultural soils from these mine areas. Risk assessment modeling is subdivided into main four stages, i.e. hazard identification, exposure assessment, toxicity (dose-response) assessment and risk characterization. In order to assess exposure it is necessary to calculate the average daily dose (ADD) of contaminant via the three identified pathways (soil, groundwater and food (rice grain) pathways). In dose-response assessment for non-carcinogens, reference doses (RfD) are calculated and that for carcinogens, slope factors (SF) are obtained by US-EPA IRIS database. In risk characterization, the results of toxicity assessment and exposure assessment are integrated to arrive at quantitative estimates of cancer risks and hazard quotients. Toxic (non-cancer) risks are indicated in terms of a hazard quotient (H.Q.) and this risk exists for H.Q.>1. The H.Q. values for only As from the Dongil and Myungbong mine areas are 2.1 and

  13. Reclamation of abandoned surface coal mined land using flue gas desulfurization products

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, L.; Kost, D.; Dick, W.A.

    2009-07-01

    Details are given of a field-scale research project where the Fleming site, in Ohio, of highly degraded and acid-forming abandoned surface coal-mined land, was reclaimed using a dry flue gas desulfurization product from an atmospheric fluidized bed combustion burner at a General Motors plant Pontiac, MI, which burned eastern Ohio coal and used dolomitic limestone for desulfurization. Plots were seeded with a mixture of grasses, wheat and clover, in 1994 and soil and water samples were analysed in 1995 and in 2009. It was found that FGD-treated plots promoted good regenerative growth, similar to that in plots using more concentrated re-soil material. The FGD treatment also greatly improved overall water quality. 3 figs., 4 tabs.

  14. Physiological aspects of vetiver grass for rehabilitation in abandoned metalliferous mine wastes.

    PubMed

    Pang, J; Chan, G S Y; Zhang, J; Liang, J; Wong, M H

    2003-09-01

    Physiological aspects of why vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) can be tolerant to heavy metals and be used as an alternative method for rehabilitation of abandoned metalliferous mine wastelands have been investigated. The results showed that high proportions of lead and zinc (Pb/Zn) tailing greatly inhibited the leaf growth, dry matter accumulation, and photosynthesis of leaves, but stimulated the accumulation of proline and abscisic acid (ABA), and enhanced the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), implying that different mechanisms to detoxify active oxygen species (AOS) existed in different parts of plants. Physiological responses to heavy metal treatments differed greatly between roots and shoots. Nitrogen fertilizer application could greatly alleviate the adverse effects of high proportions of Pb/Zn tailing on vetiver grass growth.

  15. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  16. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  17. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  18. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  19. Impact of acid mine drainages on surficial waters of an abandoned mining site.

    PubMed

    García-Lorenzo, M L; Marimón, J; Navarro-Hervás, M C; Pérez-Sirvent, C; Martínez-Sánchez, M J; Molina-Ruiz, José

    2016-04-01

    Weathering of sulphide minerals produces a great variety of efflorescences of soluble sulphate salts. These minerals play an important role for environmental pollution, since they can be either a sink or a source for acidity and trace elements. This paper aims to characterise surface waters affected by mining activities in the Sierra Minera of Cartagena-La Union (SE, Spain). Water samples were analysed for trace metals (Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, As and Fe), major ions (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)) and anions (F(-), Cl(-), NO3 (-), CO3 (2-), SO4 (2-)) concentrations and were submitted to an "evaporation-precipitation" experiment that consisted in identifying the salts resulting from the evaporation of the water aliquots sampled onsite. Mineralogy of the salts was studied using X-ray diffraction and compared with the results of calculations using VISUAL MINTEQ. The study area is heavily polluted as a result of historical mining and processing activities that has produced large amount of wastes characterised by a high trace elements content, acidic pH and containing minerals resulting from the supergene alteration of the raw materials. The mineralogical study of the efflorescences obtained from waters shows that magnesium, zinc, iron and aluminium sulphates predominate in the acid mine drainage precipitates. Minerals of the hexahydrite group have been quantified together with minerals of the rozenite group, alunogen and other phases such as coquimbite and copiapite. Calcium sulphates correspond exclusively to gypsum. In a semiarid climate, such as that of the study area, these minerals contribute to understand the response of the system to episodic rainfall events. MINTEQ model could be used for the analysis of waters affected by mining activities but simulation of evaporation gives more realistic results considering that MINTEQ does not consider soluble hydrated salts.

  20. Mercury and other metal(oid)s from mining activities in sediments from the Almadén district

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Ordiales, Efrén; Esbrí, José M.; Higueras, Pablo; Loredo, Jorge

    2015-04-01

    Almadén (South Central Spain) is worldwide famous because of mercury mining. But besides, the area has also been the site of other types of mining, in particular exploitation of Pb-Zn sulphides, with variable contents of other economic metals such as Ag, as well as others with high pollution potential such as As, Cd, Sb, etc. These exploitations were in activity in different historic periods, since Romans times to the 20th Century, and most of them were abandoned with no reclamation measures at all, acting as important sources of contamination in surrounding soils. In this work, we present a preliminary assessment of the affection of sediments for the streams of Almadén mine district, considering other potential pollutants in addition to mercury. Sampling was carried out during the period 2010-2013, and involved the collection of 65 samples of stream sediments in the main river of the district (Valdeazogues River) and main subsidiaries. Samples were air-dried, sieved to <2mm to discard gravel fraction, milled to <63μm and analysed in certified laboratory (ACME Labs Canada) by ICP-AES and ICP-MS after hot acid digestion. Results showed that sediments suffer a significant metal accumulation within the district, being specially concern at the areas close to mines. Most studied samples exceed the heavy metals and metalloids reference values for uncontaminated sites as well as those fitted to protect the aquatic life. Element by element, mercury contents are widely disperse in the district because of mining activities and it can be considered as the main pollutant of the district. Concentrations of other potentially harmful elements such as Pb, Zn and As show also important concentrations, which may be attributed to anthropogenic sources, specially to decommissioned mines. Comparing concentrations from the different surveyed areas, two different zones were identified: One located in the upper part of the district, where the intense mining activities related with four

  1. Mine-derived mercury: effects on lower trophic species in Clear Lake, California.

    PubMed

    Suchanek, Thomas H; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Slotton, Darell G; Harner, E James; Adam, David P; Colwell, Arthur E; Anderson, Norman L; Woodward, David L

    2008-12-01

    Considerable ecological research on mercury (Hg) has focused on higher trophic level species (e.g., fishes and birds), but less on lower trophic species. Clear Lake, site of the abandoned Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, provides a unique opportunity to study a system influenced by mine-derived Hg. An exponentially decreasing gradient of total Hg (TotHg) away from the mine allowed us to evaluate Hg bioaccumulation in planktonic and benthic invertebrates and evaluate population- and community-level parameters that might be influenced by Hg. Studies from 1992-1998 demonstrated that TotHg in lower trophic species typically decreased exponentially away from the mine, similar to trends observed in water and sediments. However, a significant amount of invertebrate TotHg (approximately 60% for sediment-dwelling chironomid insect larvae) likely derives from Hg-laden particles in their guts. Spatially, whole-body methylmercury (MeHg) did not typically exhibit a significant decrease with increasing distance from the mine. Temporally, TotHg concentrations in plankton and chironomids did not exhibit any short-term (seasonal or annual) or long-term (multiyear) trends. Methylmercury, however, was elevated during late summer/fall in both plankton and chironomids, but it exhibited no long-term increase or decrease during this study. Although data from a 50-yr monitoring program for benthic chaoborid and chironomid larvae documented significant population fluctuations, they did not demonstrate population-level trends with respect to Hg concentrations. Littoral invertebrates also exhibited no detectable population- or community-level trends associated with the steep Hg gradient. Although sediment TotHg concentrations (1-1200 mg/kg dry mass) exceed sediment quality guidelines by up to 7000 times, it is notable that no population- or community-level effects were detected for benthic and planktonic taxa. In comparison with other sites worldwide, Clear Lake's lower trophic species typically

  2. Ecotoxicological risks of the abandoned F-Ba-Pb-Zn mining area of Osor (Spain).

    PubMed

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Navarro, Andrés; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-06-03

    Due to its potential toxic properties, metal mobilization is of major concern in areas surrounding Pb-Zn mines. In the present study, metal contents and toxicity of soils, aqueous extracts from soils and mine drainage waters from an abandoned F-Ba-Pb-Zn mining area in Osor (Girona, NE Spain) were evaluated through chemical extractions and ecotoxicity bioassays. Toxicity assessment in the terrestrial compartment included lethal and sublethal endpoints on earthworms Eisenia fetida, arthropods Folsomia candida and several plant species, whereas aquatic tests involved bacteria Vibrio fischeri, microalgae Raphidocelis subcapitata and crustaceans Daphnia magna. Total concentrations of Ba (250-5110 mg kg(-1)), Pb (940 to >5000 mg kg(-1)) and Zn (2370-11,300 mg kg(-1)) in soils exceeded intervention values to protect human health. Risks for the aquatic compartment were identified in the release of drainage waters and in the potential leaching and runoff of metals from contaminated soils, with Cd (1.98-9.15 µg L(-1)), Pb (2.11-326 µg L(-1)) and Zn (280-2900 µg L(-1)) concentrations in filtered water samples surpassing US EPA Water Quality Criteria (2016a, b). Terrestrial ecotoxicity tests were in accordance with metal quantifications and identified the most polluted soil as the most toxic. Avoidance and reproduction tests with earthworms showed the highest sensitivity to metal contamination. Aquatic bioassays performed in aqueous extracts from soils confirmed the results from terrestrial tests and also detected toxic effects caused by the mine drainage waters. Algal growth inhibition was the most sensitive aquatic endpoint. In view of the results, the application of a containment or remediative procedure in the area is encouraged.

  3. Risk assessment and restoration possibilities of some abandoned mining ponds in Murcia Region, SE Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faz, Angel; Acosta, Jose A.; Martinez-Martinez, Silvia; Carmona, Dora M.; Zornoza, Raul; Kabas, Sebla; Bech, Jaume

    2010-05-01

    In Murcia Region, SE Spain, there are 85 tailing ponds due to intensive mining activities that occurred during last century, especially in Sierra Minera de Cartagena-La Union. Although mining activity was abandoned several decades ago, those tailing ponds with high amounts of heavy metals still remain in the area. The ponds, due to their composition and location, may create environmental risks of geochemical pollution, negatively affecting soil, water, and plant, animal, and human populations, as well as infrastructures. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the restoration possibilities of two representative mining ponds in order to minimize the risk for human and ecosystems. To achieve this objective, two tailing ponds generated by mining activities were selected, El Lirio and El Gorguel. These ponds are representative of the rest of existent ponds in Sierra Minera de Cartagena-La Unión, with similar problems and characteristics. Several techniques and studies were applied to the tailing ponds for their characterization, including: geophysics, geotechnics, geochemical, geological, hydrological, and vegetation studies. In addition, effects of particulate size in the distribution of heavy metals will be used to assess the risk of dispersion of these metals in finest particles. Once the ponds were characterized, they were divided in several sectors in order to apply different amendments (pig slurry and marble waste) to reduce the risk of metal mobility and improve soil quality for a future phytostabilization. It is known that organic amendments promote soil development processes, microbial diversity, and finally, soil ecosystem restoration to a state of self-sustainability. By comparing the results before and after applications we will be able to evaluate the effect of the different amendments on soil quality and their effectively on risk reduction. Finally, plant metal-tolerant species are used to restore vegetation in the ponds, thereby decreasing

  4. Geoelectrical surveys for monitoring acid mine drainage in groundwater at abandoned open-cast lignite mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stollberg, R.; Hirsch, M.; Weiss, H.

    2013-05-01

    Surface and borehole geoelectrical survey techniques (DC resistivity measurements, Direct Push based electrical conductivity logging) were used to identify and localize acid mine drainage (AMD) at former lignite mining areas and adjacent groundwater bodies in Central Germany. Geoelectrical surface measurements are a fast and high-resolution survey method for the identification and discrimination of subsurface sections with different electrical properties. The method is based on a current injection by a pair of electrodes and electrical potential measurements by a second pair of electrodes. An electrical resistivity distribution of the subsurface can be measured by the ratio of injected currents and measured potentials. Moreover, electrical conductivity logging (EC-logging) was applied along the profile line of the geoelectrical surface measurement. A direct-push machine was used to push a GeoProbe® Wenner-Probe attached to a rod string into the ridges of mining dumps for recording vertical electrical resistivity profiles. The main objective has been the comparison between the superficial resistivity measurements and the results from in-situ downhole EC-logging for identifying the presence of AMD. Both, surface and subsurface measurements yielded in a precise and corresponding imaging of acidification effects in the underground. The electrical properties of soil/dump material and groundwater were found to be a proper proxy for the assessment of extension and degree of AMD impacts on soil and groundwater systems. A good correlation of the results obtained by these non- to minimal invasive investigation techniques with conventional (i.e. groundwater sampling) approaches could be proven.

  5. Elevated Concentrations of U and Co-occurring Metals in Abandoned Mine Wastes in a Northeastern Arizona Native American Community.

    PubMed

    Blake, Johanna M; Avasarala, Sumant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi S; Brearley, Adrian J; Shuey, Christopher; Robinson, Wm Paul; Nez, Christopher; Bill, Sadie; Lewis, Johnnye; Hirani, Chris; Pacheco, Juan S Lezama; Cerrato, José M

    2015-07-21

    The chemical interactions of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a Native American community in northeastern Arizona were investigated using spectroscopy, microscopy and aqueous chemistry. The concentrations of U (67-169 μg L(-1)) in spring water samples exceed the EPA maximum contaminant limit of 30 μg L(-1). Elevated U (6,614 mg kg(-1)), V (15,814 mg kg(-1)), and As (40 mg kg(-1)) concentrations were detected in mine waste solids. Spectroscopy (XPS and XANES) solid analyses identified U (VI), As (-I and III) and Fe (II, III). Linear correlations for the release of U vs V and As vs Fe were observed for batch experiments when reacting mine waste solids with 10 mM ascorbic acid (∼pH 3.8) after 264 h. The release of U, V, As, and Fe was at least 4-fold lower after reaction with 10 mM bicarbonate (∼pH 8.3). These results suggest that U-V mineral phases similar to carnotite [K2(UO2)2V2O8] and As-Fe-bearing phases control the availability of U and As in these abandoned mine wastes. Elevated concentrations of metals are of concern due to human exposure pathways and exposure of livestock currently ingesting water in the area. This study contributes to understanding the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located close to abandoned mine waste sites.

  6. Accumulation of mercury and cadmium in rice from paddy soil near a mercury mine.

    PubMed

    Li, W C; Ouyang, Y; Ye, Z H

    2014-11-01

    Paddy soil and rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the Wanshan mining area in Guizhou Province, China, have been contaminated by toxic trace metals such as cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg). The present study examined correlations between the types and physicochemical parameters of the soil and the contents of trace metals and the different forms of Hg in rice. The health risks of consuming contaminated rice from the Wanshan mining area were also assessed. Sequential extraction procedures were used to investigate the chemical behavior of Hg in the soil. The results showed that Hg and Cd were the most abundant trace metals in the Wanshan mining area. The toxic methylmercury (MeHg) content was substantial in brown rice, and the total amounts of total Hg (THg), diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid-Hg, and water-soluble Hg varied in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils. An antagonistic interaction between Mn in brown rice, straw, and husk and MeHg in brown rice was also shown. An analysis of calculated dietary intake, target hazard quotients, and hazard indexes showed a potential risk of transferring Hg, MeHg, and Cd to humans when rice from the Wanshan mining area is consumed. Therefore, it must be concluded that consuming contaminated rice near the Wanshan mining area is a potential threat to human health.

  7. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China

    PubMed Central

    Du, Buyun; Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Zhou, Jun; Maurice, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the mercury (Hg) exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China. Rice samples consumed by these same children were also collected for total mercury (THg) and methyl-mercury (MeHg) analysis. The geometric mean concentrations of THg and MeHg in the hair samples were 1.4 (range 0.50–6.0) μg/g and 1.1 (range 0.35–4.2) μg/g, respectively, while the geometric mean concentration of urine Hg (UHg) was 1.4 (range 0.09–26) μg/g Creatinine (Cr). The average of the probable daily intake (PDI) of MeHg via rice consumption was 0.052 (0.0033–0.39) µg/kg/day, which significantly correlated with the hair MeHg concentrations (r = 0.55, p < 0.01), indicating that ingestion of rice is the main pathway of MeHg exposure for children in this area. Furthermore, 18% (26/141) of the PDIs of MeHg exceeded the USEPA Reference Dose (RfD) of 0.10 µg/kg/day, indicating that children in this area are at a high MeHg exposure level. This paper for the first time evaluates the co-exposure levels of IHg and MeHg of children living in Wanshan mining area, and revealed the difference in exposure patterns between children and adults in this area. PMID:27834827

  8. TECHNICAL REPORT ON TECHNOLOGICALLY ENHANCED NATURALLY OCCURRING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS FROM URANIUM MINING, VOLUME II: INVESTIGATION OF POTENTIAL HEALTH, GEOGRAPHIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES OF ABANDONED URANIUM MINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Volume II investigates the potential radiogenic risks from abandoned uranium mines and evaluates which may pose the greatest hazards to members of the public and to the environment. The intent of this report is to identify who may be most likely to be exposed to wastes at small a...

  9. Use of native plants for the remediation of abandoned mine sites in Mediterranean semiarid environments.

    PubMed

    Bacchetta, G; Cappai, G; Carucci, A; Tamburini, E

    2015-03-01

    Abandoned tailing dumps from mining industry represent important sources of metal contamination in the surrounding environments. This study evaluates the potential of two Mediterranean native plants, Pistacia lentiscus and Phragmites australis, for phytoremediation of two Sardinian contaminated mine sites. A 6 months study has been conducted at greenhouse-controlled conditions with the aim of investigating the plant capability to tolerate high metal concentrations and to extract or immobilize them within the roots. The possibility to mitigate stress on the plants and improve treatment efficiency by adding compost as amendment was also evaluated. Both species were able to restrict accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn to the root tissues exhibiting a metal concentration ratio of plant roots to soil bioavailable fraction higher than two (four in the case of Zn). However, the two species showed different adaptation responses, being the survival of P. australis after 6 months in contaminated soil lower (25 %-58 %) than that observed for P. lentiscus (77 %-100 %). Compost addition resulted in a lower metal uptake in tissues of both plants and a higher survival of P. australis, whilst almost no effect was observed as regard the growth of both species. The two tested species appear to be promising candidates for phytostabilization, P. lentiscus exhibiting a greater adaptability to heavy metal contaminated matrices than P. australis.

  10. Abandoned mined land impacts on water and sediment quality, and invertebrate assemblages in two Virginia watersheds

    SciTech Connect

    Yeager, J.L.; Bidwell, J.R.; Cherry, D.S.; Zipper, C.E.

    1996-12-31

    The constituents of abandoned mined land (AML) discharges (acidic pH, metals, dissolved solids, total suspended solids) can be toxic to aquatic life. Studies were undertaken to determine environmental impacts of acid mine drainage (AMD), a component of AML, in the Black Creek and Ely Creek watersheds, Wise and Lee Counties, Virginia. Conductivity and pH in the stream were measured to survey the magnitude of AMD discharge within each system. Water, sediment and water/sediment mixtures that simulate storm events were analyzed for metal content (Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Mg). Benthic macroinvertebrates were collected seasonally using D-framed nets to determine AMD effects on relative abundance and taxon richness. Acidic pH ranged from 2.15-3.30 at three AMD-influenced seeps and varied from 6.40-8.00 at reference stations. Conductivity ({mu}mhos/cm) ranged from 32-278 at reference sites and from 245 to >6000 at AMD-impact sites. Benthic macroinvertebrate abundance and taxon richness were notably lower in the seeps having only 1-3 taxa totalling < 10 organisms as compared to reference areas where richness values were 12-17 and comprised 300-977 organisms. Sediments from selected areas within Black Creek caused significant reductions in Daphnia magna reproduction relative to reference site sediments in 10 day chronic toxicity test. Concentrations of Fe, Al, Mg, Cu, and Zn were highest in the AMD influenced stations with low pH and high conductivity.

  11. Bioaccessibility of U, Th and Pb in particulate matter from an abandoned uranium mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millward, Geoffrey; Foulkes, Michael; Henderson, Sam; Blake, William

    2016-04-01

    Currently, there are approximately 150 uranium mines in Europe at various stages of either operation, development, decommissioning, restoration or abandonment (wise-uranium.com). The particulate matter comprising the mounds of waste rock and mill tailings poses a risk to human health through the inadvertent ingestion of particles contaminated with uranium and thorium, and their decay products, which exposes recipients to the dual toxicity of heavy elements and their radioactive emissions. We investigated the bioaccessibility of 238U, 232Th and 206,214,210Pb in particulate samples taken from a contaminated, abandoned uranium mine in South West England. Sampling included a mine shaft, dressing floor and waste heap, as well as soils from a field used for grazing. The contaminants were extracted using the in-vitro Unified Bioaccessibility Research Group of Europe Method (UBM) in order to mimic the digestion processes in the human stomach (STOM) and the combined stomach and gastrointestinal tract (STOM+INT). Analyses of concentrations of U, Th and Pb in the extracts were by ICP-MS and the activity concentrations of radionuclides were determined on the same particles, before and after extraction, using gamma spectroscopy. 'Total' concentrations of U, Th and Pb for all samples were in the range 57 to 16,200, 0.28 to 3.8 and 69 to 4750 mg kg-1, respectively. For U and Pb the concentrations in the STOM fraction were lower than the total and STOM+INT fractions were even lower. However, for Th the STOM+INT fractions were higher than the STOM due to the presence of Th carbonate species within the gastrointestinal fluid. Activity concentrations for 214Pb and 210Pb, including total, STOM and STOM+INT, were in the range 180 to <1 Bq g-1 for the dressing floor and waste heap and 18 to <1 Bq g-1 for the grazing land. Estimates of the bioaccessible fractions (BAFs) of 238U in the most contaminated samples were 39% and 8% in the STOM and STOM+INT, respectively, whereas the respective

  12. Exposure assessment of heavy metals on abandoned metal mine areas by ingestion of soil, crop plant and groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.-S.; Chon, H.-T.

    2003-05-01

    In order to assess the risk of adverse health effects on human exposure to arsenic and heavy metals influence by past mining activities, environmental geochemical survey was undertaken in the abandoned metal mine areas (Dongil Au-Ag-Cu-Zn mine, Okdong Cu-Pb-Zn mine, Myungbong Au-Ag mine). Arsenic and other heavy metals were highly elevated in the tailings from the Dongil mine (8,720 As mg/kg, 5.9 Cd mg/kg, 3,610 Cu mg/kg, 5,850 Pb mg/kg, 630 Zn mg/kg). Heavy metals except As from the Okdong mine (53.6 Cd mg/kg, 910 Cu mg/kg, 1,590 Pb mg/kg, 5,720 Zn mg/kg) and As from the Myungbong mine (5,810 As mg/kg) were also elevated. Elevated levels of As, Cd and Zn were also found in agricultural soils from these mine areas. The H.I. (hazard index) values of As and Cd from the Dongil, the Okdong and Myungbong mine areas are higher than 1.0. Therefore, toxic risk for As and Cd exist via exposure (ingestion) of contaminated soil, groundwater and rice grain in these mine areas.

  13. Environmental geochemistry on La Nueva Concepción mercury mining area, a comparison with the metallurgical complex of Almadenejos.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Washington; Herrera, Edison; Martínez-Coronado, Alba; Oyarzun, Roberto; Higueras, Pablo; María Esbrí, José

    2014-05-01

    Almadenejos is a small town located some 14 km East of Almadén, and was the main mining and metallurgical complex of an area comprising the Vieja Concepción (1699-1800), Nueva Concepción (1794-1965), and El Entredicho (Middle Age s.l., and 1981-1997) mines as well as the old Almadenejos metallurgical precinct (1700?-1860). This combination makes the area one of the most contaminated in the Almadén district. This study covers the Nueva Concepción mine area, a sector that lacked geochemical data before this study. We here present the results of a survey including soils (n = 80), lichens (Evernia prunastri) (n = 73) and total gaseous mercury (n = 61). The analyses of soils and lichens were carried out using an atomic absorption spectrometer AMA254, while total gaseous mercury determinations were in-situ obtained using a portable Lumex RA-915+. We used Surfer 8 for the krigging and subsequent mapping of geochemical data. Mercury contents in soils are in the range of 6 - 721 mg kg-1, clearly higher than critical concentrations in soils by Kabata-Pendias (2001) (0.3 - 5 mg kg-1). This mercury levels are higher in the metallurgical facility of Almadenejos (range = 25 - 15900 mg kg-1), putting forward that the main pollution legacy relates to the metallurgical activities and not to the mining operations. The statistical distribution of data is log-normal and as shown by the krigging Hg shows a remarkable E-W spatial component which closely matches the structural pattern of the main Hg hosting bed: the Criadero Quartzite. On the other hand, total gaseous mercury shows a WNW-ESE tendency most probably controlled by the local main wind direction. A similar spatial trend was found for the lichen's Hg contents. Mercury contents in these lichens are 103 times higher than in pristine areas but lower than those from the abandoned (and highly polluted) Almadenejos metallurgical complex.

  14. Release of Mercury Mine Tailings from Mine Impacted Watersheds by Extreme Events Resulting from Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rytuba, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    An increase in intensity and frequency of extreme events resulting from climate change is expected to result in extreme precipitation events on both regional and local scales. Extreme precipitation events have the potential to mobilize large volumes of mercury (Hg) mine tailings in watersheds where tailings reside in the floodplain downstream from historic Hg mines. The California Hg mineral belt produced one third of the worlds Hg from over 100 mines from the 1850's to 1972. In the absence of environmental regulations, tailings were disposed of into streams adjacent to the mines in order to have them transported from the mine site during storm events. Thus most of the tailings no longer reside at the mine site. Addition of tailings to the streams resulted in stream aggradation, increased over-bank flow, and deposition of tailings in the floodplain for up to 25 kms downstream from the mines. After cessation of mining, the decrease in tailings entering the streams resulted in degradation, incision of the streams into the floodplain, and inability of the streams to access the floodplain. Thus Hg tailings have remained stored in the floodplain since cessation of mining. Hg phases in these tailings consist of cinnabar, metacinnabar and montroydite based on EXAFS analysis. Size analysis indicates that Hg phases are fine grained, less than 1 um. The last regional scale extreme precipitation events to effect the entire area of the California Hg mineral belt were the ARkStorm events of 1861-1862 that occurred prior to large scale Hg mining. Extreme regional ARkStorm precipitation events as well as local summer storms, such as the July 2006 flood in the Clear Creek Hg mining district, are expected to increase in frequency and have the potential to remobilize the large volume of tailings stored in floodplain deposits. Although Hg mine remediation has decreased Hg release from mine sites in a period of benign climate, no remediation efforts have addressed the large source of

  15. Pesticide mobility and leachate toxicity in two abandoned mine soils. Effect of organic amendments.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Liébana, José Antonio; Mingorance, M Dolores; Peña, Aránzazu

    2014-11-01

    Abandoned mine areas, used in the past for the extraction of minerals, constitute a degraded landscape which needs to be reintegrated to productive or leisure activities. However these soils, mainly composed by silt or sand and with low organic matter content, are vulnerable to organic and inorganic pollutants posing a risk to the surrounding ecosystems and groundwater. Soils from two mining areas from Andalusia were evaluated: one from Nerva (NCL) in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Andalusia) and another one from the iron Alquife mine (ALQ) (SE Andalusia). To improve soil properties and fertility two amendments, stabilised sewage sludge (SSL) and composted sewage sludge (CSL), were selected. The effect of amendment addition on the mobility of two model pesticides, thiacloprid and fenarimol, was assessed using soil columns under non-equilibrium conditions. Fenarimol, more hydrophobic than thiacloprid, only leached from native ALQ, a soil with lower organic carbon (OC) content than NCL (0.21 and 1.4%, respectively). Addition of amendments affected differently pesticide mobility: thiacloprid in the leachates was reduced by 14% in NCL-SSL and by 4% in ALQ-CSL. Soil OC and dissolved OC were the parameters which explained pesticide residues in soil. Chemical analysis revealed that leachates from the different soil columns did not contain toxic element levels, except As in NCL soil. Finally ecotoxicological data showed moderate toxicity in the initial leachates, with an increase coinciding with pesticide maximum concentration. The addition of SSL slightly reduced the toxicity towards Vibrio fischeri, likely due to enhanced retention of pesticides by amended soils.

  16. [Pb, Zn accumulation and nutrient uptake of 15 plant species grown in abandoned mine tailings].

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiang; Chen, Yi-Tai; Wang, Shu-Feng; Li, Jiang-Chuan

    2012-06-01

    Vegetation restoration field test was carried out in the abandoned lead-zinc tailings for 3 years. The study showed that accumulation of lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and nutrient uptake differed with plant species and organs, heavy metals, and planting time. Pb was mainly accumulated in tree roots, and its content distribution in tree organs was generally in the order of roots > leaves > stems. But Zn concentrations in leaves of several tree species were higher than those in roots and stems. Within the tested 15 species, Cercis Canadensis had the highest concentrations of Pb and Zn in roots (1 803 and 2120 mg x kg(-1), respectively). Rhus chinensis had the highest Pb concentration in stems and leaves (280 and 546 mg x kg(-1), respectively) and Zn concentration (1 507 mg x kg(-1)) in leaves. Zn concentration in stems and leaves of Salix matsudana (729 and 1 153 mg x kg(-1), respectively) were the highest. Among the tested 15 species, TF values for Pb of Liquidambar formosana, Medicago sativa, and for Zn of Salix matsudana, Rhus chinensis, Medicago sativa were higher than 1. BCF values for Pb were all lower than 0.17, while that for Zn were all lower than 0.44. The N contents in nitrogen-fixing plants, P contents in Rhus typhina and Ailanthus altissima, and K content in Nerium indicum were significantly higher than those in other plants. With the increase of planting time, concentrations of heavy metal in plant body increased significantly; however the inverse trend were observed in nutritional element content. The species have higher metal accumulation capacity, such as Rhus chinensis, Salix matsudana and those nitrogen-fixing plants have higher tolerance to metal contamination and nutrient deficiency, such as Amorpha fruticosa, Medicago sativa, Lespedeza cuneata, and Alnus cremastogyne, they were suitable as the phytostabilizers in abandoned mine tailings.

  17. Risk assessment of soils contaminated by mercury mining, Northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Ordóñez, A; Alvarez, R; Charlesworth, S; De Miguel, E; Loredo, J

    2011-01-01

    Analytical results of soil samples taken in three different mercury mining sites in Northern Spain are studied to assess the potential adverse health effects of the exposure to trace elements associated with the mining process. Doses contacted through ingestion and inhalation and the dose absorbed through the skin were calculated using USEPA's exposure parameters and the US Department of Energy's toxicity values. The results of the risk assessment indicate that the highest risk is associated with ingestion of soil particles and that the trace element of major concern is arsenic, the exposure to which results in a high cancer risk value for all the sites ranging from 3.3 × 10(-5) to 3.6 × 10(-3), well above the 1 × 10(-5) probability level deemed unacceptable by most regulatory agencies. Regarding non-cancer effects, exposure to polluted soils yields an aggregate hazard index above the threshold value of 1 for all three sites, with As and Hg as the main contributors. Risk assessment has proven to be a very useful tool to identify the contaminants and exposure pathways of most concern in the soils from metal mining sites, as well as to categorize them in terms of action priority to ensure fitness for use.

  18. Mercury in breast milk - a health hazard for infants in gold mining areas?

    PubMed

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Roider, Gabriele; Siebert, Uwe; Drasch, Gustav

    2008-10-01

    Breast-feeding can be a source of mercury exposure for infants. The main concern up to now is methyl-mercury exposure of women at child-bearing age. Certain fish species have high levels of methyl-mercury leading to consumer's advisory guidelines in regard of fish consumption to protect infants from mercury exposure passing through breast milk. Little is known about the transfer of inorganic mercury passing through breast milk to infants. Epidemiological studies showed negative health effects of inorganic mercury in gold mining areas. Small-scale gold miners use mercury to extract the gold from the ore. Environmental and health assessments of gold mining areas in Indonesia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe showed a high exposure with inorganic mercury in these gold mining areas, and a negative health impact of the exposure to the miners and the communities. This paper reports about the analysis and the results of 46 breast milk samples collected from mercury-exposed mothers. The median level of 1.87mug/l is fairly high compared to other results from literature. Some breast milk samples showed very high levels of mercury (up to 149mug/l). Fourteen of the 46 breast milk samples exceed 4mug/l which is considered to be a "high" level. US EPA recommends a "Reference Dose" of 0.3mug inorganic mercury/kg body weight/day [United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1997. Volume V: Health Effects of Mercury and Mercury Compounds. Study Report EPA-452/R-97-007: US EPA]. Twenty-two of the 46 children from these gold mining areas had a higher calculated total mercury uptake. The highest calculated daily mercury uptake of 127mug exceeds by far the recommended maximum uptake of inorganic mercury. Further systematic research of mercury in breast milk from small-scale gold mining areas is needed to increase the knowledge about the bio-transfer of mercury from mercury vapour-exposed mothers passing through breast milk to the breast-fed infant.

  19. Mercury pollution by mining activities in Rayo Rojo mining district, Apolobamba (Bolivia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teran-Mita, T.; Faz Cano, A.; Muñoz, M.; Millán, R.; Salvador, F.

    2009-04-01

    In Bolivia, metal mining activities since historical times have been one of the most important causes of the environmental degradation. This is the case of the Natural Integrated Management Area of Apolobamba (Department of La Paz, Bolivia), where intense gold mining activities have been carried out from former times to present days, with very little gold extraction and very scarce mineral processing technology. In Apolobamba mercury is still being used in the amalgam processes and this might conduct to high Hg contents. Inhabitants of this area consume fish from lakes and rivers, and use the waters for the livestock, domestic use, and irrigation. The aim of this work was to evaluate mercury impact into the soil-plant-water system. The Technical University of Cartagena, Spain, through the Research Group "Sustainable Use, Management and Reclamation of Soil and Water", carried out a research, in the most intense affected gold extraction zones in Apolobamba, among them Rayo Rojo, where mining activity is mainly gold extraction, although the extracted mineral volume and technology used is low. Rayo Rojo is located in the central part of ANMI - Apolobamba (in the andean region), inside of Pelechuco municipality; the area belongs biogeographically to the Altoandina and Puna. This district, located in Apolobamba mountain-range, where altitudes above 5.000 m.a.s.l are reached. Water, soil, sediment and plant samples were taken around the operations mining sites and total mercury analysed. Mercury content was determined by AMA-254 model, based on the thermal decomposition of the sample and collection of the Hg vapour on a gold amalgamator. The analysis is performed from solid samples without any further preparation. Samples are initially dried at 125°C and then thermally decomposed at the temperature of 550°C. Mercury vapour is then trapped on the gold amalgamator. AMA-254 method certificated standards were BCR 62-BCR 281. Preliminary results show high Hg concentrations

  20. Risk Factors for Mercury Exposure of Children in a Rural Mining Town in Northern Chile

    PubMed Central

    Ohlander, Johan; Huber, Stella Maria; Schomaker, Michael; Heumann, Christian; Schierl, Rudolf; Michalke, Bernhard; Jenni, Oskar G.; Caflisch, Jon; Muñoz, Daniel Moraga; von Ehrenstein, Ondine S.; Radon, Katja

    2013-01-01

    Objective Traditional gold mining is associated with mercury exposure. Especially vulnerable to its neurotoxic effects is the developing nervous system of a child. We aimed to investigate risk factors of mercury exposure among children in a rural mining town in Chile. Methods Using a validated questionnaire distributed to the parents of the children, a priori mercury risk factors, potential exposure pathways and demographics of the children were obtained. Mercury levels were measured through analyzing fingernail samples. Logistic regression modeling the effect of risk factors on mercury levels above the 75th percentile were made, adjusted for potential confounders. Results The 288 children had a mean age of 9.6 years (SD = 1.9). The mean mercury level in the study population was 0.13 µg/g (SD 0.11, median 0.10, range 0.001–0.86 µg/g). The strongest risk factor for children’s odds of high mercury levels (>75th percentile, 0.165 µg/g) was to play inside a house where a family member worked with mercury (OR adjusted 3.49 95% CI 1.23–9.89). Additionally, children whose parents worked in industrial gold mining had higher odds of high mercury levels than children whose parents worked in industrial copper mining or outside mining activities. Conclusion Mercury exposure through small-scale gold mining might affect children in their home environments. These results may further help to convince the local population of banning mercury burning inside the households. PMID:24278170

  1. Impact of mercury emissions from historic gold and silver mining: Global modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strode, Sarah; Jaeglé, Lyatt; Selin, Noelle E.

    We compare a global model of mercury to sediment core records to constrain mercury emissions from the 19th century North American gold and silver mining. We use information on gold and silver production, the ratio of mercury lost to precious metal produced, and the fraction of mercury lost to the atmosphere to calculate an a priory mining inventory for the 1870s, when the historical gold rush was at its highest. The resulting global mining emissions are 1630 Mg yr -1, consistent with previously published studies. Using this a priori estimate, we find that our 1880 simulation over-predicts the mercury deposition enhancements archived in lake sediment records. Reducing the mining emissions to 820 Mg yr -1 improves agreement with observations, and leads to a 30% enhancement in global deposition in 1880 compared to the pre-industrial period. For North America, where 83% of the mining emissions are located, deposition increases by 60%. While our lower emissions of atmospheric mercury leads to a smaller impact of the North American gold rush on global mercury deposition than previously estimated, it also implies that a larger fraction of the mercury used in extracting precious metals could have been directly lost to local soils and watersheds.

  2. Geochemical evidence of chemical and physical weathering of mine waste downriver from the New Idria Mercury Mine, San Benito County, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, R. K.; Weinman, B.

    2014-12-01

    Soil, river bank, and sediment samples were collected from Panoache Creek's mine tailings and its drainages in the Mendota Pool area of California's Central Valley. The samples were collected in order to understand the transport mechanisms of mercury and other heavy metals from the abandoned New Idria Mercury Mine (NIMM) in San Banito County, CA. It is generally thought that materials weathered from the NIMM site flow down gradient into the San Carlos Creek, which then joins Silver Creek and Panoche Creek, before finally ending up in the Valley's Mendota pool and San Joaquin River (SJR). While we know that factors like geology, anthropogenic activities, and weathering can accelerate heavy metal accumulation at downgradient reaches (Chakravarty and Patgiri, 2009), it is unclear how this part of the SJR has responded to the mine's abandonment since the 1970s. To investigate how mercury and other heavy metals are weathering and being transported through this portion of the SJR drainage, gains and losses using "enrichment factors" (EF) were calculated and compared along a gradient downstream. Overall, EF of fine and bank sediments show Hg is being enriched and stored within bank sediments. For example, Hg in banks sediments are up to 5% enriched compared to the bed sediments. There is also an enrichment gain trending downstream, as sediments settling in the Mendota pool have comparatively higher EF for Hg (0.94 ppm to 6.91 ppm) relative to background concentrations. Along with other geochemical indices, which can be used to more highly resolve exactly how mine contaminants like Hg are chemically and physically being weathered, (i.e., Igeo, PLI, and CIA) the overall enrichment trend is interpreted to be the physical transport of erosion material during runoff events from the stream banks of SJR tributaries. This interpretation is also supported by depleted Sr and enriched Rb/Sr ratios, which further support physical transport as a dominating factor in contaminant

  3. Transportation and transformation of mercury in a calcine profile in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, SW China.

    PubMed

    Yin, Runsheng; Gu, Chunhao; Feng, Xinbin; Zheng, Lirong; Hu, Ningning

    2016-12-01

    Calcination of Hg ores has resulted in serious contamination of mercury (Hg) in the environment. To understand the mobilization of Hg in the calcine pile, the speciation of Hg in a profile of a large calcine pile in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, SW China was investigated using the X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES), to understand the mobilization of Hg in the calcine pile. Higher concentrations of Hg were observed at the 30-50 cm depth of the profile, corresponding to a cemented layer. This layer is observed in the entire pile, and was formed due to cementation of calcines. Hg species in calcines include cinnabar (α-HgS), metacinnabar (β-HgS), elemental Hg(0), and minor mercuric chloride (HgCl2), but these Hg species show dramatic changes in the profile. Variations in Hg speciation suggest that extensive mobilization of Hg can occur during weathering processes. We show that the cemented layer can prevent the leaching of Hg and the emission of Hg(0) from the pile. High MeHg concentrations were found near the cemented layer, indicating Hg methylation occurs. This study provides important insights into the environmental risk of Hg in mining areas.

  4. Mercury levels in pristine and gold mining impacted aquatic ecosystems of Suriname, South America.

    PubMed

    Ouboter, Paul E; Landburg, Gwendolyn A; Quik, Jan H M; Mol, Jan H A; van der Lugt, Frank

    2012-12-01

    Mercury levels in sediment and predatory fish were measured for 53 localities in Suriname. The average mercury level in bottom sediment surpassed the Canadian standard for sediment in most localities, except the coastal plains. Of the predatory fish, 41 % had a mercury level above the European Union standard for human consumption of 0.5 μg g(-1). Highest mercury levels were found in fish from the Brokopondo Reservoir and from the Upper Coppename River. High levels of mercury in fish in pristine areas are explained by atmospheric transportation of mercury with the northeastern trade winds followed by wet deposition. Contrary to gold mining areas, where mercury is bound to drifting sediments, in "pristine" areas the mercury is freely available for bio-accumulation and uptake. Impacts on piscivorous reptiles, birds, and mammals are unknown, but likely to be negative.

  5. 238U, and its decay products, in grasses from an abandoned uranium mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Childs, Edgar; Maskall, John; Millward, Geoffrey

    2016-04-01

    Bioaccumulation of radioactive contaminants by plants is of concern particularly where the sward is an essential part of the diet of ruminants. The abandoned South Terras uranium mine, south west England, had primary deposits of uraninite (UO2) and pitchblende (U3O8), which contained up to 30% uranium. When the mine was active uranium and radium were extracted but following closure it was abandoned without remediation. Waste rock and gangue, consisting of inefficiently processed minerals, were spread around the site, including a field where ruminants are grazed. Here we report the activity concentrations of 238U, 235U 214,210Pb, and the concentrations of selected metals in the soils, roots and leaves of grasses taken from the contaminated field. Soil samples were collected at the surface, and at 30 cm depth, using an auger along a 10-point transect in the field from the foot of a waste heap. Whole, individual grass plants were removed with a spade, ensuring that their roots were intact. The soils and roots and grass leaves were freeze-dried. Activity concentrations of the radionuclides were determined by gamma spectroscopy, following 30 days incubation for development of secular equilibrium. Dried soils, roots and grasses were also digested in aqua regia and the concentrations of elements determined by ICP techniques. Maximum activity concentrations of 238U, 235U, 214Pb and 210Pb surface soils were 63,300, 4,510, 23,300 and 49,400 Bq kg-1, respectively. The mean 238U:235U ratio was 11.8 ± 1.8, an order of magnitude lower than the natural value of 138, indicating disequilibrium within the decay chain due to mineral processing. Radionuclides in the roots had 5 times lower concentration and only grass leaves in the vicinity of the waste heap had measureable values. The mean soil to root transfer factor for 238U was 36%, the mean root to leaf was 3% and overall only 0.7% of 238U was transferred from the soil to the leaves. The roots contained 0.8% iron, possibly as

  6. Distribution and assessment of residual mercury from gold mining in Changbai Mountain Range Northeastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, D.; Wang, N.; Ai, J. C.; Zhang, G.; Liu, X. J.

    2016-08-01

    Gold mining was first initiated in Jiapigou area, Huadian city of Northeastern China about 200 years ago. Before 2006, the mercury amalgamation technique was used in the gold mining process, which led to severe mercury contamination. The aim of this paper is to explore the influences of residual mercury on the environment media after eliminating the amalgamation process to extract gold. The mercury concentrations of the atmosphere and the soil were determined in autumn of 2011 and spring of 2012. The soil environmental quality was assessed by the index of geoaccumulation. The results indicated that the maximum value of gaseous mercury was 25ng•m-3 in autumn and 19.5ng•m-3 in spring; the maximum value of mercury in the soil was 2.06mg•kg-1 in autumn and 2.51mg•kg-1in spring. It can be seen that the peak concentrations of the gaseous mercury happened at the gold mine area and tailings, while the peak mercury concentrations in the soil were located at the places near the mining sites and the residential area in the valley. Furthermore, the regression analysis of the total mercury contents between the atmosphere and the soil showed a significant correlation, which indicated that there was certain circulation of the mercury between the regional atmosphere and soil. In general, after the elimination of the amalgamation technique in gold extraction, the distance to the mercury source, the special conditions of hilly weather and landforms and the mercury exchange flux are the main factors of mercury contamination.

  7. Mercury and methylmercury contents in mine-waste calcine, water, and sediment collected from the Palawan Quicksilver mine, Philippines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Greaves, I.A.; Bustos, D.M.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.

    2003-01-01

    The Palawan Quicksilver mine, Philippines, produced about 2,900 t of mercury during mining of cinnabar ore from 1953 to 1976. More than 2,000,000 t of mine-waste calcines (retorted ore) were produced during mining, much of which were used to construct a jetty in nearby Honda Bay. Since 1995, high Hg contents have been found in several people living near the mine, and 21 of these people were treated for mercury poisoning. Samples of mine-waste calcine contain high total Hg concentrations ranging from 43-660 ??g/g, whereas total Hg concentrations in sediment samples collected from a mine pit lake and local stream vary from 3.7-400 ??g/g. Mine water flowing through the calcines is acidic, pH 3.1-4.3, and total Hg concentrations ranging from 18-31 ??g/l in this water significantly exceed the 1.0-??g/l drinking water standard for Hg recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Total Hg contents are generally lower in water samples collected from surrounding domestic wells, the mine pit lake, Honda Bay, and the nearby stream, varying from 0.008-1.4 ??g/l. Methylmercury concentrations in water draining mine calcines range from <0.02-1.4 ng/l, but methylmercury is highest in the pit lake water, ranging from 1.7-3.1 ng/l. Mercury methylation at the Palawan mine is similar to or higher than that found in other mercury mines worldwide. Much of the methylmercury generated in Palawan mine-waste calcines and those in Honda Bay is transferred to water, and then to marine fish and seafood. A food source pathway of Hg to humans is most likely in this coastal, high fish-consuming population.

  8. Ecological studies on the revegetation process of surface coal mined areas in North Dakota. 3. soil and vegetation development of abandoned mines. Final report Aug 75-Jun 82

    SciTech Connect

    Wali, M.K.; Pemble, R.H.

    1982-06-01

    Soil and vegetation development were studied on abandoned mine sites near Velva in Ward County, North Dakota. The sites studied were 1, 7, 17, 30 and 45 years old since abandonment; unmined sites were also studied to provide measures of comparison. Species diversity was the highest at unmined sites (114) and lowest at the 1 year old site (26). Stand-environmental complex ordinations encompassing 53 variables showed topographic variables to be the most important followed by site ages. Rates of nutrient accumulations were given in the report.

  9. Are plants growing at abandoned mine sites suitable for phytoremediation of contaminated soils?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bini, Claudio; Buffa, Gabriella; Fontana, Silvia; Wahsha, Mohammad

    2013-04-01

    Plants growing on abandoned mine sites are of particular interest in the perspective to remediate contaminated soils by phytoremediation, a low cost and environmental friendly technique which uses metal-accumulator plants to clean up moderately contaminated areas. The choice of plants is a crucial aspect for the practical use of this technique, given the ability to accumulate metals in their tissues, being genetically tolerant to high metal concentrations. Up today, more than 400 native plants that hyperaccumulate metals are reported, Brassicaceae being the family with the largest number of hyperaccumulator species. For example, Alyssum bertoloni is well known as Ni accumulator, as well as Thlaspi caerulescens for Zn and Brassica napus for Pb. However, metal hyperaccumulation is not a common phenomenon in terrestrial higher plants, and many of the European hyperaccumulator plants are of small biomass, and have a slow growth rate. Therefore, there is an urgent need for surveying and screening of plants with ability to accumulate metals in their tissues and a relatively high biomass. In recent years, a survey of soils and plants growing on contaminated areas at several abandoned sulphide mines in Italy was carried out by working groups of the Universities of Florence, Siena, Cagliari, Bologna, Udine and Venice, in order to evaluate the ability of these plants to colonize mine waste and to accumulate metals, in the perspective of an ecological restoration of contaminated sites. We investigated the heavy metal concentration of the waste material, and the soils developed from, in order to determine the extent of heavy metal dispersion, and the uptake by plants, and deserved attention to wild plants growing at that sites, to find out new metal-tolerant species to utilize in soil remediation. Current results of these investigations, with particular emphasis on the Tuscan areas, are reported here. All the studied profiles are strongly enriched in metals; their

  10. An integrative assessment of a watershed impacted by abandoned mined land discharges.

    PubMed

    Cherry, D S; Currie, R J; Soucek, D J; Latimer, H A; Trent, G C

    2001-01-01

    The Ely Creek watershed in Lee County, VA, USA, contains an abundance of abandoned mined land areas with acid mine drainage (AMD) that contaminate the majority of the creek and its confluence into Stone Creek. Acidic pH measurements ranged from 2.73 to 5.2 at several stations throughout the watershed. Sediments had high concentrations of iron (approximately 10,000 mg kg-1), aluminum (approximately 1,500 mg kg-1), magnesium (approximately 400 mg kg-1) and manganese (approximately 150 mg kg-1), and habitat was partially to non-supporting at half of the stations due to sedimentation. Benthic macroinvertebrate surveys at six of 20 stations sampled in the watershed yielded no macroinvertebrates, while eight others had total abundances of only one to nine organisms. Four reference stations contained > or = 100 organisms and at least 13 different taxa. Asian clam in situ toxicity testing supported field survey results. Laboratory, 10-day survival/impairment sediments tests with Daphnia magna and Chironomus tentans and 48-h water column bioassays with Ceriodaphnia dubia indicated environmental stress to a lesser degree. Ten parameters that were directly influenced by AMD through physical, chemical, ecological and toxicological endpoints were assimilated into an ecotoxicological rating (ETR) to form a score of 0-100 points for the 20 sampling stations, and the lower the score the greater the AMD stress. Twelve of the 15 sampling stations influenced by AMD received an ETR score of 13.75-57.5, which were categorized as severely stressed (i.e. comprised the < 60 percentile category) and worthy of the highest priority for future ecological restoration activities in the watershed.

  11. Accumulation of arsenic in Lemna gibba L. (duckweed) in tailing waters of two abandoned uranium mining sites in Saxony, Germany.

    PubMed

    Mkandawire, Martin; Dudel, E Gert

    2005-01-05

    Accumulation of arsenic in Lemna gibba L. was investigated in tailing waters of abandoned uranium mine sites, following the hypothesis that arsenic poses contamination risks in post uranium mining in Saxony, Germany. Consequently, macrophytes growing in mine tailing waters accumulate high amounts of arsenic, which might be advantageous for biomonitoring arsenic transfer to higher trophic levels, and for phytoremediation. Water and L. gibba sample collected from pond on tailing dumps of abandoned mine sites at Lengenfeld and Neuensalz-Mechelgrun were analysed for arsenic. Laboratory cultures in nutrient solutions modified with six arsenic and three PO(4)(3-) concentrations were conducted to gain insight into the arsenic-L. gibba interaction. Arsenic accumulation coefficients in L. gibba were 10 times as much as the background concentrations in both tailing waters and nutrient solutions. Arsenic accumulations in L. gibba increased with arsenic concentration in the milieu but they decreased with phosphorus concentration. Significant reductions in arsenic accumulation in L. gibba were observed with the addition of PO(4)(3-) at all six arsenic test concentrations in laboratory experiments. Plant samples from laboratory trials had on average twofold higher bioaccumulation coefficients than tailing water at similar arsenic concentrations. This would be attributed to strong interaction among chemical components, and competition among ions in natural aquatic environment. The results of the study indicate that L. gibba can be a preliminary bioindicator for arsenic transfer from substrate to plants and might be used to monitor the transfer of arsenic from lower to higher trophic levels in the abandoned mine sites. There is also the potential of using L. gibba L. for arsenic phytoremediation of mine tailing waters because of its high accumulation capacity as demonstrated in this study. Transfer of arsenic contamination transported by accumulations in L. gibba carried with

  12. Spectral masking of goethite in abandoned mine drainage systems: implications for Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cull, Selby; Cravotta, Charles A.; Klinges, Julia Grace; Weeks, Chloe

    2014-01-01

    Remote sensing studies of the surface of Mars use visible- to near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy to identify hydrated and hydroxylated minerals, which can be used to constrain past environmental conditions on the surface of Mars. However, due to differences in optical properties, some hydrated phases can mask others in VNIR spectra, complicating environmental interpretations. Here, we examine the role of masking in VNIR spectra of natural precipitates of ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, and goethite from abandoned mine drainage (AMD) systems in southeastern Pennsylvania. Mixtures of ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, and goethite were identified in four AMD sites by using X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and their XRD patterns compared to their VNIR spectra. We find that both ferrihydrite and schwertmannite can mask goethite in VNIR spectra of natural AMD precipitates. These findings suggest that care should be taken in interpreting environments on Mars where ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, or goethite are found, as the former two may be masking the latter. Additionally, our findings suggest that outcrops on Mars with both goethite and ferrihydrite/schwertmannite VNIR signatures may have high relative abundances of goethite, or the goethite may exist in a coarsely crystalline phase.

  13. Reclamation of abandoned mined lands along th Upper Illinois Waterway using dredged material

    SciTech Connect

    Van Luik, A; Harrison, W

    1982-01-01

    Sediments were sampled and characterized from 28 actual or proposed maintenance-dredging locations in the Upper Illinois Waterway, that is, the Calumet-Sag Channel, the Des Plaines River downstream of its confluence with the Calumet-Sag Channel, and the Illinois River from the confluence of the Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers to Havana, Illinois. Sufficient data on chemical constituents and physical sediments were obtained to allow the classification of these sediments by currently applicable criteria of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the identification of hazardous, persistent, and potentially hazardous wastes. By these criteria, the potential dredged materials studied were not hazardous, persistent, or potentially hazardous; they are a suitable topsoil/ reclamation medium. A study of problem abandoned surface-mined land sites (problem lands are defined as being acidic and/or sparsely vegetated) along the Illinois River showed that three sites were particularly well suited to the needs of the Corps of Engineers (COE) for a dredged material disposal/reclamation site. Thes sites were a pair of municipally owned sites in Morris, Illinois, and a small corporately owned site east of Ottawa, Illinois, and adjacent to the Illinois River. Other sites were also ranked as to suitability for COE involvement in their reclamation. Reclamation disposal was found to be an economically competitive alternative to near-source confined disposal for Upper Illinois Waterway dredged material.

  14. Bioprospecting for acidophilic lipid-rich green microalgae isolated from abandoned mine site water bodies.

    PubMed

    Eibl, Joseph K; Corcoran, Jason D; Senhorinho, Gerusa N A; Zhang, Kejian; Hosseini, Nekoo Seyed; Marsden, James; Laamanen, Corey A; Scott, John A; Ross, Gregory M

    2014-03-26

    With fossil fuel sources in limited supply, microalgae show tremendous promise as a carbon neutral source of biofuel. Current microalgae biofuel strategies typically rely on growing high-lipid producing laboratory strains of microalgae in open raceways or closed system photobioreactors. Unfortunately, these microalgae species are found to be sensitive to environmental stresses or competition by regional strains. Contamination by invasive species can diminish productivity of commercial algal processes. A potential improvement to current strategies is to identify high-lipid producing microalgae, which thrive in selected culture conditions that reduce the risk of contamination, such as low pH. Here we report the identification of a novel high-lipid producing microalgae which can tolerate low pH growth conditions. Lig 290 is a Scenedesmus spp. isolated from a low pH waterbody (pH = 4.5) in proximity to an abandoned lignite mine in Northern Ontario, Canada. Compared to a laboratory strain of Scendesmus dimorphus, Lig 290 demonstrated robust growth rates, a strong growth profile, and high lipid production. As a consequence, Lig 290 may have potential application as a robust microalgal species for use in biofuel production.

  15. Screening risk assessment tools for assessing the environmental impact in an abandoned pyritic mine in Spain.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Jiménez, Eduardo; García-Gómez, Concepción; Oropesa, Ana Lourdes; Esteban, Elvira; Haro, Amparo; Carpena-Ruiz, Ramón; Tarazona, Jose Vicente; Peñalosa, Jesus Manuel; Fernández, María Dolores

    2011-01-15

    This paper describes a new methodology for assessing site-specific environmental impact of contaminants. The proposed method integrates traditional risk assessment approaches with real and variable environmental characteristics at a local scale. Environmental impact on selected receptors was classified for each environmental compartment into 5 categories derived from the whole (chronic and acute) risk assessment using 8 risk levels. Risk levels were established according to three hazard quotients (HQs) which represented the ratio of exposure to acute and chronic toxicity values. This tool allowed integrating in only one impact category all the elements involved in the standard risk assessment. The methodology was applied to an abandoned metal mine in Spain, where high levels of As, Cd, Zn and Cu were detected. Risk affecting potential receptors such as aquatic and soil organisms and terrestrial vertebrates were assessed. Whole results showed that impact to the ecosystem is likely high and further investigation or remedial actions are necessary. Some proposals to refine the risk assessment for a more realistic diagnostic are included.

  16. Bioprospecting for acidophilic lipid-rich green microalgae isolated from abandoned mine site water bodies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    With fossil fuel sources in limited supply, microalgae show tremendous promise as a carbon neutral source of biofuel. Current microalgae biofuel strategies typically rely on growing high-lipid producing laboratory strains of microalgae in open raceways or closed system photobioreactors. Unfortunately, these microalgae species are found to be sensitive to environmental stresses or competition by regional strains. Contamination by invasive species can diminish productivity of commercial algal processes. A potential improvement to current strategies is to identify high-lipid producing microalgae, which thrive in selected culture conditions that reduce the risk of contamination, such as low pH. Here we report the identification of a novel high-lipid producing microalgae which can tolerate low pH growth conditions. Lig 290 is a Scenedesmus spp. isolated from a low pH waterbody (pH = 4.5) in proximity to an abandoned lignite mine in Northern Ontario, Canada. Compared to a laboratory strain of Scendesmus dimorphus, Lig 290 demonstrated robust growth rates, a strong growth profile, and high lipid production. As a consequence, Lig 290 may have potential application as a robust microalgal species for use in biofuel production. PMID:24670060

  17. Application and analysis of anchored geosynthetic systems for stabilization of abandoned mine land slopes

    SciTech Connect

    Vitton, S.J.; Whitman, F.; Liang, R.Y.; Harris, W.W.

    1996-12-31

    An anchored geosynthetic system (AGS) was used in the remediation of a landslide associated with an abandoned coal mine located near Hindman, Kentucky. In concept, AGS is a system that provides in-situ stabilization of soil slopes by combining a surface-deployed geosynthetic with an anchoring system of driven reinforcing rods similar to soil nailing. Installation of the system of driven reinforcing rods similar to soil nailing. Installation of the system involves tensioning a geosynthetic over a slope`s surface by driving anchors through the geosynthetic at a given spacing and distance. By tensioning the geosynthetic over the slope`s surface, a compressive load is applied to the slope. Benefits of AGS are described to include the following: (1) increase soil strength due to soil compression including increased compressive loading on potential failure surfaces, (2) soil reinforcement through soil nailing, (3), halt of soil creep, (4) erosion control, and (5) long term soil consolidation. Following installation of the AGS and one year of monitoring, it was found that the anchored geosynthetic system only provided some of the reported benefits and in general did not function as an active stabilization system. This was due in part to the inability of the system to provide and maintain loading on the geosynthetic. The geosynthetic, however, did tension when slope movement occurred and prevented the slope from failing. Thus, the system functioned more as a passive restraint system and appeared to function well over the monitoring period.

  18. Isotopic variability of mercury in ore, mine-waste calcine, and leachates of mine-waste calcine from areas mined for mercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stetson, S.J.; Gray, J.E.; Wanty, R.B.; Macalady, D.L.

    2009-01-01

    The isotopic composition of mercury (Hg) was determined in cinnabar ore, mine-waste calcine (retorted ore), and leachates obtained from water leaching experiments of calcine from two large Hg mining districts in the U.S. This study is the first to report significant mass-dependent Hg isotopic fractionation between cinnabar ore and resultant calcine. Data indicate that ??202Hg values relative to NIST 3133 of calcine (up to 1.52???) in the Terlingua district, Texas, are as much as 3.24??? heavier than cinnabar (-1.72???) prior to retorting. In addition, ??202Hg values obtained from leachates of Terlingua district calcines are isotopically similar to, or as much as 1.17??? heavier than associated calcines, most likely due to leaching of soluble, byproduct Hg compounds formed during ore retorting that are a minor component in the calcines. As a result of the large fractionation found between cinnabar and calcine, and because calcine is the dominant source of Hg contamination from the mines studied, ??202Hg values of calcine may be more environmentally important in these mined areas than the primary cinnabar ore. Measurement of the Hg isotopic composition of calcine is necessary when using Hg isotopes for tracing Hg sources from areas mined for Hg, especially mine water runoff. ?? 2009 American Chemical Society.

  19. Isotopic variability of mercury in ore, mine-waste calcine, and leachates of mine-waste calcine from areas mined for mercury.

    PubMed

    Stetson, Sarah J; Gray, John E; Wanty, Richard B; Macalady, Donald L

    2009-10-01

    The isotopic composition of mercury (Hg) was determined in cinnabar ore, mine-waste calcine (retorted ore), and leachates obtained from water leaching experiments of calcine from two large Hg mining districts in the U.S. This study is the first to report significant mass-dependent Hg isotopic fractionation between cinnabar ore and resultant calcine. Data indicate that delta202Hg values relative to NIST 3133 of calcine (up to 1.52 per thousand) in the Terlingua district, Texas, are as much as 3.24 per thousand heavier than cinnabar (-1.72 per thousand) prior to retorting. In addition, delta202Hg values obtained from leachates of Terlingua district calcines are isotopically similar to, or as much as 1.17 per thousand heavier than associated calcines, most likely due to leaching of soluble, byproduct Hg compounds formed during ore retorting that are a minor component in the calcines. As a result of the large fractionation found between cinnabar and calcine, and because calcine is the dominant source of Hg contamination from the mines studied, delta202Hg values of calcine may be more environmentally important in these mined areas than the primary cinnabar ore. Measurement of the Hg isotopic composition of calcine is necessary when using Hg isotopes for tracing Hg sources from areas mined for Hg, especially mine water runoff.

  20. Heavy metal pollution associated with an abandoned lead-zinc mine in the Kirki region, NE Greece.

    PubMed

    Nikolaidis, Christos; Zafiriadis, Ilias; Mathioudakis, Vasileios; Constantinidis, Theodore

    2010-09-01

    The "Agios Philippos" mine in the Kirki region (NE Greece) has been abandoned in 1998 after half a century of ore exploration without a reclamation or remediation plan. This article aims at elucidating the potential environmental risks associated with this site by quantifying pollution in tailing basins, stream waters, stream sediments and agricultural fields. Concentrations of heavy metals in the abandoned mine tailings reached 12,567 mg/kg for Pb, 22,292 mg/kg for Zn, 174 mg/kg for Cd and 241 mg/kg for As. The geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor for these metals were indicative of extremely high contamination (I(geo) > 5) and extremely high enrichment (EF > 40), respectively. Stream waters in the proximity of the mine had an acidic pH equal to 5.96 and a high sulfate content (SO(4)(-2) = 545.5 mg/L), whereas concentrations of Mn, Zn and Cd reached 2,399 microg/L, 7,681 microg/L and 11.2 microg/L. High I(geo) and EF values for Cd, Zn and As in stream sediments indicates that surface water pollution has a historic background, which is typically associated with acid mine drainage. Agricultural fields in the proximity of the mine exhibited high I(geo) and EF values, which were in decreasing order Cd > Pb > Zn > As. These findings urge for an immediate remediation action of the afflicted area.

  1. Impact of gold mining associated with mercury contamination in soil, biota sediments and tailings in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Odumo, Benjamin Okang'; Carbonell, Gregoria; Angeyo, Hudson Kalambuka; Patel, Jayanti Purshottam; Torrijos, Manuel; Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio

    2014-11-01

    This work considered the environmental impact of artisanal mining gold activity in the Migori-Transmara area (Kenya). From artisanal gold mining, mercury is released to the environment, thus contributing to degradation of soil and water bodies. High mercury contents have been quantified in soil (140 μg kg(-1)), sediment (430 μg kg(-1)) and tailings (8,900 μg kg(-1)), as expected. The results reveal that the mechanism for transporting mercury to the terrestrial ecosystem is associated with wet and dry depositions. Lichens and mosses, used as bioindicators of pollution, are related to the proximity to mining areas. The further the distance from mining areas, the lower the mercury levels. This study also provides risk maps to evaluate potential negative repercussions. We conclude that the Migori-Transmara region can be considered a strongly polluted area with high mercury contents. The technology used to extract gold throughout amalgamation processes causes a high degree of mercury pollution around this gold mining area. Thus, alternative gold extraction methods should be considered to reduce mercury levels that can be released to the environment.

  2. ENHANCEMENT OF TERRESTRIAL CARBON SINKS THROUGH RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED MINE LANDS IN THE APPALACHIAN REGION

    SciTech Connect

    Gary D. Kronrad

    2002-12-01

    The U.S.D.I. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) estimates that there are approximately 1 million acres of abandoned mine land (AML) in the Appalachian region. AML lands are classified as areas that were inadequately reclaimed or were left unreclaimed prior to the passage of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and where no federal or state laws require any further reclamation responsibility to any company or individual. Reclamation and afforestation of these sites have the potential to provide landowners with cyclical timber revenues, generate environmental benefits to surrounding communities, and sequester carbon in the terrestrial ecosystem. Through a memorandum of understanding, the OSM and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have decided to investigate reclaiming and afforesting these lands for the purpose of mitigating the negative effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This study determined the carbon sequestration potential of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), one of the major reclamation as well as commercial species, planted on West Virginia AML sites. Analyses were conducted to (1) calculate the total number of tons that can be stored, (2) determine the cost per ton to store carbon, and (3) calculate the profitability of managing these forests for timber production alone and for timber production and carbon storage together. The Forest Management Optimizer (FORMOP) was used to simulate growth data on diameter, height, and volume for northern red oak. Variables used in this study included site indices ranging from 40 to 80 (base age 50), thinning frequencies of 0, 1, and 2, thinning percentages of 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40, and a maximum rotation length of 100 years. Real alternative rates of return (ARR) ranging from 0.5% to 12.5% were chosen for the economic analyses. A total of 769,248 thinning and harvesting combinations, net present worths, and soil expectation values were calculated in this study. Results indicate that

  3. Mercury fractionation in contaminated soils from the Idrija mercury mine region.

    PubMed

    Kocman, David; Horvat, Milena; Kotnik, Joze

    2004-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) fractionation was investigated in contaminated soil in the Idrija Hg-mine region, Slovenia. The main aim of this study was to test and apply sequential extraction and quantification of different Hg phases in order to estimate the mobility and potential bioavailability of Hg in contaminated soils. Separation of Hg phases was performed by means of a selective sequential extraction procedure complemented by volatilization of elemental mercury (Hg0). The influence of temperature, moisture and storage on Hg0 volatilization was also investigated. The total Hg concentrations varied between 8.4 and 415 mg kg(-1) and were up to 40-fold higher than the maximum permissible set by Slovenian legislation. Fractionation measurements indicated cinnabar as the predominant Hg fraction, followed by Hg0. Accumulation of cinnabar predominantly occurred in coarse grained flood plain sediments, where on average it constituted more than 80% of total Hg. In contrast non-cinnabar fractions were found to be enriched in areas where fine grained material was deposited, reaching up to 60% of total Hg. The strong positive correlation (R2 = 0.71-0.99) among non-cinnabar fractions suggested that these fractions predominantly control the mobility and potential bioavailability of Hg. Sample pretreatment before fractionation influenced the partition of Hg between different fractions, and therefore fractionation in fresh, nontreated samples is suggested. In addition, the specificity of the extraction steps needs further attention, as it was shown that some extraction steps, such as the organo-chelating Hg fraction, do not provide meaningful results. This further suggests that protocols for mercury fractionation need further harmonization in order to improve the comparability of the results and their use in risk assessment. Volatile mercury fluxes averaged between 0.04 and 6.5 ng g(-1) h(-1). Good agreement (R2 = 0.81-0.95) was found between the non-cinnabar fractions and evaporation of Hg

  4. Solutions Network Formulation Report. Landsat Data Continuity Mission Simulated Data Products for Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency Abandoned Mine Lands Decision Support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estep, Leland

    2007-01-01

    Presently, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has identified a multitude of abandoned mine sites in primarily Western states for cleanup. These sites are prioritized and appropriate cleanup has been called in to reclaim the sites. The task is great in needing considerable amounts of agency resources. For instance, in Colorado alone there exists an estimated 23,000 abandoned mines. The problem is not limited to Colorado or to the United States. Cooperation for reclamation is sought at local, state, and federal agency level to aid in identification, inventory, and cleanup efforts. Dangers posed by abandoned mines are recognized widely and will tend to increase with time because some of these areas are increasingly used for recreation and, in some cases, have been or are in the process of development. In some cases, mines are often vandalized once they are closed. The perpetrators leave them open, so others can then access the mines without realizing the danger posed. Abandoned mine workings often fill with water or oxygen-deficient air and dangerous gases following mining. If the workings are accidentally entered into, water or bad air can prove fatal to those underground. Moreover, mine residue drainage negatively impacts the local watershed ecology. Some of the major hazards that might be monitored by higher-resolution satellites include acid mine drainage, clogged streams, impoundments, slides, piles, embankments, hazardous equipment or facilities, surface burning, smoke from underground fires, and mine openings.

  5. Contamination of wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer by abandoned zinc and lead mines, Ottawa County, Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christenson, Scott C.

    1995-01-01

    The Roubidoux aquifer in Ottawa County Oklahoma is used extensively as a source of water for public supplies, commerce, industry, and rural water districts. Water in the Roubidoux aquifer in eastern Ottawa County has relatively low dissolved-solids concentrations (less than 200 mg/L) with calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate as the major ions. The Boone Formation is stratigraphically above the Roubidoux aquifer and is the host rock for zinc and lead sulfide ores, with the richest deposits located in the vicinity of the City of Picher. Mining in what became known as the Picher mining district began in the early 1900's and continued until about 1970. The water in the abandoned zinc and lead mines contains high concentrations of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, sulfate, fluoride, cadmium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc. Water from the abandoned mines is a potential source of contamination to the Roubidoux aquifer and to wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer. Water samples were collected from wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer in the Picher mining district and from wells outside the mining district to determine if 10 public supply wells in the mining district are contaminated. The chemical analyses indicate that at least 7 of the 10 public supply wells in the Picher mining district are contaminated by mine water. Application of the Mann-Whitney test indicated that the concentrations of some chemical constituents that are indicators of mine-water contamination are different in water samples from wells in the mining area as compared to wells outside the mining area. Application of the Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that the concentrations of some chemical constituents that are indicators of mine-water contamination were higher in current (1992-93) data than in historic (1981-83) data, except for pH, which was lower in current than in historic data. pH and sulfate, alkalinity, bicarbonate, magnesium, iron, and tritium concentrations consistently

  6. Elevated concentrations of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a northeastern Arizona Native American community

    DOE PAGES

    Blake, Johanna M.; Avasarala, Sumant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; ...

    2015-07-09

    The chemical interactions of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a Native American community in northeastern Arizona were investigated using spectroscopy, microscopy and aqueous chemistry. The concentrations of U (67–169 μg L–1) in spring water samples exceed the EPA maximum contaminant limit of 30 μg L–1. Elevated U (6,614 mg kg–1), V (15,814 mg kg–1), and As (40 mg kg–1) concentrations were detected in mine waste solids. Spectroscopy (XPS and XANES) solid analyses identified U (VI), As (-I and III) and Fe (II, III). Linear correlations for the release of U vs V and As vs Femore » were observed for batch experiments when reacting mine waste solids with 10 mM ascorbic acid (~pH 3.8) after 264 h. The release of U, V, As, and Fe was at least 4-fold lower after reaction with 10 mM bicarbonate (~pH 8.3). These results suggest that U–V mineral phases similar to carnotite [K2(UO2)2V2O8] and As–Fe-bearing phases control the availability of U and As in these abandoned mine wastes. Elevated concentrations of metals are of concern due to human exposure pathways and exposure of livestock currently ingesting water in the area. This study contributes to understanding the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located close to abandoned mine waste sites.« less

  7. Elevated concentrations of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a northeastern Arizona Native American community

    SciTech Connect

    Blake, Johanna M.; Avasarala, Sumant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Ali, Abdul -Mehdi S.; Brearley, Adrian J.; Shuey, Christopher; Robinson, Wm. Paul; Nez, Christopher; Bill, Sadie; Lewis, Johnnye; Hirani, Chris; Pacheco, Juan S. Lezama; Cerrato, José M.

    2015-07-09

    The chemical interactions of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a Native American community in northeastern Arizona were investigated using spectroscopy, microscopy and aqueous chemistry. The concentrations of U (67–169 μg L–1) in spring water samples exceed the EPA maximum contaminant limit of 30 μg L–1. Elevated U (6,614 mg kg–1), V (15,814 mg kg–1), and As (40 mg kg–1) concentrations were detected in mine waste solids. Spectroscopy (XPS and XANES) solid analyses identified U (VI), As (-I and III) and Fe (II, III). Linear correlations for the release of U vs V and As vs Fe were observed for batch experiments when reacting mine waste solids with 10 mM ascorbic acid (~pH 3.8) after 264 h. The release of U, V, As, and Fe was at least 4-fold lower after reaction with 10 mM bicarbonate (~pH 8.3). These results suggest that U–V mineral phases similar to carnotite [K2(UO2)2V2O8] and As–Fe-bearing phases control the availability of U and As in these abandoned mine wastes. Elevated concentrations of metals are of concern due to human exposure pathways and exposure of livestock currently ingesting water in the area. This study contributes to understanding the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located close to abandoned mine waste sites.

  8. GEOCHEMICAL EVOLUTION OF GROUND WATER AND TRANSPORT OF MERCURY AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE SUPERFUND SITE IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, located on the shore of Clear Lake, Lake County, California, is a potential source for a modern-day mercury flux into the local aquatic ecosystem. Surface mining created the Herman Pit, a 9.3 ha open pit with a depth > 30 m, while overburden and pr...

  9. Synergic effect of gold mining and damming on mercury contamination in fish.

    PubMed

    Boudou, Alain; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Coquery, Marina; Durrieu, Gilles; Cossa, Daniel

    2005-04-15

    Since the late 1980s, several studies have shown that human populations in the Amazon basin are exposed to high mercury levels in their fish diet. Gold mining, which releases the metal during the amalgamation process and erodes soils naturally rich in mercury, is regarded as the main contamination source. Here, we present the results of a comparative study of mercury distribution in the water and fish of two adjacent rivers in French Guiana, with and without gold mining activities. As a consequence of a marked difference in suspended particulate matter between the two systems, total mercury concentrations in unfiltered water samples were higher in the mined river (25.4-34.9 ng L(-1)) as compared to the reference one (2.1-5.4 ng L(-1)). Surprisingly, no significant differences were observed in mercury concentrations between 13 common fish species at upstream sites. In sharp contrast, mercury concentration of fish caught downstream a hydroelectric reservoir, where the two rivers flow, was up to 8-fold higher than that upstream. Mercury speciation measurements allowed one to relate these differences in fish to the water distribution of monomethylmercury, the mercury chemical species that biomagnifies along aquatic foodwebs. Indeed, mean dissolved monomethylmercury concentrations were low and similar in both rivers (0.03-0.06 ng L(-1)), while they were 10 times higher (up to 0.56 ng L(-1)) in the water outflowing the hydroelectric dam. Dissolved monomethylmercury determinations along a water column profile suggest that methylation of inorganic mercury occurs in the deep anoxic part in reservoir. We conclude that mercury mobilization related to gold mining is not solely sufficient to account for high concentrations in fish and that environmental conditions that favor mercury methylation, such as anoxia, are needed.

  10. Atmospheric mercury emissions and speciation at the sulphur bank mercury mine superfund site, Northern California.

    PubMed

    Nacht, David M; Gustin, Mae Sexauer; Engle, Mark A; Zehner, Richard E; Giglini, Anthony D

    2004-04-01

    One pathway for release of mercury (Hg) from naturally enriched sites is emission to the atmosphere. Elemental Hg, when emitted, will enter the global atmospheric pool. In contrast, if reactive gaseous Hg or Hg2+ (as HgCl2, HgBr2, or HgOH2) is formed, it will most likely be deposited locally. This study focused on the measurement of elemental Hg flux and reactive gaseous Hg concentrations at the Sulphur Bank Superfund Site, an area of natural Hg enrichment with anthropogenic disturbance and ongoing geothermal activity. Mean Hg emissions ranged from 14 to 11000 ng m(-2) h(-1), with the highest emissions from anthropogenically disturbed materials. Reactive gaseous Hg concentrations were the highest ever reported for a natural setting (0.3-76 ng m(-3)). Measured Hg fluxes were used within a Geographic Information System to estimate mercury releases to the atmosphere from the site. Results indicated approximately 17 kg of Hg y(-1) of is emitted to the atmosphere from the 3.8 km2 area, with half from mine waste, ore, and tailing piles and half from relatively undisturbed naturally enriched substrate.

  11. Evaluation of the environmental contamination at an abandoned mining site using multivariate statistical techniques--the Rodalquilar (Southern Spain) mining district.

    PubMed

    Bagur, M G; Morales, S; López-Chicano, M

    2009-11-15

    Unsupervised and supervised pattern recognition techniques such as hierarchical cluster analysis, principal component analysis, factor analysis and linear discriminant analysis have been applied to water samples recollected in Rodalquilar mining district (Southern Spain) in order to identify different sources of environmental pollution caused by the abandoned mining industry. The effect of the mining activity on waters was monitored determining the concentration of eleven elements (Mn, Ba, Co, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Sb, Hg, Au and Pb) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The Box-Cox transformation has been used to transform the data set in normal form in order to minimize the non-normal distribution of the geochemical data. The environmental impact is affected mainly by the mining activity developed in the zone, the acid drainage and finally by the chemical treatment used for the benefit of gold.

  12. [Environment spatial distribution of mercury pollution in Songhua River upstream gold mining areas].

    PubMed

    Zou, Ting-Ting; Wang, Ning; Zhang, Gang; Zhao, Dan-Dan

    2010-09-01

    Using Zeeman mercury spectrometer RA915+ monitoring the total gaseous mercury concentration were collected from gold mining area in Huadian, in the upper reaches of the Songhua River, during summer and autumn of 2008, where we simultaneously collected samples of air, water, sediment and soil. The research is focused on analyzing of the spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of atmospheric mercury pollution and the correlation with other environmental factors. The results show that: the concentration of atmospheric mercury in summer is higher than that in autumn and in the evening is higher than at noon, and it present a gradual decay with the distance to the gold mining area as the center point increasing. The distribution rule of mercury pollution of environmental factors in the gold mining area is: in sediment > in soil > in plant > in water, the characteristics of mercury pollution distribution in plant is: root > stem and leaf, and the content of mercury in plant in autumn is commonly higher than that in summer. This is thought due to the accumulation of pollutant element from soil during the growth of plant. The atmospheric mercury has a significant correlation with the root of plant, respectively 0.83 in summer and 0.97 in autumn.

  13. Underground Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity using Abandoned Works (open pits and deep mines)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pujades, E.; Willems, T.; Bodeux, S.; Orban, P.; Dassargues, A.

    2015-12-01

    Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity (PSH) is a good alternative to increase the efficiency of power plants, which cannot regulate the amount of electricity generated according to the demand (wind, solar or even nuclear power plants). PSH plants, which consist in two reservoirs located at different heights (upper and lower), can store energy during low demand periods (pumping water from the lower to the upper reservoir) and generate electricity during the high demand peaks (falling water from the upper to the lower reservoir). Given that the two reservoirs must be located at different heights, PSH plants cannot be constructed in flat regions. Nevertheless, in these regions, an alternative could be to use abandoned underground works (open pits or deep mines) as lower reservoirs to construct Underground Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity (UPSH) plants. To select the best place to construct a plant, two considerations must be taken into account regarding the interaction between UPSH plants and groundwater: 1) the alteration of the natural conditions of aquifers and 2), the efficiency of the plant since the electricity generated depends on the hydraulic head inside the underground reservoir. Obviously, a detailed numerical model must be necessary before to select a location. However, a screening methodology to reject the most disadvantageous sites in a short period of time would be useful. Groundwater flow impacts caused by UPSH plants are analyzed numerically and the main variables involved in the groundwater evolution are identified. The most noticeable effect consists in an oscillation of the groundwater. The hydraulic head around which groundwater oscillates, the magnitude of the oscillations and the time to achieve a "dynamic steady state" depend on the boundaries, the parameters of the aquifer and the characteristics of the underground reservoir. A screening methodology is proposed to assess the main impacts caused in aquifers by UPSH plants. Finally, the efficiency

  14. Field inoculation rates of mycorrhizal fungi in revegetation of abandoned coal mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Noyd, R.K.; Pfleger, F.L.

    1996-12-31

    Abandoned coal mine land (AML) sites in southern Illinois and western North Dakota contain areas that are difficult to revegetate due to low fertility (1-3 mg kg-1 N and P), little organic matter, and acidic (3-4, Illinois) or alkaline ({approximately}8, North Dakota) pH. Areas such as these may benefit from inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to assist in the establishment of vegetative cover. Potential sources of adapted mycorrhizal inoculum were found in reclaimed overburden sites with large AM fungal spore densities (100 and 33 spores g{sup -1} Illinois and North Dakota, respectively). Soils from these locations were used to determine an infective inoculation rate by a mycorrhizal inoculum potential (MIP) bioassy. Inoculum, consisting of rhizosphere soil and dried roots, was mixed into overburden in proportions of 0, 1, 2.5, 25, 50 and 100% (w/w), placed into containers, and sown with a single 12-day old seedling of Andropogon gerardii Vitm. (big bluestem), a native prairie species known to respond favorably to AM fungi. After 14 days, shoots were dried and weighed and the root system was collected, cleared, stained, and assessed for percent root length colonized by AM fungi. An inoculum proportion of 1% in Illinois and 2.5% in North Dakota overburden produced moderate (16%) root colonization. These inoculum proportions were selected for rates of field inoculation because they were the lowest proportions that were both infective and effective in increasing shoot biomass of A. gerardii. In both soils, this level of root colonization was about one-third of the maximum colonization (50%) obtained with 25, 50, and 100% proportions of inoculum. Using adapted AM fungi and A. gerardii, MIP bioassays can be used to determine a field inoculation rate that has the potential to establish populations of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi and enhance chances of successful revegetation.

  15. Rheological characteristics of waste rock materials in abandoned mine deposit and debris flow hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Sueng-Won; Lee, Choonoh; Cho, Yong-Chan; Wu, Ying-Hsin

    2015-04-01

    In Korea, approximately 5,000 metal mines are spread, but 50% of them are still abandoned without any proper remediation and cleanup. Summer heavy rainfall can result in the physicochemical modification of waste rock materials in the mountainous. From the geotechnical monitoring and field investigation, there are visible traces of mass movements every year. Soil erosion is one of severe phenomena in the study area. In particular, study area is located in the upper part of the Busan Metropolitan City and near the city's water supply. With respect to the supply of drinking water and maintenance of ecological balance, proper disposal of waste rock materials is required. For this reason, we examine the rheological properties of waste rock materials as a function of solid content using a ball- and vane-penetrated rheometer. In the flow curves, which are the relationship between the shear stress and shear rate of waste rock materials, we found that the soil samples exhibited a shear thinning beahivor regardless of solid content. The Bingham, Herschel-Bulkley, Power-law, and Papanastasiou models are used to determine the rheological properties. Assuming that the soil samples behaved as the viscoplastic behavior, the yield stress and viscosity are determined for different water contents. As a result, there are clear relationships between the solid content and rheological values (i.e., Bingham yield stress and plastic viscosity). From these relationships, the maximum and minimum of Bingham yield stresses are ranged from 100 to 2000 Pa. The debris flow mobilization is analysed using a 1D BING and 2D Debris flow models. In addition, the effect of wall slip and test apparatus are discussed.

  16. Behaviour and mobility of U and Ra in sediments near an abandoned uranium mine, Cornwall, UK.

    PubMed

    Siddeeg, Saifeldin M; Bryan, Nicholas D; Livens, Francis R

    2015-01-01

    Sediment samples were collected from the vicinity of the abandoned South Terras uranium mine in south-west UK and analysed for uranium and (226)Ra to explore their geochemical dispersion. The radioactivity concentrations in the sediment samples were measured using alpha spectrometry for uranium, and gamma spectrometry for radium. Sequential chemical extraction was applied to selected sediments in order to investigate the speciation of the radionuclides and their association with stable elements. The activity ratio of the uranium isotopes was used to explore the mobility of uranium, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) were used to characterise the sediments. The radiochemical results identified two locations with enhanced radioactivity, so two samples from these locations were further investigated. The geochemical distribution of the radionuclides in these two samples varies within the five operationally-defined fractions. In one sample, the majority of the uranium was released from the 'carbonate' fraction, followed by the organic fractions. Similarly, in the second sample, the uranium was mainly resealed from the carbonate fraction, although a considerable percentage associated with the resistant fraction. The fractionation trend of radium noticed to show some similarities to that of barium, as expected from the similarity in their chemistries. Geochemical distributions of the stable elements, such as Mn, Ti and As, were different in the enhanced radioactivity samples. The activity ratio of (234)U/(238)U shows different trends in the two sediments, signifying the impact of organic matter and/or the exchange between water and sediment. SEM and EMPA analysis identified uranium-bearing phases in association with potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and arsenic.

  17. GEOCHEMICAL FEATURES OF WATER-ROCK INTERACTIONS AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine on the eastern shore of Clear Lake is the source of poor quality acid mine drainage seeping into Clear Lake. Lateral and vertical geochemical trends in ground water composition point to a number of redox reactions taking place as a function of subsu...

  18. Abandoned coal mine drainage and its remediation: impacts on stream ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Bott, Thomas L; Jackson, John K; McTammany, Matthew E; Newbold, J Denis; Rier, Steven T; Sweeney, Bernard W; Battle, Juliann M

    2012-12-01

    The effects of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streams and responses to remediation efforts were studied using three streams (AMD-impacted, remediated, reference) in both the anthracite and the bituminous coal mining regions of Pennsylvania (USA). Response variables included ecosystem function as well as water chemistry and macroinvertebrate community composition. The bituminous AMD stream was extremely acidic with high dissolved metals concentrations, a prolific mid-summer growth of the filamentous alga, Mougeotia, and > 10-fold more chlorophyll than the reference stream. The anthracite AMD stream had a higher pH, substrata coated with iron hydroxide(s), and negligible chlorophyll. Macroinvertebrate communities in the AMD streams were different from the reference streams, the remediated streams, and each other. Relative to the reference stream, the AMD stream(s) had (1) greater gross primary productivity (GPP) in the bituminous region and undetectable GPP in the anthracite region, (2) greater ecosystem respiration in both regions, (3) greatly reduced ammonium uptake and nitrification in both regions, (4) lower nitrate uptake in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, (5) more rapid phosphorus removal from the water column in both regions, (6) activities of phosphorus-acquiring, nitrogen-acquiring, and hydrolytic-carbon-acquiring enzymes that indicated extreme phosphorus limitation in both regions, and (7) slower oak and maple leaf decomposition in the bituminous region and slower oak decomposition in the anthracite region. Remediation brought chlorophyll concentrations and GPP nearer to values for respective reference streams, depressed ecosystem respiration, restored ammonium uptake, and partially restored nitrification in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, reduced nitrate uptake to an undetectable level, restored phosphorus uptake to near normal rates, and brought enzyme activities more in line with the reference stream in the bituminous

  19. Quantifying natural source mercury emissions from the Ivanhoe Mining District, north-central Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engle, Mark A.; Gustin, Mae Sexauer; Zhang, Hong

    In order to assess the importance of mercury emissions from naturally enriched sources relative to anthropogenic point sources, data must be collected that characterizes mercury emissions from representative areas and quantifies the influence of various environmental parameters that control emissions. With this information, we will be able to scale up natural source emissions to regional areas. In this study in situ mercury emission measurements were used, along with data from laboratory studies and statistical analysis, to scale up mercury emissions for the naturally enriched Ivanhoe Mining District, Nevada. Results from stepwise multi-variate regression analysis indicated that lithology, soil mercury concentration, and distance from the nearest fault were the most important factors controlling mercury flux. Field and lab experiments demonstrated that light and precipitation enhanced mercury emissions from alluvium with background mercury concentrations. Diel mercury emissions followed a Gaussian distribution. The Gaussian distribution was used to calculate an average daily emission for each lithologic unit, which were then used to calculate an average flux for the entire area of 17.1 ng Hg m -2 h -1. An annual emission of ˜8.7×10 4 g of mercury to the atmosphere was calculated for the 586 km 2 area. The bulk of the Hg released into the atmosphere from the district (˜89%) is from naturally enriched non-point sources and ˜11% is emitted from areas of anthropogenic disturbance where mercury was mined. Mercury emissions from this area exceed the natural emission factor applied to mercury rich belts of the world (1.5 ng m -2 h -1) by an order of magnitude.

  20. Effect of Soil Ameliorators on Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities that Colonize Seedlings of Pinus densiflora in Abandoned Coal Mine Spoils.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun-Hwa; Eo, Ju-Kyeong; Lee, Chang-Seok; Eom, Ahn-Heum

    2012-09-01

    In this study, the effect of soil ameliorators on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in coal mine spoils was investigated. Organic fertilizers and slaked lime were applied as soil ameliorators in 3 abandoned coal mine spoils. One year after the initial treatment, roots of Pinus densiflora seedlings were collected and the number of ECM species, colonization rate, and species diversity were assessed. The results showed that the soil ameliorators significantly increased ECM colonization on the roots of P. densiflora. The results suggest that soil ameliorators can have a positive effect on ECM fungi in terms of growth of host plants and show the potential use of soil ameliorator treatment for revegetation with ECM-colonized pine seedlings in the coal mine spoils.

  1. Non-point source mercury emission from the Idrija Hg-mine region: GIS mercury emission model.

    PubMed

    Kocman, David; Horvat, Milena

    2011-08-01

    A mercury emission model was developed to estimate non-point source mercury (Hg) emissions occurring over the year from the Idrijca River catchment, draining the area of the world's second largest Hg mine in Idrija, Slovenia. Site-specific empirical correlations between the measured Hg emission fluxes and the parameters controlling the emission (comprising substrate Hg content, soil temperature, solar radiation and soil moisture) were incorporated into the mercury emission model developed using Geographic Information System technology. In this way, the spatial distribution and significance of the most polluted sites that need to be properly managed was assessed. The modelling results revealed that annually approximately 51 kg of mercury are emitted from contaminated surfaces in the catchment (640 km(2)), highlighting that emission from contaminated surfaces contributes significantly to the elevated Hg concentrations in the ambient air of the region. Very variable meteorological conditions in the modelling domain throughout the year resulted in the high seasonal and spatial variations of mercury emission fluxes observed. Moreover, it was found that mercury emission fluxes from surfaces in the Idrija region are 3-4 fold higher than the values commonly used in models representing emissions from global mercuriferous belts. Sensitivity and model uncertainty analysis indicated the importance of knowing not only the amount but also the type of mercury species and their binding in soils in future model development.

  2. Geochemistry of mercury in tropical swamps impacted by gold mining.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2015-09-01

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) poses a serious threat to the local environment. Colombia has very active ASGM activities, where mercury (Hg) ends in piles of mining waste, soils, and waterways. In this study, we assessed Hg speciation and bioavailability in sediments of two tropical swamps, impacted by ASGM. In Ayapel swamp, total Hg (T-Hg) concentrations in sediments ranged between 145 and 313 ng g(-1) dry weight (dw) (mean: 235 ± 49 ng g(-1) dw), whereas Grande Achi swamp levels are 3-fold higher (range: 543-1021 ng g(-1) dw; mean: 722 ± 145 ng g(-1) dw). Even though lower levels of Hg were found in Ayapel, methylation was found to be significantly higher than in Grande Achi, and it is significantly higher in the dry than in the rainy season for both swamps. This increased methylation is linked to the statistically significant correlation between T-Hg, MeHg and organic matter in the Ayapel swamp. In fact, Hg content in both swamps is mainly associated to the organic fraction (Hg-o), with a higher statistically significant difference in Ayapel (43 ± 5%) compared to Grande Achi (33 ± 5%). On the other hand, a significant percentage (30 ± 6%) of elemental Hg fraction (Hg-e) was found in Grande Achi, directly related with Hg released during the gold recovery process from upstream ASGM sites. The percentage of the bioavailable fraction (Hg-w and Hg-h) is elevated (up to 15%), indicating a potential risk to the aquatic environment and human health because these labile Hg species could enter the water column and bioaccumulate in biota.

  3. INFLUENCE OF PH AND OXIDATION-REDUCTION POTENTIAL (EH) ON THE DISSOLUTION OF MERCURY-CONTAINING MINE WASTES FROM THE SULFUR BANK MERCURY MINE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was undertaken as a part of developing treatment alternatives for waste materials, primarily waste rock and roaster tailings, from sites contaminated with mercury (Hg) mining wastes. Leaching profiles of waste rock over a range of different pH and oxidation-reduction (...

  4. Assessment of mercury erosion by surface water in Wanshan mercury mining area.

    PubMed

    Dai, ZhiHui; Feng, Xinbin; Zhang, Chao; Shang, Lihai; Qiu, Guangle

    2013-08-01

    Soil erosion is a main cause of land degradation, and in its accelerated form is also one of the most serious ecological environmental problems. Moreover, there are few studies on migration of mercury (Hg) induced by soil erosion in seriously Hg-polluted districts. This paper selected Wanshan Hg mining area, SW China as the study area. Revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) and Geographic information system (GIS) methods were applied to calculate soil and Hg erosion and to classify soil erosion intensity. Our results show that the soil erosion rate can reach up to 600,884tkm(-2)yr(-1). Surfaces associated with very slight and extremely severe erosion include 76.6% of the entire land in Wanshan. Furthermore, the cumulative erosion rates in the area impacted by extremely severe erosion make up 90.5% of the total. On an annual basis, Hg surface erosion load was predicted to be 505kgyr(-1) and the corresponding mean migration flux of Hg was estimated to be 3.02kgkm(-2)yr(-1). The erosion loads of Hg resulting from farmland and meadow soil were 175 and 319kgyr(-1) respectively, which were enhanced compared to other landscape types due to the fact that they are generally located in the steep zones associated with significant reclamation. Contributing to establish a mass balance of Hg in Wanshan Hg mining area, this study supplies a dependable scientific basis for controlling soil and water erosion in the local ecosystems. Land use change is the most effective way for reducing Hg erosion load in Wanshan mining area.

  5. Environmental geochemistry of a Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit at the abandoned Valzinco mine, Virginia, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seal, R.R.; Hammarstrom, J.M.; Johnson, A.N.; Piatak, N.M.; Wandless, G.A.

    2008-01-01

    The abandoned Valzinco mine, which worked a steeply dipping Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit in the Virginia Au-pyrite belt, contributed significant metal-laden acid-mine drainage to the Knight's Branch watershed. The host rocks were dominated by metamorphosed felsic volcanic rocks, which offered limited acid-neutralizing potential. The ores were dominated by pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and chalcopyrite, which represented significant acid-generating potential. Acid-base accounting and leaching studies of flotation tailings - the dominant mine waste at the site - indicated that they were acid generating and therefore, should have liberated significant quantities of metals to solution. Field studies of mine drainage from the site confirmed that mine drainage and the impacted stream waters had pH values from 1.1 to 6.4 and exceeded aquatic ecosystem toxicity limits for Fe, Al, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. Stable isotope studies of water, dissolved SO42 -, and primary and secondary sulfate and sulfide minerals indicated that two distinct sulfide oxidation pathways were operative at the site: one dominated by Fe(III) as the oxidant, and another by molecular O2 as the oxidant. Reaction-path modeling suggested that geochemical interactions between tailings and waters approached a steady state within about a year. Both leaching studies and geochemical reaction-path modeling provided reasonable predictions of the mine-drainage chemistry.

  6. Measuring total mercury due to small-scale gold mining activities to determine community vulnerability in Cihonje, Central Java, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Sari, Mega M; Inoue, Takanobu; Matsumoto, Yoshitaka; Yokota, Kuriko

    2016-01-01

    This research is comparative study of gold mining and non-gold mining areas, using four community vulnerability indicators. Vulnerability indicators are exposure degree, contamination rate, chronic, and acute toxicity. Each indicator used different samples, such as wastewater from gold mining process, river water from Tajum river, human hair samples, and health questionnaire. This research used cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry to determine total mercury concentration. The result showed that concentration of total mercury was 2,420 times than the maximum content of mercury permitted in wastewater based on the Indonesian regulation. Moreover, the mercury concentration in river water reached 685 ng/l, exceeding the quality threshold standards of the World Health Organization (WHO). The mercury concentration in hair samples obtained from the people living in the research location was considered to identify the health quality level of the people or as a chronic toxicity indicator. The highest mercury concentration--i.e. 17 ng/mg, was found in the gold mining respondents. Therefore, based on the total mercury concentration in the four indicators, the community in the gold mining area were more vulnerable to mercury than communities in non-gold mining areas. It was concluded that the community in gold mining area was more vulnerable to mercury contamination than the community in non-gold mining area.

  7. Chemical Interactions of Uranium in Water, Sediments, and Plants Along a Watershed Adjacent to the Abandoned Jackpile Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, J.; De Vore, C. L.; Avasarala, S.; Ali, A.; Roldan, C.; Bowers, F.; Spilde, M.; Artyushkova, K.; Cerrato, J.

    2015-12-01

    The chemical interactions, mobility, and plant uptake of uranium (U) near abandoned mine wastes was investigated along the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine, located in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Elevated U concentrations in surface water adjacent to mine waste range from 30 to 710 μg/L seasonally and decrease to 5.77 to 10.0 μg/L at a wetland 4.5 kilometers downstream of the mine. Although U concentrations in stream water are elevated, aqua regia acid digestions performed on co-located stream bed and stream bank sediments reveal that there is limited U accumulation on sediments along the reach between the mine and wetland, with most sediment concentrations being near the 3 mg/kg crustal average. However, U concentrations in sediments in the wetland are 4 times the background concentrations in the area. Individual results from salt cedar roots, stems, and leaves collected along the river transect show higher U concentrations in the roots adjacent to the mine waste (20 and 55 mg/kg) and lower in the stems and leaves. Translocation values calculated below 1 are evident in many of the plant samples, suggesting that U root to shoot translocation is minimal and U is accumulating in the roots. Concentrations of U in salt cedar roots from downstream of the mine waste decrease to 15 mg/kg. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis on sediment samples adjacent to the mine waste show a 75:25% ratio of Fe(III) to Fe(II), which can have an effect on adsorption properties. Electron microprobe results suggest that the ore in this area is present as a uranium-phosphate phase. Our results suggest that dilution, uptake by plants, and U sorption to wetland sediments are the dominant factors that help to decrease the U concentrations downstream of the mine.

  8. Investigation and risk assessment modeling of As and other heavy metals contamination around five abandoned metal mines in Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ju-Yong; Kim, Kyoung-Woong; Ahn, Joo Sung; Ko, Ilwon; Lee, Cheol-Hyo

    2005-04-01

    Tailings, agricultural soils, vegetables and groundwater samples were collected from abandoned metal mines (Duckum, Dongil, Dongjung, Myoungbong and Songchun mines) in Korea. Total concentrations of arsenic (As) and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) were analyzed to investigate the contamination level. Several digestion methods (Toxicity characteristics leaching procedure (TCLP), synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP), 0.1 N/1 N HCl) and sequential extraction analysis for mine tailings were conducted to examine the potential leachability of As and heavy metals from the tailings. The order of urgent remediation for the studied mines based on the risk assessment and remedial goals was suggested. The Songchun mine tailings were most severely contaminated by As and heavy metals. Total concentrations of As and Pb in the tailings were 38,600-58,700 mg/kg (av. 47,400 mg/kg) and 11,800-16,800 mg/kg (av. 14,600 mg/kg), respectively. Agricultural soils having high As concentrations were found at the all mines. Average concentrations of Cd in the vegetables exceeded the normal value at all mines areas, while As only at the Dongjung, Myoungbong, and Songchun mine area. One groundwater sample each from the Dongil and Myoungbong mines, and 4 groundwater samples from the Songchun mine had values above 10 mug/L of As concentration. The TCLP method revealed that only Pb in the Songchun tailings, 6.49 mg/L, exceeded the regulatory level (5 mg/L). Employing the 1-N HCl digestion method, the concentration of As in the Songchun mine tailings, 4,250 mg/kg, was up to 3,000 times higher than its Korean countermeasure standard. Results from the sequential extraction of As in the tailings showed that the easily releasable fraction in the Myoungbong and Songchun mine tailings was more than 30% and the residual fraction was less than 40%. Based on results showing the exposure health risk employing the hazard quotient and cancer risk of As, Cd and Zn, the Dongil mine needs the most

  9. Environmental impact of toxic metals and metalloids from the Muñón Cimero mercury-mining area (Asturias, Spain).

    PubMed

    Loredo, Jorge; Ordóñez, Almudena; Alvarez, Rodrigo

    2006-08-25

    This paper presents the results of the sampling surveys carried out in order to evaluate the environmental problems associated to La Soterraña, an abandoned Hg mine in Asturias, north of Spain. In particular, this paper overviews the impact of mining and metallurgical activities on terrestrial and aquatic environments. The wastes generated during the mining activity (ore extraction and processing) and later accumulated on the ground, contain great amount of sulphides, becoming potentially acid-generating. Consequently, the mobility of heavy metals and other ecotoxic elements is enhanced. Wastes are generally located close to watercourses and on very steep hillsides, where they are exposed to oxidative weathering, posing a significant risk due to the release of ecotoxic elements to the environment. Background levels were determined at sites, which had not been directly affected by mercury mining. A multielemental geochemical study of mining wastes, soils, stream sediments, water and air samples collected in the area of influence of the old mining and metallurgical works was carried out. Total Hg and As concentrations in soils reach values up to 502 and 19,940 mg kg(-1), respectively, 500 and 2000 times higher than the local background levels. The effects of mining seem to be intense both in waters and stream sediments, as well as in the local atmosphere, whose Hg content is 10 times higher than the background level in the area. Therefore, the target carcinogenic risk was exceeded for As and Hg in La Soterraña site.

  10. Environmental assessment of mercury pollution in urban tailings from gold mining.

    PubMed

    Leiva, Manuel A G; Morales, Sandra

    2013-04-01

    It is well-known that small-scale artisanal mining is a source of mercury emissions into the environment, mainly from the use of rudimentary technologies that use mercury amalgamation in the extraction process. Mines near Andacollo, which is located in the Coquimbo region of Chile, use primitive methods to mine gold and copper. In this study, we determined the mercury content of gold mining wastes from Andacollo. At each site, we randomly sampled the soil at the surface and at a depth of 2 m following the ISO 10381 guidelines. Mercury analysis was performed with a direct mercury analyzer. At least one site was contaminated at a mercury concentration of 13.6±1.4 mg kg(-1), which was above the international recommendations that were set by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's soil quality guidelines (CA-SQG) and the Dutch guidelines (NL-RIVM). At least four of the fourteen sites in this study were within the control and tolerance levels of these recommendations. Better characterization of these sites is required to establish whether they represent a risk to the local community. Based on the US-EPA recommendations, which have a higher tolerance limit, none of the fourteen sites should pose a risk to humans.

  11. USING THE SULFUR POLYMER STABILIZATION SOLIDIFICATION PROCESS TO TREAT RESIDUAL MERCURY WASTES FROM GOLD MINING OPERATIONS.

    SciTech Connect

    BOWERMAN,B.ADAMS,J.KALB,P.WAN,R.Y.LEVIER,M.

    2003-02-24

    Large quantities of mercury are generated as a by-product during the processing of gold ore following mining operations. Newmont Mining Corporation (NMC), which operates some of the world's largest gold mines, sought a method to permanently ''retire'' its mercury by-products, thereby avoiding potential environmental liability. Sulfur Polymer Stabilization-Solidification (SPSS) is an innovative technology developed at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) for treatment of mercury and mercury contaminated materials, such as soil, sludge and debris. BNL conducted a treatability study to determine the potential applicability of SPSS for treatment of Newmont mercury, and the treated product passed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test for toxicity. The SPSS process has been shown to be effective on radioactive and nonradioactive mercury and mercury-contaminated materials with a pilot-scale batch system capable of producing 0.03 m{sup 3} (1 ft{sup 3}) per batch. Engineering scale-up issues are discussed and material property tests addressing these issues are described.

  12. Applicability of two mobile analysers for mercury in urine in small-scale gold mining areas.

    PubMed

    Baeuml, Jennifer; Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Maydl, Alexandra; Messerer, Katalin; Roider, Gabriele; Drasch, Gustav; Siebert, Uwe

    2011-12-01

    Mercury is still used in developing countries to extract gold from the ore in small-scale gold mining areas. This is a major health hazard for people living in mining areas. The concentration of mercury in urine was analysed in different mining areas in Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Tanzania. First the urine samples were analysed by CV-AAS (cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry) during the field projects with a mobile mercury analyser (Lumex(®) or Seefelder(®)) and secondly, in a laboratory with a stationary CV-AAS mercury analyser (PerkinElmer(®)). Caused by the different systems (reduction agent either SnCl(2) (Lumex(®) or Seefelder(®))) or NaBH(4) (PerkinElmer(®)), with the mobile analysers only the inorganic mercury was obtained and with the stationary system the total mercury concentration was measured. The aims of the study were whether the results obtained in field with the mobile equipments can be compared with the stationary reference method in the laboratory and allow the application of these mobile analysers in screening studies on concerned populations to select those, who are exposed to critical mercury levels. Overall, the concentrations obtained with the two mobile systems were approximately 25% lower than determined with the stationary system. Nevertheless, both mobile systems seem to be very useful for screening of volunteers in field. Moreover, regional staff may be trained on such analysers to perform screening tests by themselves.

  13. Exposure to mercury in the mine of Almadén

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Montserrat García; Klink, José Diego Caballero; Boffetta, Paolo; Español, Santiago; Sällsten, Gerd; Quintana, Javier Gómez

    2007-01-01

    Objectives To describe the process for obtaining mercury and the historical exposure of Almadén miners to mercury. Methods Information on every workplace and historical data on production, technological changes in the productive process and biological and environmental values of mercury was collected. A job‐exposure matrix was built with these values and the exposure to inorganic mercury was estimated quantitatively as μg/l of urine mercury. A cumulative exposure index was calculated for every worker by adding the estimates for every year in the different workplaces. Results In the mine, the highest exposures occurred during drilling, with values up to 2.26 mg/m3 in air, 2194 μg/l in urine and 374 μg/l in blood. Furnace operation and cleaning were the tasks with the highest values in metallurgy, peaking up to 3.37 mg/m3. The filling of bottles with mercury by free fall gave values within a range of 1.13–2.43 mg/m3 in air; these values dropped to 0.32–0.83 mg/m3 after introducing a new ventilation system. The toxicity effects of high doses of inorganic mercury on the central nervous and urinary systems have been known for decades. Conclusions The exposure of the workers in Almadén mines to mercury has been very high. The extremely high content cinnabar ore of the mine explains the increased concentrations of mercury in air at the work places. This, together with inadequate working conditions, explains the high mercury levels found in blood and urine during the study period. PMID:17227836

  14. Mitigation of adverse effects at the Lezama-Leguizamon abandoned open-pit mine (Bilbao, northern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz de Omeñaca, J.; Ereño, I.; Atxabal, K.; Azurmendi, I.

    1993-09-01

    Solid fills arranged in 1-m-thick layers were prepared with stone blocks and pebbles of a drainage bed every 8 m. Runoff gathering in a well and the use of silts and mud lands for bordering and sealing the limestones are the main techniques employed for minimizing unfavorable effects at the Lezama-Leguizamon abandoned open-pit mine. Since there were waste disposal problems in the area, the rate of disposal has made the activity profitable. No significant faults have been detected by control studies, and the objectives are being achieved without problems.

  15. Spatial-based assessment of metal contamination in agricultural soils near an abandoned copper mine of eastern China.

    PubMed

    Qin, Chun; Luo, Chunling; Chen, Yahua; Shen, Zhenguo

    2012-07-01

    An investigation about metal contamination on agricultural soils was carried out near an abandoned copper mine in eastern China. Results showed the average concentrations of Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd in the 155 soil samples were 147, 53.8, 158, 0.32 mg kg(-1) respectively, which were 4.6-, 2.2-, 2-, 1.7-fold of the corresponding background value. According to the Chinese Farmland Environmental Quality Evaluation Standards for Edible Agricultural Products, it was found 18.4 % of the soils belonged to heavily and moderately contaminated soils.

  16. Arsenic input into the catchment of the River Caudal (Northwestern Spain) from abandoned Hg mining works: effect on water quality.

    PubMed

    Ordoñez, A; Silva, V; Galán, P; Loredo, J; Rucandio, I

    2014-04-01

    In Asturias (NW Spain) there are many abandoned mines, of which Hg mines are of particular significance from an environmental point of view, due to the presence of Hg and particularly As, which is found either in the form of specific (orpiment and realgar) or non-specific minerals (As-rich pyrite). The instability of these minerals leads to the presence of As-rich mine drainage and spoils heap leachates that enter surface waters or groundwaters. A study including the three most important Hg mines in the region (La Soterraña, Los Rueldos and El Terronal) has been conducted. Watercourses flowing through these mining areas are tributaries of the River Caudal, one of the most important rivers in the area. High concentrations of As were found in some of these waters, which were monitored over a period of three hydrological years and classified according to a water quality index. Those waters sampled close to the mines are generally of poor-to-bad quality, with low alkalinity and in some cases high metal content, but the quality of these waters improves with distance from the mines. The average mass load of As entering the River Caudal has been evaluated as: 200, 12 and 9,800 kg year(-1) from La Soterraña, Los Rueldos and El Terronal mine sites, respectively. Despite the constant input of about 10 tonnes of As per year, the total As concentration remains below analytical detection thresholds on account of the river's high water flow. Nevertheless, an important part of this As load is presumably retained in the river sediments, representing a potential risk of pollution of the aquatic ecosystems.

  17. Impact of fresh tailing deposition on the evolution of groundwater hydrogeochemistry at the abandoned Manitou mine site, Quebec, Canada.

    PubMed

    Maqsoud, Abdelkabir; Neculita, Carmen Mihaela; Bussière, Bruno; Benzaazoua, Mostafa; Dionne, Jean

    2016-05-01

    The abandoned Manitou mine site has produced acid mine drainage (AMD) for several decades. In order to limit the detrimental environmental impacts of AMD, different rehabilitation scenarios were proposed and analyzed. The selected rehabilitation scenario was to use fresh tailings from the neighboring Goldex gold mine as monolayer cover and to maintain an elevated water table. In order to assess the impact of the Goldex tailing deposition on the hydrogeochemistry of the Manitou mine site, a network of 30 piezometers was installed. These piezometers were used for continuous measurement of the groundwater level, as well as for water sampling campaigns for chemical quality monitoring, over a 3-year period. Hydrochemical data were analyzed using principal component analysis. Results clearly showed the benefic impact of fresh tailing deposition on the groundwater quality around the contaminated area. These findings were also confirmed by the evolution of electrical conductivity. In addition to the improvement of the physicochemical quality of water on the Manitou mine site, new tailing deposition induced an increase of water table level. However, at this time, the Manitou reactive tailings are not completely submerged and possible oxidation might still occur, especially after ceasing of the fresh tailing deposition. Therefore, complementary rehabilitation scenarios should still be considered.

  18. Evaluation of Metal Toxicity in Streams Affected by Abandoned Mine Lands, Upper Animas River Watershed, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Besser, John M.; Allert, Ann L.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; May, Thomas W.; Wang, Ning; Leib, Kenneth J.

    2001-01-01

    Acid drainage from abandoned mines and from naturally-acidic rocks and soil in the upper Animas River watershed of Colorado generates elevated concentrations of acidity and dissolved metals in stream waters and deposition of metal-contaminated particulates in streambed sediments, resulting in both toxicity and habitat degradation for stream biota. High concentrations of iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) occur in acid streams draining headwaters of the upper Animas River watershed, and high concentrations of some metals, especially Zn, persist in circumneutral reaches of the Animas River and Mineral Creek, downstream of mixing zones of acid tributaries. Seasonal variation of metal concentrations is reflected in variation in toxicity of stream water. Loadings of dissolved metals to the upper Animas River and tributaries are greatest during summer, during periods of high stream discharge from snowmelt and monsoonal rains, but adverse effects on stream biota may be greater during winter low-flow periods, when stream flows are dominated by inputs of groundwater and contain greatest concentrations of dissolved metals. Fine stream-bed sediments of the upper Animas River watershed also contain elevated concentrations of potentially toxic metals. Greatest sediment metal concentrations occur in the Animas River upstream from Silverton, where there are extensive deposits of mine and mill tailings, and in mixing zones in the Animas River and lower Mineral Creek, where precipitates of Fe and Al oxides also contain high concentrations of other metals. This report summarizes the findings of a series of toxicity studies in streams of the upper Animas River watershed, conducted on-site and in the laboratory between 1998 and 2000. The objectives of these studies were: (1) to determine the relative toxicity of stream water and fine stream-bed sediments to fish and invertebrates; (2) to determine the seasonal range of toxicity in stream

  19. Geochemical characterization of water, sediment, and biota affected by mercury contamination and acidic drainage from historical gold mining, Greenhorn Creek, Nevada County, California, 1999-2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alpers, Charles N.; Hunerlach, Michael P.; May, Jason T.; Hothem, Roger L.; Taylor, Howard E.; Antweiler, Ronald C.; De Wild, John F.; Lawler, David A.

    2005-01-01

    In 1999, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated studies of mercury and methylmercury occurrence, transformation, and transport in the Bear River and Yuba River watersheds of the northwestern Sierra Nevada. Because these watersheds were affected by large-scale, historical gold extraction using mercury amalgamation beginning in the 1850s, they were selected for a pilot study of mercury transport by the USGS and other cooperating agencies. This report presents data on methylmercury (MeHg) and total mercury (THg) concentrations in water, bed sediment, invertebrates, and frogs collected at 40 stations during 1999-2001 in the Greenhorn Creek drainage, a major tributary to Bear River. Results document several mercury contamination ?hot spots? that represent potential targets for ongoing and future remediation efforts at abandoned mine sites in the study area. Water-quality samples were collected one or more times at each of 29 stations. The concentrations of total mercury in 45 unfiltered water samples ranged from 0.80 to 153,000 nanograms per liter (ng/L); the median was 9.6 ng/L. Total mercury concentrations in filtered water (41 samples) ranged from less than 0.3 to 8,000 ng/L; the median was 2.7 ng/L. Concentrations of methylmercury in the unfiltered water (40 samples) ranged from less than 0.04 to 9.1 ng/L; the median was 0.07 ng/L. Methylmercury in filtered water (13 samples) ranged from less than 0.04 to 0.27 ng/L; the median was 0.04 ng/L. Acidic drainage with pH values as low as 3.4 was encountered in some of the mined areas. Elevated concentrations of aluminum, cadmium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, and zinc were found at several stations, especially in the more acidic water samples. Total mercury concentrations in sediment were determined by laboratory and field methods. Total mercury concentrations (determined by laboratory methods) in ten samples from eight stations ranged from about 0.0044 to 12 ?g/g (microgram per gram, equivalent to parts per

  20. Methyl Mercury Production In Tropical Hydromorphic Soils: Impact Of Gold Mining.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guedron, S.; Charlet, L.; Harris, J.; Grimaldi, M.; Cossa, D.

    2007-12-01

    Artisanal alluvial gold mining is important in many tropical developing countries and several million people are involved worldwide. The dominant use of mercury for gold amalgamation in this activity leads to mercury accumulation in soils, to sediment contamination and to methyl mercury (MMHg) bioaccumulation along the food chain. In this presentation we will present recent data on methyl mercury production in hydromorphic soils and tailing ponds from a former gold mining area located in French Guiana (South America). Comparison of specific fluxes between a pristine sub watershed and the contaminated watershed shows that former mining activities lead to a large enhancement of dissolved and particulate MMHg emissions at least by a factor of 4 and 6, respectively. MMHg production was identified in sediments from tailing ponds and in surrounding hydromorphic soils. Moreover, interstitial soil water and tailing pond water profiles sampled in an experimental tailing pond demonstrate the presence of a large MMHg production in the suboxic areas. Both tailing ponds and hydromorphic soils present geochemical conditions that are favorable to bacterial mercury methylation (high soil Hg content, high aqueous ferric iron and dissolved organic carbon concentrations). Although sulfate-reducing bacteria have been described as being the principal mercury methylating bacteria, the positive correlation between dissolved MMHg and ferrous iron concentrations argue for a significant role of iron-reducing bacteria. Identifications by sequencing fragments of 16S rRNA from total soil DNA support these interpretations. This study demonstrates that current and past artisanal gold mining in the tropics lead to methyl mercury production in contaminated areas. As artisanal activities are increasing with increasing gold prices, the bio- magnification of methyl mercury in fish presents an increasing threat to local populations whose diet relies on fish consumption.

  1. Natural decrease of dissolved arsenic in a small stream receiving drainages of abandoned silver mines in Guanajuato, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Arroyo, Yann Rene Ramos; Muñoz, Alma Hortensia Serafín; Barrientos, Eunice Yanez; Huerta, Irais Rodriguez; Wrobel, Kazimierz; Wrobel, Katarzyna

    2013-11-01

    Arsenic release from the abandoned mines and its fate in a local stream were studied. Physicochemical parameters, metals/metalloids and arsenic species were determined. One of the mine drainages was found as a point source of contamination with 309 μg L(-1) of dissolved arsenic; this concentration declined rapidly to 10.5 μg L(-1) about 2 km downstream. Data analysis confirmed that oxidation of As(III) released from the primary sulfide minerals was favored by the increase of pH and oxidation reduction potential; the results obtained in multivariate approach indicated that self-purification of water was due to association of As(V) with secondary solid phase containing Fe, Mn, Ca.

  2. Accumulation of total mercury and methylmercury in rice plants collected from different mining areas in China.

    PubMed

    Meng, Mei; Li, Bing; Shao, Jun-juan; Wang, Thanh; He, Bin; Shi, Jian-bo; Ye, Zhi-hong; Jiang, Gui-bin

    2014-01-01

    A total of 155 rice plants were collected from ten mining areas in three provinces of China (Hunan, Guizhou and Guangdong), where most of mercury (Hg) mining takes place in China. During the harvest season, whole rice plants were sampled and divided into root, stalk & leaf, husk and seed (brown rice), together with soil from root zone. Although the degree of Hg contamination varied significantly among different mining areas, rice seed showed the highest ability for methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation. Both concentrations of total mercury (THg) and MeHg in rice plants were significantly correlated with Hg levels in soil, indicating soil is still an important source for both inorganic mercury (IHg) and MeHg in rice plants. The obvious discrepancy between the distribution patterns of THg and MeHg reflected different pathways of IHg and MeHg accumulation. Water soluble Hg may play more important role in MeHg accumulation in rice plants.

  3. Mercury residues in free-grazing cattle and domestic fowl form the artisanal gold mining area of Geita district, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Chibunda, R T; Janssen, C R

    2009-11-01

    Environmental contamination with mercury from artisanal gold mines in Tanzania has been widely reported. People living around mining villages keep domestic animals which are allowed to feed freely in mercury-contaminated areas. This study investigated Hg accumulation in the liver and muscle tissue of cattle and domestic fowl reared in mining villages. Total mercury levels up to 436 and 820 microg/kg wet weight were found in liver samples taken from cattle and domestic fowl, respectively. Significantly higher mercury concentrations were found in liver samples collected at mining villages (p<0.05) than those taken from the reference area. While mercury concentrations in liver samples exceeded the acceptable maximum concentrations for humans set in the Netherlands and Poland, the Hg concentrations in muscle were below the limits of most countries. It is recommended that the keeping of freely grazing cattle and domestic fowl in or around artisanal gold mines should be avoided.

  4. 30 CFR 902.20 - Approval of Alaska abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... available at: (a) Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining and Water Management, 3601 C Street... reclamation plan. 902.20 Section 902.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  5. Total mercury loadings in sediment from gold mining and conservation areas in Guyana.

    PubMed

    Howard, Joniqua; Trotz, Maya A; Thomas, Ken; Omisca, Erlande; Chiu, Hong Ting; Halfhide, Trina; Akiwumi, Fenda; Michael, Ryan; Stuart, Amy L

    2011-08-01

    The Low Carbon Development Strategy proposed in June 2009 by the government of Guyana in response to the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries program has triggered evaluation of forest-related activities, thereby acting as a catalyst for improvements in Guyana's small- to medium-scale gold mining industry. This has also shed light on areas committed to conservation, something that has also been handled by Non Governmental Organizations. This paper compares water quality and mercury concentrations in sediment from four main areas in Guyana, two that are heavily mined for gold using mercury amalgamation methods (Arakaka and Mahdia) and two that are considered conservation areas (Iwokrama and Konashen). Fifty-three sediment and soil mercury loadings ranged from 29 to 1,200 ng/g and averaged 215 ± 187 ng/g for all sites with similar averages in conservation and mining areas. Sediment loadings are within the range seen in French Guiana and Suriname, but conservation area samples had higher loadings than the corresponding uncontaminated baselines. Type of ore and location in the mining process seemed to influence mercury loadings. Mercury sediment loadings were slightly positively correlated with pH (correlation coefficient = 0.2; p value < 0.001) whereas no significant correlations were found with dissolved oxygen or turbidity.

  6. Application of Multivariate Analysis in Understanding Anions in Soils Close to an Abandoned Manganese Oxide Ore Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekosse, Georges-Ivo E.

    Multivariate Analysis (MVA) was used in elucidating on the relationships and environmental implications of anions (particularly chloride, sulphate and carbonate which generally affect bioavailability of soil nutrients) in soils within the proximity of an abandoned Mn oxide ore mine in Southeastern Botswana. Four hundred soil samples were obtained from a 4 km2 area close to the abandoned mine and analysed for their anionic contents and pH. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used for data processing. Anion concentrations in the soil samples were: chloride = 0.2 to 11.9 mg kg-1, with a mean of 7.63 mg kg-1, sulphate = 2.1 to 47.5 mg kg-1, with a mean of 19.36 mg kg-1 and carbonate = 5.1 g kg-1 to 59.1 g kg-1, with a mean of 40.98 g kg-1. Correlation coefficients depicted strong positive associations. Two clusters were produced: cluster one had the three anions with SO42¯ being the most important; and cluster two equally had all three anions but with negative t-statistic values. The anions have been continuously displaced as result of their very high mobility as reflected in lower concentrations than those from the control site.

  7. Strontium isotope quantification of siderite, brine and acid mine drainage contributions to abandoned gas well discharges in the Appalachian Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, Elizabeth C.; Capo, Rosemary C.; Stewart, Brian W.; Hedin, Robert S.; Weaver, Theodore J.; Edenborn, Harry M.

    2013-04-01

    Unplugged abandoned oil and gas wells in the Appalachian region can serve as conduits for the movement of waters impacted by fossil fuel extraction. Strontium isotope and geochemical analysis indicate that artesian discharges of water with high total dissolved solids (TDS) from a series of gas wells in western Pennsylvania result from the infiltration of acidic, low Fe (Fe < 10 mg/L) coal mine drainage (AMD) into shallow, siderite (iron carbonate)-cemented sandstone aquifers. The acidity from the AMD promotes dissolution of the carbonate, and metal- and sulfate-contaminated waters rise to the surface through compromised abandoned gas well casings. Strontium isotope mixing models suggest that neither upward migration of oil and gas brines from Devonian reservoirs associated with the wells nor dissolution of abundant nodular siderite present in the mine spoil through which recharge water percolates contribute significantly to the artesian gas well discharges. Natural Sr isotope composition can be a sensitive tool in the characterization of complex groundwater interactions and can be used to distinguish between inputs from deep and shallow contamination sources, as well as between groundwater and mineralogically similar but stratigraphically distinct rock units. This is of particular relevance to regions such as the Appalachian Basin, where a legacy of coal, oil and gas exploration is coupled with ongoing and future natural gas drilling into deep reservoirs.

  8. Mercury methylation in rice paddies and its possible controlling factors in the Hg mining area, Guizhou province, Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lei; Qiu, Guangle; Anderson, Christopher W N; Meng, Bo; Wang, Dingyong; Shang, Lihai; Yan, Haiyu; Feng, Xinbin

    2016-08-01

    Understanding mercury (Hg) methylation/demethylation processes and the factors controlling methylmercury (MeHg) production within the rice paddy ecosystem of Hg mining areas is critical to assess the risk of MeHg contamination in rice grain. Two typical Hg-contaminated mining sites, a current-day artisanal site (Gouxi) and an abandoned site (Wukeng), were chosen in this study. We qualified the in situ specific methylation/demethylation rate constants in rice paddy soil during a complete rice-growing season. Our results demonstrate that MeHg levels in rice paddy soil were a function of both methylation and demethylation processes and the net methylation potential in the rice paddy soil reflected the measured MeHg production at any time point. Sulfate stimulating the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria was a potentially important metabolic pathway for Hg methylation in rice paddies. We suggest that bioavailable Hg derived from new atmospheric deposition appears to be the primary factor regulating net MeHg production in rice paddies.

  9. Characterization, mapping, and mitigation of mercury vapour emissions from artisanal mining gold shops.

    PubMed

    Cordy, Paul; Veiga, Marcello; Crawford, Ben; Garcia, Oseas; Gonzalez, Victor; Moraga, Daniel; Roeser, Monika; Wip, Dennis

    2013-08-01

    Artisanal miners sell their gold to shops that are usually located in the urban core, where the mercury-gold amalgam is burned to evaporate the mercury that was added during ore processing. People living and working near these gold shops are exposed to intermittent and extreme concentrations of mercury vapour. In the urban centres of Segovia, Colombia, and Andacollo, Chile, the average concentrations measured by mobile mercury vapour analyzer transects taken repeatedly over several weeks were 1.26 and 0.338μgm(-3), respectively. By World Health Organization standards, these towns are exposed to significant health hazard, and globally, the millions of miners, as well as non-miners who live near gold shops, are at serious risk of neurological and renal deficits. Measurements taken in Suriname, Ecuador and Peru reveal this to be a widespread phenomenon with unique regional variations and myriad attempts at remediation. Maps of average mercury concentrations show the spatial distribution of the hazard in relation to residential buildings and schools. Measurements from towers show the temporal variability of mercury concentrations, and suggest that large quantities of mercury are available for long-range atmospheric transport. Mercury mapping in Segovia in 2011 suggest a 10% reduction in airborne mercury concentrations over 2010, despite a 30% increase in gold production. This is attributable to the adoption of retorts by miners and regulations banning new processing centres to the rural periphery. This is the first full description of artisanal mining gold shop practices and of the character, quantity, and remediation of mercury emissions within urban mining centres.

  10. Monitoring of the mercury mining site Almadén implementing remote sensing technologies.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Thomas; Rico, Celia; Rodríguez-Rastrero, Manuel; José Sierra, María; Javier Díaz-Puente, Fco; Pelayo, Marta; Millán, Rocio

    2013-08-01

    The Almadén area in Spain has a long history of mercury mining with prolonged human-induced activities that are related to mineral extraction and metallurgical processes before the closure of the mines and a more recent post period dominated by projects that reclaim the mine dumps and tailings and recuperating the entire mining area. Furthermore, socio-economic alternatives such as crop cultivation, livestock breeding and tourism are increasing in the area. Up till now, only scattered information on these activities is available from specific studies. However, improved acquisition systems using satellite borne data in the last decades opens up new possibilities to periodically study an area of interest. Therefore, comparing the influence of these activities on the environment and monitoring their impact on the ecosystem vastly improves decision making for the public policy makers to implement appropriate land management measures and control environmental degradation. The objective of this work is to monitor environmental changes affected by human-induced activities within the Almadén area occurring before, during and after the mine closure over a period of nearly three decades. To achieve this, data from numerous sources at different spatial scales and time periods are implemented into a methodology based on advanced remote sensing techniques. This includes field spectroradiometry measurements, laboratory analyses and satellite borne data of different surface covers to detect land cover and use changes throughout the mining area. Finally, monitoring results show that the distribution of areas affected by mercury mining is rapidly diminishing since activities ceased and that rehabilitated mining areas form a new landscape. This refers to mine tailings that have been sealed and revegetated as well as an open pit mine that has been converted to an "artificial" lake surface. Implementing a methodology based on remote sensing techniques that integrate data from

  11. Community-level effects in edaphic fauna from an abandoned mining area: integration with chemical and toxicological lines of evidence.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Sara C; Castro, Bruno B; Moreira, Cláudia; Gonçalves, Fernando; Pereira, Ruth

    2013-02-01

    As a part of the Ecological Risk Assessment of a deactivated uranium mining area (Cunha Baixa), the aim of this study was to assess the drivers of litter arthropod community (ecological line of evidence) inhabiting soils with different degrees of contamination. Litter arthropods were collected in the mining area using a total of 70 pitfall traps, in the spring and autumn of 2004. Unlike information previously collected in the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we found no clear evidence of impacts of soil contamination on the edaphic arthropod assemblage. Multivariate analyses were unable to extract relevant environmental gradients related to contamination, as most of the sites shared the same taxa overall. Given the consistency of the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we must conclude that the litter arthropod assemblage underestimated the impacts of contamination in this abandoned mining area. In part, this could be due to the uncertainty caused by confounding factors that affect the litter arthropod community in the area. Nevertheless, despite the overall lack of responsiveness of the epigeic arthropod community data, a few taxa were negatively correlated with metal concentrations (Clubionidae and Staphylinidae), while Pseudoscorpionida were associated with the toxicological profile of the sites. These evidences suggest that community-level approaches with other animal and plant assemblages are necessary to reduce uncertainty relatively to the assessment of risks in higher evaluation tiers in the Cunha Baixa mine area.

  12. Preliminary study of a radiological survey in an abandoned uranium mining area in Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    N, Rabesiranana; M, Rasolonirina; F, Solonjara A.; Andriambololona., Raoelina; L, Mabit

    2010-05-01

    The region of Vinaninkarena located in central Madagascar (47°02'40"E, 19°57'17"S), is known to be a high natural radioactive area. Uranium ore was extracted in this region during the 1950s and the early 1960s. In the mid-1960s, mining activities were stopped and the site abandoned. In the meantime, the region, which used to be without any inhabitants, has recently been occupied by new settlers with presumed increase in exposure of the local population to natural ionizing radiation. In order to assess radiological risk, a survey to assess the soil natural radioactivity background was conducted during the year 2004. This study was implemented in the frame of the FADES Project SP99v1b_21 entitled: Assessment of the environmental pollution by multidisciplinary approach, and the International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Cooperation Project MAG 7002 entitled: Effects of air and water pollution on human health. Global Positioning System (GPS) was used to determine the geographical coordinates of the top soil samples (0-15cm) collected. The sampling was performed using a multi integrated scale approach to estimate the spatial variability of the parameters under investigation (U, Th and K) using geo-statistical approach. A total of 205 soil samples was collected in the study site (16 km2). After humidity correction, the samples were sealed in 100 cm3 cylindrical air-tight plastic containers and stored for more than 6 months to reach a secular equilibrium between parents and short-lived progeny (226Ra and progeny, 238U and 234Th). Measurements were performed using a high-resolution HPGe Gamma-detector with a 30% relative efficiency and an energy resolution of 1.8 keV at 1332.5 keV, allowing the determination of the uranium and thorium series and 40K. In case of secular equilibrium, a non-gamma-emitting radionuclide activity was deduced from its gamma emitting progeny. This was the case for 238U (from 234Th), 226Ra (from 214Pb and 214Bi) and 232Th (from 228Ac, 212Pb or

  13. Mercury and methylmercury related to historical mercury mining in three tributaries to Lake Berryessa, Putah Creek Watershed, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, G. C.; Horner, T.; Cornwell, K.; Izzo, V.; Alpers, C. N.

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the relative contribution of total mercury (THg) and mono-methylmercury (MMHg) from upstream historical mercury-mining districts to Lake Berryessa, a reservoir with impaired water quality because of mercury. The third and fourth largest historical mercury-producing mining districts in California are within Lake Berryessa's three largest tributary watersheds: Pope, (Upper) Putah, and Knoxville-Eticuera Creeks. Downstream of the reservoir, Putah Creek drains into the Yolo Bypass, a major source of THg and MMHg to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Water samples were collected from October 2012 to May 2014 during 37 non-storm and 8 storm events along Pope, (Upper) Putah, and Knoxville-Eticuera Creeks and analyzed for field parameters (temperature, pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity). Additionally, water samples collected during five of the non-storm and storm events were analyzed for unfiltered THg and MMHg and total suspended solids (TSS). Discharge was measured during sampling to calculate instantaneous loads. More than 120 streambed sediment samples were collected to determine the spatial variation of THg and organic carbon content (loss on ignition). Across the watersheds, unfiltered THg (in water) samples ranged from 2.3 to 125 ng/L and unfiltered MMHg (in water) samples from 0.12 to 1.0 ng/L. Concentrations of THg ranged from less than 0.0001 to 122 mg/kg in streambed sediment. Tributary reaches with elevated mercury concentrations ("hot spots") are near or downstream of historical mercury mines and have: (1) strong positive correlations between THg (in water) or MMHg (in water) and TSS (R2> 0.88, n=5); (2) higher instantaneous loads of suspended sediment, THg and MMHg than reaches with low THg and MMHg concentrations; and (3) elevated sediment organic carbon content. Tributary reaches with weaker correlations among THg, MMHg, and TSS in unfiltered water may reflect non-mining sources of dissolved THg and MMHg, such as

  14. Mercury emission and dispersion models from soils contaminated by cinnabar mining and metallurgy.

    PubMed

    Llanos, Willians; Kocman, David; Higueras, Pablo; Horvat, Milena

    2011-12-01

    The laboratory flux measurement system (LFMS) and dispersion models were used to investigate the kinetics of mercury emission flux (MEF) from contaminated soils. Representative soil samples with respect to total Hg concentration (26-9770 μg g(-1)) surrounding a decommissioned mercury-mining area (Las Cuevas Mine), and a former mercury smelter (Cerco Metalúrgico de Almadenejos), in the Almadén mercury mining district (South Central Spain), were collected. Altogether, 14 samples were analyzed to determine the variation in mercury emission flux (MEF) versus distance from the sources, regulating two major environmental parameters comprising soil temperature and solar radiation. In addition, the fraction of the water-soluble mercury in these samples was determined in order to assess how MEF from soil is related to the mercury in the aqueous soil phase. Measured MEFs ranged from less than 140 to over 10,000 ng m(-2) h(-1), with the highest emissions from contaminated soils adjacent to point sources. A significant decrease of MEF was then observed with increasing distance from these sites. Strong positive effects of both temperature and solar radiation on MEF was observed. Moreover, MEF was found to occur more easily in soils with higher proportions of soluble mercury compared to soils where cinnabar prevails. Based on the calculated Hg emission rates and with the support of geographical information system (GIS) tools and ISC AERMOD software, dispersion models for atmospheric mercury were implemented. In this way, the gaseous mercury plume generated by the soil-originated emissions at different seasons was modeled. Modeling efforts revealed that much higher emissions and larger mercury plumes are generated in dry and warm periods (summer), while the plume is smaller and associated with lower concentrations of atmospheric mercury during colder periods with higher wind activity (fall). Based on the calculated emissions and the model implementation, yearly emissions from

  15. Health and environmental assessment of mercury exposure in a gold mining community in Western Mindanao, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Cortes-Maramba, Nelia; Reyes, Jose Paciano; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Sunio, Rose; Panganiban, Lynn Crisanta

    2006-10-01

    The small-scale gold mining activities using mercury began in the late 1980s in Sibutad, Western Mindanao. It is located very near the Murcielagos Bay with tailing ponds directly discharging into bodies of water. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the health and environmental effects of gold mining activities on the community. Residents were randomly selected and classified into two groups, namely, the directly exposed and indirectly exposed populations using a set inclusion criteria. Complete medical and laboratory examinations were performed. Environmental and biologic samples were collected for total mercury and methylmercury determinations. The results showed that the directly exposed group had significantly higher mean blood total mercury and methylmercury levels in comparison with the indirectly exposed population. Although there were no significant differences between hair total mercury and methylmercury levels, there was a trend for higher levels of these biomarkers among the directly exposed residents as compared with the unexposed group. The absence of statistically significant differences may be attributable to the small sample size. Ambient air quality monitoring for mercury exceeded the allowable levels. However, levels of mercury in drinking water and sediments were within allowable limits. Frequency of gastrointestinal complaints was significantly associated with elevated hair methylmercury levels (p=0.02). Also, there appears to be a trend towards higher blood total mercury levels and frequency of gastrointestinal complaints (p=0.09). An interesting finding in this study was the increasing incidence of elevated diastolic blood pressure with elevated hair total mercury levels (p=0.07). Mercury storage at home is a risk factor.

  16. Challenges with minimising mercury pollution in the small-scale gold mining sector: experiences from the Guianas.

    PubMed

    Hilson, Gavin; Vieira, Rickford

    2007-12-01

    This paper examines the barriers to mitigating mercury pollution at small-scale gold mines in the Guianas (Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname), and prescribes recommendations for overcoming these obstacles. Whilst considerable attention has been paid to analysing the environmental impacts of operations in the region, minimal research has been undertaken to identify appropriate policy and educational initiatives for addressing the mounting mercury problem. Findings from recent fieldwork and selected interviews with operators from Guyanese and Surinamese gold mining regions reveal that legislative incapacity, the region's varied industry policy stances, various technological problems, and low environmental awareness on the part of communities are impeding efforts to facilitate improved mercury management at small-scale gold mines in the Guianas. Marked improvements can be achieved, however, if legislation, particularly that pertaining to mercury, is harmonised in the region; educational seminars continue to be held in important mining districts; and additional outlets for disseminating environmental equipment and mercury-free technologies are provided.

  17. Air mercury contamination in the gold mining town of Portovelo, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    González-Carrasco, Víctor; Velasquez-Lopez, Patricio C; Olivero-Verbel, Jesús; Pájaro-Castro, Nerlis

    2011-09-01

    Portovelo is one of the oldest gold mining towns in Ecuador. Artisanal gold mining still uses mercury in the process of gold recovery. In this study, mercury concentrations in the air of Portovelo were evaluated. High mercury levels in the ambient were found in El Pache sector, where most gold mining processing plants are located. These varied between 2,356.7 ± 1,807.6 and 3,699.5 ± 1,225.3 ng/m(3) during the rainy and dry seasons, respectively. Lower levels were detected in the urban (central) area of Portovelo, with 214.6 ± 43.7 ng/m(3) in the rainy season and 574.2 ± 72.8 ng/m(3) in the dry season, exceeding the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry minimum risk level of 200 ng/m(3). Average mercury concentrations in exhaled air from miners, measured before and after amalgam burning ranged between 179-1,352 and 2,007-3,389 ng/m(3), respectively. These data suggest Portovelo air is polluted with mercury and humans are being dangerously exposed. Therefore, strong actions must be undertaken to protect human and environmental health, including changing gold recovery systems.

  18. Mercury speciation and dispersion from an active gold mine at the West Wits area, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Lusilao-Makiese, J G; Tessier, E; Amouroux, D; Tutu, H; Chimuka, L; Weiersbye, I; Cukrowska, E M

    2016-01-01

    Total mercury (HgTOT), inorganic mercury (IHg), and methylmercury (MHg) were determined in dry season waters, sediments, and tailings from an active mine which has long history of gold exploitation. Although HgTOT in waters was generally low (0.03 to 19.60 ng L(-1)), the majority of the samples had proportions of MHg of at least 90 % of HgTOT which denotes a substantial methylation potential of the mine watersheds. Mercury was relatively high in tailing materials (up to 867 μg kg(-1)) and also in the mine sediments (up to 837 μg kg(-1)) especially in samples collected near tailing storage facilities and within a receiving water dam. Sediment profiles revealed mercury enrichment and enhanced methylation rate at deeper layers. The presence of IHg and decaying plants (organic matter) in the watersheds as well as the anoxic conditions of bulk sediments are believed to be some of the key factors favoring the mercury methylation at the site.

  19. Vertical distribution and mobility of arsenic and heavy metals in and around mine tailings of an abandoned mine.

    PubMed

    Kim, Myoung-Jin; Jung, Yejin

    2004-01-01

    In the present study, the vertical distributions (0-220 cm) of arsenic and heavy metals in mine tailings and nearby paddy fields, and their mobility through water-leach experiments were investigated. For the study, the area of Jingok mine located in Bongwha, Korea has been selected. The concentrations of arsenic and heavy metals in the mine tailings were extremely high compared to the paddy fields and control sites, i.e., up to 6675 mg/kg for As, 25 mg/kg for Cd, 22 mg/kg for Cr, 383 mg/kg for Cu, 11,135 mg/kg for Pb, 3600 mg/kg for Zn, 5.73 wt% for Fe, and 3.05 wt% for Mn. The concentrations of As and heavy metals in the paddy fields decreased sharply with increasing distance from the mine tailings, with values still higher than those in the control sites, indicating the contamination of the paddy fields by heavy metals released from the mine tailings. The vertical distributions of Cd, Cu, Pb, Al, Fe, and Mn showed the following common pattern: the highest values in the upper part of mine tailings (0-20 cm), rapid decrease with increasing depth, and then nearly constant values below the depth of 50 cm. Significant correlations were found between total Fe and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, and Pb), and between total Mn and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in the mine tailings, indicating that minerals containing Fe and Mn play an important role in the mobility of heavy metals such as Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. The fraction of As(V) ranged from 63 to 100% of total arsenic in the samples of the mine tailings. The high concentrations of total As, heavy metals, sulfate. hydrogen ion, and As(V) in the leachates of mine tailings suggest that sulfide minerals containing arsenic and heavy metals in the mine tailings were actively oxidized.

  20. 78 FR 8821 - Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program; Limited Liability for Noncoal Reclamation by Certified...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-06

    ..., entrances to open mines, water-filled pits, unreclaimed or inadequately reclaimed refuse piles and minesites... surface instability resulting from mine fires and burning coal refuse. Restoration activities under the.... 879.15(h) to specify that moneys received from disposal of land by certified states and...

  1. Mercury and methylmercury contamination related to artisanal gold mining, Suriname

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, John E.; Labson, Victor F.; Weaver, Jean N.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2002-12-01

    Elemental Hg-Au amalgamation mining practices are used widely in many developing countries resulting in significant Hg contamination of surrounding ecosystems. We have measured total Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations in sediment and water collected from artisanal Au mines and these are the first Hg speciation data from such mines in Suriname. Total Hg and methyl-Hg contents in mine-waste sediment and water are elevated over local uncontaminated baselines. Total Hg (10-930 ng/L) and methyl-Hg (0.02-3.8 ng/L) are highly elevated in mine waters. Increasing total Hg contents in discharged mine waters correlate with increasing water turbidity indicating that most Hg transport is on suspended particulates. Our Hg results are similar to those found in artisanal Au mines in the Amazon basin, where Hg contamination has led to adverse effects on tropical ecosystems.

  2. Mercury and methylmercury contamination related to artisanal gold mining, Suriname

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Labson, V.F.; Weaver, J.N.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.

    2002-01-01

    Elemental Hg-Au amalgamation mining practices are used widely in many developing countries resulting in significant Hg contamination of surrounding ecosystems. We have measured total Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations in sediment and water collected from artisanal Au mines and these are the first Hg speciation data from such mines in Suriname. Total Hg and methyl-Hg contents in mine-waste sediment and water are elevated over local uncontaminated baselines. Total Hg (10-930 ng/L) and methyl-Hg (0.02-3.8 ng/L) are highly elevated in mine waters. Increasing total Hg contents in discharged mine waters correlate with increasing water turbidity indicating that most Hg transport is on suspended particulates. Our Hg results are similar to those found in artisanal Au mines in the Amazon basin, where Hg contamination has led to adverse effects on tropical ecosystems.

  3. Source and Fate of Inorganic Soil Contamination Around the Abandoned Phillips Sulfide Mine Hudson Highlands New York

    SciTech Connect

    S Gilchrist; A Gates; E Elzinga; M Gorring; z Szabo

    2011-12-31

    The abandoned Phillips sulfide mine in the critical Highlands watershed in New York has been shown to produce strongly acidic mine drainage (AMD) with anomalous metal contaminants in first-order streams that exceeded local water standards by up to several orders of magnitude (Gilchrist et al., 2009). The metal-sulfide-rich tailings also produce contaminated soils with pH < 4, organic matter < 2.5% and trace metals sequestered in soil oxides. A geochemical transect to test worst-case soil contamination showed that Cr, Co and Ni correlated positively with Mn, (r = 0.72, r = 0.89, r = 0.80, respectively), suggesting Mn-oxide sequestration and that Cu and Pb correlated with Fe (r = 0.76, r = 0.83, respectively), suggesting sequestration in goethite. Ubiquitous, yellow coating on the mine wastes, including jarosite and goethite, is a carrier of the metals. Geochemical and {mu}-SXRF analyses determined Cu to be the major soil contaminant, {mu}-SXRF also demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of the soil chemistry at the micro-meter scale is self-similar to those in the bulk soil samples. Generally metals decreased, with some fluctuations, rapidly downslope through suspension of fines and dissolution in AMD leaving the area of substantial contamination << 0.5 km from the source.

  4. Source and fate of inorganic soil contamination around the abandoned Phillips sulfide mine, hudson Highlands, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilchrist, S.; Gates, A.; Elzinga, E.; Gorring, M.; Szabo, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The abandoned Phillips sulfide mine in the critical Highlands watershed in New York has been shown to produce strongly acidic mine drainage (AMD) with anomalous metal contaminants in first-order streams that exceeded local water standards by up to several orders of magnitude (Gilchrist et al., 2009). The metal-sulfide-rich tailings also produce contaminated soils with pH < 4, organic matter < 2.5% and trace metals sequestered in soil oxides. A geochemical transect to test worst-case soil contamination showed that Cr, Co and Ni correlated positively with Mn, (r = 0.72, r= 0.89, r = 0.80, respectively), suggesting Mn-oxide sequestration and that Cu and Pb correlated with Fe (r = 0.76, r = 0.83, respectively), suggesting sequestration in goethite. Ubiquitous, yellow coating on the mine wastes, including jarosite and goethite, is a carrier of the metals. Geochemical and μ-SXRF analyses determined Cu to be the major soil contaminant. μ-SXRF also demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of the soil chemistry at the micro-meter scale is self-similar to those in the bulk soil samples. Generally metals decreased, with some fluctuations, rapidly downslope through suspension of fines and dissolution in AMD leaving the area of substantial contamination << 0.5 km from the source.

  5. A ground electromagnetic survey used to map sulfides and acid sulfate ground waters at the abandoned Cabin Branch Mine, Prince William Forest Park, northern Virginia gold-pyrite belt

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wynn, Jeffrey C.

    2000-01-01

    INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND: Prince William Forest Park is situated at the northeastern end of the Virginia Gold-Pyrite belt northwest of the town of Dumfries, VA. The U. S. Marine Corps Reservation at Quantico borders the park on the west and south, and occupies part of the same watershed. Two abandoned mines are found within the park: the Cabin Branch pyrite mine, a historic source of acid mine drainage, and the Greenwood gold mine, a source of mercury contamination. Both are within the watershed of Quantico Creek (Fig.1). The Cabin Branch mine (also known as the Dumfries mine) lies about 2.4 km northwest of the town of Dumfries. It exploited a 300 meter-long, lens-shaped body of massive sulfide ore hosted by metamorphosed volcanic rocks; during its history over 200,000 tons of ore were extracted and processed locally. The site became part of the National Capitol Region of the National Park Service in 1940 and is currently managed by the National Park Service. In 1995 the National Park Service, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy reclaimed the Cabin Branch site. The Virginia Gold-Pyrite belt, also known as the central Virginia volcanic-plutonic belt, is host to numerous abandoned metal mines (Pavlides and others, 1982), including the Cabin Branch deposit. The belt itself extends from its northern terminus near Cabin Branch, about 50 km south of Washington, D.C., approximately 175 km to the southwest into central Virginia. It is underlain by metamorphosed volcanic and clastic (non-carbonate) sedimentary rocks, originally deposited approximately 460 million years ago during the Ordovician Period (Horton and others, 1998). Three kinds of deposits are found in the belt: volcanic-associated massive sulfide deposits, low-sulfide quartz-gold vein deposits, and gold placer deposits. The massive sulfide deposits such as Cabin Branch were historically mined for their sulfur, copper, zinc, and lead contents, but also yielded byproduct

  6. Mercury exposure of gold mining workers in the northwest of Iran.

    PubMed

    Mostafazadeh, Babak; Kiani, Amir; Mohamadi, Ebrahim; Shaki, Fatemeh; Shirazi, Farshad Hosein

    2013-11-01

    Mercury exposure is a health concern in the occupational settings like gold mining and chloralkali industries and blood and urine levels of mercury are used as exposure indicators. In this study, blood and urine concentrations of mercury were determined using hydride generation atomic absorption spectrophotometery (HGAAS) in sixteen gold miners with neuropsychiatric symptoms. The patients treated with two chelating agents, dimercaprol and D-penicillamine. The mean serum mercury levels before and after chelation therapy were 208.14 μg/L(-1) and 10.50 μg/L(-1), respectively. The mean urinary mercury levels before and after chelation therapy were 134.70 μg/L(-1) and 17.23 μg/L(-1), respectively. The results of this study showed that there are significant differences between concentration of blood and urine mercury before and after intervention (p<0.005). There were no significant differences between in the biochemistry parameters of patients before and after treatment. This study indicated that the gold miners in the northwest of Iran had been exposed to high levels of mercury vapors [Hg((0))].

  7. Airborne total gaseous mercury and exposure in a Venezuelan mining area.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Sanchez, Antonio; Contreras, Felicia; Adams, Meliton; Santos, Fernando

    2006-10-01

    This paper presents a short-term monitoring study of total gaseous mercury (TGM) in air, and exposure to airborne mercury. The evaluation was carried out in polluted mining sites (El Callao, Venezuela), where for decades mercury has been used in diverse stages of gold mining activities. The contamination is mainly due to emission of Hg0 during gold amalgamation and burning, which can cause direct human health risks. Total gaseous mercury (TGM) in air was analysed in mill, jewellery and indoor house sites, and at different heights (height profiles near the surface) at polluted and not polluted sites. Mercury concentration in air was measured with a portable mercury analyser (Lumex Ra-915+). Time weighted average mercury (TWA) was calculated for the evaluation of mercury exposure. TWA values ranged between 0.28 microg m(-3) and >100 microg m(-3). These measurements were done during sunny and dry days. In the case of mills and gold workshops, the values were over the limit recommended by the World Health Organization to exposure (25 microg m(-3)) and NIOSH limit (50 microg m(-3)). Indoors in a house, the air Hg average value was 2.58 microg m(-3) exceeding EPA (0.3 microg m(-3)) and ATSDR (1 microg m(-3)) guidelines. The mercury concentration at different height profiles, varied between 1766 microg m(-3) and 0.014 microg m(-3). Mercury height profiles were described by a power function model of the form c(Hg) = ah(-b), where a parameter describes the magnitude of Hg emission. For polluted sites there was a significant correlation between a and Hg in soil or Hg emission from soil to air, while b is only significantly correlated with air temperature. An air and soil mercury measurement transect was carried out at a mill site up to a distance of 1000 m, and it was observed that the air mercury concentration decreases with increasing distance from the mill site, and inversely to Hg soil content.

  8. 75 FR 60373 - Louisiana Regulatory Program/Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-30

    ..., 135 Gemini Circle, Suite 215, Homewood, Alabama 35209. Fax: (205) 290-7280. Federal eRulemaking Portal... Surface Mining ] Reclamation and Enforcement, 135 Gemini Circle, Suite 215, Homewood, Alabama...

  9. 30 CFR 756.16 - Approval of the Hopi Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 86039, Telephone: (520) 734-2441. (b) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Albuquerque Field Office, 505 Marquette Ave., NW., Suite 1200, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Telephone: (505) 248-5070....

  10. 77 FR 55430 - Arkansas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-10

    ...; Disposal of Excess Spoil; Road Systems; and Support Facilities. PART 782--UNDERGROUND MINING PERMIT...: Records of Blasting Operations; Disposal of Excess Spoil: General Requirements; Contemporaneous... Explosives: Seismographic Measurements; Use of Explosives: Records of Blasting Operations; Disposal of...

  11. Community Structures of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Soils and Plant Roots Inhabiting Abandoned Mines of Korea

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hyeok; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Ka, Kang-Hyeon

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we collected rhizosphere soils and root samples from a post-mining area and a natural forest area in Jecheon, Korea. We extracted spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) from rhizospheres, and then examined the sequences of 18S rDNA genes of the AMF from the collected roots of plants. We compared the AMF communities in the post-mining area and the natural forest area by sequence analysis of the AMF spores from soils and of the AMF clones from roots. Consequently, we confirmed that the structure of AMF communities varied between the post-mining area and the natural forest area and showed significant relationship with heavy metal contents in soils. These results suggest that heavy metal contamination by mining activity significantly affects the AMF community structure. PMID:28154485

  12. 30 CFR 756.17 - Approval of the Hopi Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... projects and Table I, Comprehensive/Problem Evaluation Matrix—Description of needs, proposed construction... draft Hopi Code Mining Ordinance; Hopi Tribal Council Resolution H-134-89, adopted August 29, 1989;...

  13. 30 CFR 916.25 - Approval of Kansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    .... House Bill 3009 eliminated the Kansas Mined Land Conservation and Reclamation Board and transferred its functions and staff to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. September 30, 1988 January 10,...

  14. 30 CFR 944.20 - Approval of Utah abandoned mine plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... subsequently revised, is approved effective June 3, 1983. Copies of the approved program are available at: (a... Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84180-1203, Telephone: (801)538-5340. (b) Office of Surface Mining...

  15. 30 CFR 944.20 - Approval of Utah abandoned mine plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... subsequently revised, is approved effective June 3, 1983. Copies of the approved program are available at: (a... Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84180-1203, Telephone: (801)538-5340. (b) Office of Surface Mining...

  16. Community Structures of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Soils and Plant Roots Inhabiting Abandoned Mines of Korea.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyeok; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Ka, Kang-Hyeon; Eom, Ahn-Heum

    2016-12-01

    In this study, we collected rhizosphere soils and root samples from a post-mining area and a natural forest area in Jecheon, Korea. We extracted spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) from rhizospheres, and then examined the sequences of 18S rDNA genes of the AMF from the collected roots of plants. We compared the AMF communities in the post-mining area and the natural forest area by sequence analysis of the AMF spores from soils and of the AMF clones from roots. Consequently, we confirmed that the structure of AMF communities varied between the post-mining area and the natural forest area and showed significant relationship with heavy metal contents in soils. These results suggest that heavy metal contamination by mining activity significantly affects the AMF community structure.

  17. Mercury and Selenium in a Mining-Affected Watershed of the Rocky Mountain Northwest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langner, H.

    2011-12-01

    The moderating effect of selenium on mercury toxicity is well established, although mechanisms and environmental implications of this interaction are still a field of intensive research. The Upper Clark Fork River Basin in northwestern Montana offers a suitable field site to test some of the emerging models, as a history of intensive metals mining created sub-watersheds with variable combinations of mercury and selenium sources. To address various levels of the food web, we analyzed a preliminary set of sediments, fish tissues and osprey (Pandion haliaetus) blood samples from various locations throughout the watershed. Sediment mercury concentrations vary between 0.02 and over 10 mg/kg, and selenium in sediments ranges from undetectable to 5 mg/kg in the most contaminated reaches. Mercury levels in fish range from 0.03 to 1.5 mg/kg (wet wt) and are highly dependent on the geographic location, in addition to fish species and size. Mercury concentrations in blood of nestling osprey chicks vary between 97 and 730 μg/L, with the majority of the variability explained by geographic location. Total mercury concentration in sediment can explain some of the variability in fish and ospreys; however, mercury accumulation in these organisms is also affected by factors such as the environmental methylation potential and possibly the sequestration of mercury in selenium compounds that are not prone to biomagnification in the food web. This hypothesis is supported by the geographic distribution of selenium and mercury levels in osprey blood: Relatively high selenium concentrations (~2000 μg/L) are associated with the lowest blood mercury levels, despite relatively high mercury levels in the local sediments (~1 mg/kg). In reaches with the lowest selenium concentrations in osprey blood (430 μg/L), the blood mercury levels are relatively high, despite very low sediment mercury levels. Analysis of this data points toward the role of bioavailable selenium in modifying the fate of

  18. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community.

    PubMed

    Rajaee, Mozhgon; Long, Rachel N; Renne, Elisha P; Basu, Niladri

    2015-09-01

    Mercury is utilized worldwide in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and may pose a risk for miners and mining communities. While a number of studies have characterized mercury in ASGM communities, most have focused on a single media and few have taken a holistic approach. Here, a multiple media exposure assessment and cross-sectional study of mercury was conducted in 2010 through 2012 in northeast Ghana with a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, a subsistence farming community, Gorogo, and an urban ASGM gold refinery in Bolgatanga. The objective was to assess mercury in a range of human (urine and hair) and ecological (household soil, sediment, fish, and ore) samples to increase understanding of mercury exposure pathways. All participants were interviewed on demographics, occupational and medical histories, and household characteristics. Participants included 90 women of childbearing age and 97 adults from Kejetia and 75 adults from Gorogo. Median total specific gravity-adjusted urinary, hair, and household soil mercury were significantly higher in Kejetia miners (5.18 µg/L, 0.967 µg/g, and 3.77 µg/g, respectively) than Kejetia non-miners (1.18 µg/L, 0.419 µg/g, and 2.00 µg/g, respectively) and Gorogo participants (0.154 µg/L, 0.181 µg/g, and 0.039 µg/g) in 2011. Sediment, fish, and ore Hg concentrations were below guideline values. Median soil mercury from the Bolgatanga refinery was very high (54.6 µg/g). Estimated mean mercury ingestion for Kejetia adults from soil and dust exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose (0.3 µg Hg/kg·day) for pica (0.409 µg Hg/kg·day) and geophagy (20.5 µg Hg/kg·day) scenarios. Most participants with elevated urinary and household soil mercury were miners, but some non-miners approached and exceeded guideline values, suggesting a health risk for non-mining residents living within these communities.

  19. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community

    PubMed Central

    Rajaee, Mozhgon; Long, Rachel N.; Renne, Elisha P.; Basu, Niladri

    2015-01-01

    Mercury is utilized worldwide in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and may pose a risk for miners and mining communities. While a number of studies have characterized mercury in ASGM communities, most have focused on a single media and few have taken a holistic approach. Here, a multiple media exposure assessment and cross-sectional study of mercury was conducted in 2010 through 2012 in northeast Ghana with a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, a subsistence farming community, Gorogo, and an urban ASGM gold refinery in Bolgatanga. The objective was to assess mercury in a range of human (urine and hair) and ecological (household soil, sediment, fish, and ore) samples to increase understanding of mercury exposure pathways. All participants were interviewed on demographics, occupational and medical histories, and household characteristics. Participants included 90 women of childbearing age and 97 adults from Kejetia and 75 adults from Gorogo. Median total specific gravity-adjusted urinary, hair, and household soil mercury were significantly higher in Kejetia miners (5.18 µg/L, 0.967 µg/g, and 3.77 µg/g, respectively) than Kejetia non-miners (1.18 µg/L, 0.419 µg/g, and 2.00 µg/g, respectively) and Gorogo participants (0.154 µg/L, 0.181 µg/g, and 0.039 µg/g) in 2011. Sediment, fish, and ore Hg concentrations were below guideline values. Median soil mercury from the Bolgatanga refinery was very high (54.6 µg/g). Estimated mean mercury ingestion for Kejetia adults from soil and dust exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose (0.3 µg Hg/kg·day) for pica (0.409 µg Hg/kg·day) and geophagy (20.5 µg Hg/kg·day) scenarios. Most participants with elevated urinary and household soil mercury were miners, but some non-miners approached and exceeded guideline values, suggesting a health risk for non-mining residents living within these communities. PMID:26340636

  20. Variations in heavy metal contamination of stream water and groundwater affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Yong; Choi, Jung-Chan; Lee, Kang-Kun

    2005-09-01

    This study evaluated variations in heavy metal contamination of stream waters and groundwaters affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine, where a rockfill dam for water storage will be built 11 km downstream. For these purposes, a total of 10 rounds of stream and groundwater samplings and subsequent chemical analyses were performed during 2002-2003. Results of an exploratory investigation of stream waters in 2000 indicated substantial contamination with heavy metals including zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and arsenic (As) for at least 6 km downstream from the mine. Stream waters near the mine showed metal contamination as high as arsenic (As) 8,923 microg L(-1), copper (Cu) 616 microg L(-1), cadmium (Cd) 223 microg L(-1) and lead (Pb) 10,590 microg L(-1), which greatly exceeded the Korean stream water guidelines. Remediation focused on the mine tailing piles largely improved the stream water qualities. However, there have still been quality problems for the waters containing relatively high concentrations of As (6-174 microg L(-1)), Cd (1-46 microg L(-1)) and Pb (2-26 microg L(-1)). Rainfall infiltration into the mine tailing piles resulted in an increase of heavy metals in the stream waters due to direct discharge of waste effluent, while dilution of the contaminated stream waters improved the water quality due to mixing with metal free rain waters. Levels of As, Cu and chromium (Cr) largely decreased after heavy rain but that of Pb was rather elevated. The stream waters were characterized by high concentrations of calcium (Ca) and sulfate (SO(4)), which were derived from dissolution and leaching of carbonate and sulfide minerals. It was observed that the proportions of Ca and SO(4) increased while those of bicarbonate (HCO(3)) and sodium and potassium (Na+K) decreased after a light rainfall event. Most interestingly, the reverse was generally detected for the groundwaters. The zinc, being the metal mined, was the most dominant heavy metal in the groundwaters (1758

  1. Mercury contamination of active channel sediment and floodplain deposits from historic gold mining at Gold Hill, North Carolina, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecce, Scott; Pavlowsky, Robert; Schlomer, Gwenda

    2008-07-01

    A reconnaissance investigation of mercury contamination associated with historic gold mining in North Carolina, USA, revealed high concentrations of mercury in channel and floodplain sediments downstream from the Gold Hill mining district. The most intense period of mining activities in this region occurred in the 1840s and 1850s when mercury amalgamation was used to recover fine gold particles from milled ore. This paper evaluates mercury concentrations measured in active channel sediments and two cores recovered from historic floodplain deposits of the lower portion of Dutch Buffalo Creek. Mercury concentrations in these cores range from 0.01 to 2.2 mg/kg, with maximum concentrations more than 35 times background levels. A later peak in copper concentrations is associated with the operation of a large copper mine between 1899 and 1906. Following the most intense periods of mining, both mercury and copper concentrations decrease upcore to constant levels of about twice pre-mining background concentrations. Results suggest that vertical trends in mercury and other trace metals provide a useful tool for interpreting rates of historic floodplain sedimentation in the Piedmont of North Carolina.

  2. Trace elements and activity of antioxidative enzymes in Cistus ladanifer L. growing on an abandoned mine area.

    PubMed

    Santos, Erika S; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Nabais, Cristina; Saraiva, Jorge A

    2009-10-01

    The Mediterranean shrub Cistus ladanifer grows naturally in São Domingos (Portugal), an abandoned copper mine. High levels of trace elements in plants can generate oxidative stress increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The aim of this work was to evaluate and compare As, Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations and the activity of the soluble and cell wall ionically bounded forms of the enzymes catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in leaves of C. ladanifer, collected in spring and summer, growing on São Domingos mine and on a non-contaminated area (Pomarão). São Domingos soils showed high total concentrations of As (2.6 g kg(-1)) and Pb (7.3 g kg(-1)) however the available fraction represented less than 1.5% of the total. C. ladanifer population from mine showed tolerance to Pb and Zn, which attain in leaves concentrations considered toxic for plants. The enzymatic activity of catalase, peroxidise and superoxide dismutase varied with plant populations and seasons, although with no particular trend, being specific to each trace element and enzyme cell localization. Catalase activity was evenly distributed between the soluble and ionically bounded forms, whereas the ionically bounded form of peroxidase predominated relatively to total activity, and the opposite was observed for superoxide dismutase. Spring and summer leaves from the two areas presented enzymatic activities in both fractions except to peroxidase soluble activities in leaves collected in summer. C. ladanifer enzymatic activity seems to be related with the co-existence of different stress factors (trace elements concentration, temperature, UV radiation and drought). The survival and growth of this species on contaminated mining soils is due to the presence of effective antioxidant enzyme-based defence systems.

  3. Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    ... the lungs Medicine to remove mercury and heavy metals from the body INORGANIC MERCURY For inorganic mercury ... Baum CR. Mercury: Heavy metals and inorganic agents. In: Shannon MW, ... and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug ...

  4. Cadmium Accumulation in Periphyton from an Abandoned Mining District in the Buffalo National River, Arkansas.

    PubMed

    McCauley, Jacob R; Bouldin, Jennifer L

    2016-06-01

    The Rush Mining District along the Buffalo River in Arkansas has a significant history of zinc and lead mining operations. The tails and spoils of these operations deposit heavy amounts of raw ore into streams. One element commonly found in the earth's crust that becomes a minor constituent of the deposition is cadmium. Periphyton samples from Rush Creek and Clabber Creek, two creeks within the Rush Mining District were measured for cadmium as well as two creeks with no history of mining, Spring Creek and Water Creek. Periphyton samples from Rush and Clabber Creek contained mean cadmium concentrations of 436.6 ± 67.3 and 93.38 ± 8.67 µg/kg, respectively. Spring Creek and Water Creek had a mean cadmium concentration of 40.49 ± 3.40 and 41.78 ± 3.99 µg/kg within periphyton. The results indicate increased metal concentrations in algal communities from mined areas. As periphyton is the base of the aquatic food chain, it acts as a conduit for movement of cadmium in the food web.

  5. Dispersion of Metals from Abandoned Mines and their Effects on Biota in the Methow River, Okanogan County, Washington : Annual Report 3/15/00-3/14/01.

    SciTech Connect

    Peplow, Dan; Edmonds, Robert

    2001-06-01

    The University of Washington, College of Forest Resources and the Center for Streamside Studies in Seattle, Washington, is being funded by the Bonneville Power Administration to conduct a three-year research project to measure the watershed scale response of stream habitat to abandoned mine waste, the dispersion of metals, and their effects on biota in the Methow River basin. The purpose of this project is to determine if there are processes and pathways that result in the dispersion of metals from their source at abandoned mines to biological receptors in the Methow River. The objectives of this study are the following: (1) Assess ecological risk due to metal contamination from mines near the Methow; (2) Measure impact of metals from mines on groundwater and sediments in Methow River; (3) Measure response of organisms in the Methow River to excess metals in the sediments of the Methow River; (4) Recommend restoration guidelines and biological goals that target identified pathways and processes of metal pollution affecting salmon habitat in the Methow basin; and (5) Submit peer review journal publications. When concluded, this study will contribute to the advancement of current best management practices by describing the processes responsible for the release of metals from small abandoned mine sites in an arid environment, their dispersal pathways, and their chemical and biological impacts on the Methow River. Based on these processes and pathways, specific remediation recommendations will be proposed.

  6. Lung cancer excess in an abandoned lead-zinc mining and smelting area.

    PubMed

    Neuberger, J S; Hollowell, J G

    1982-11-01

    Analysis of cancer mortality in whites has revealed a significant excess in both males and females in an old lead/zinc mining and smelting area. This area consists of three rural contiguous counties: Cherokee County, Kansas, Jasper County, Missouri, and Ottawa County, Oklahoma. The lung cancer excess has persisted for at least 28 years for males and 5 years for females. A pilot case/control study is underway in Cherokee County to assess the influence of cigarette smoking, occupation, and residence on the lung cancer excess. Analysis will incorporate the histologic findings. From an environmental perspective, there are numerous mine tailings containing lead, zinc, cadmium, sulfur, germanium, and other chemicals. Considerable dust is airborne. Numerous openings (sink holes and bore holes) connect the old mines with the surface. Radium 226 has been detected in the untreated groundwater.

  7. Colour and toxic characteristics of metakaolinite–hematite pigment for integrally coloured concrete, prepared from iron oxide recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Sadasivam, Sivachidambaram Thomas, Hywel Rhys

    2016-07-15

    A metakaolinite-hematite (KH) red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine. The KH pigment was prepared by heating the kaolinite and the iron oxide sludge at kaolinite's dehydroxylation temperature. Both the raw sludge and the KH specimen were characterised for their colour properties and toxic characteristics. The KH specimen could serve as a pigment for integrally coloured concrete and offers a potential use for the large volumes of the iron oxide sludge collected from mine water treatment plants. - Graphical abstract: A kaolinite based red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from an abandoned coal mine water treatment plant. Display Omitted - Highlights: • A red pigment was prepared by heating a kaolinite and an iron oxide sludge. • The iron oxide and the pigment were characterised for their colour properties. • The red pigment can be a potential element for integrally coloured concrete.

  8. Chemical quality of water in abandoned zinc mines in northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Playton, Stephen J.; Davis, Robert E.; McClaflin, Roger G.

    1980-01-01

    Onsite measurements of pH, specific conductance, and water temperature show that water in seven mine shafts in northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas is stratified. With increasing sampling depth, specific conductance and water temperature tend to increase, and pH tends to decrease. Concentrations of dissolved solids and chemical constituents in mine-shaft water, such as total and dissolved metals and dissolved sulfate also increase with depth. The apparently unstable condition created by cooler, denser water overlying warmer, less dense water is offset by the greater density of the lower water strata due to higher dissolved solids content.

  9. Geophysical investigations of near-surface materials and groundwater quality at abandoned mine land site No. 1087, Pike County, Indiana

    SciTech Connect

    Spindler, K.M.; Olyphant, G.A.; Harper, D.

    1998-12-31

    Reclamation of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Site No. 1087 (Midwestern) includes extensive use of coal-combustion byproducts such as fly ash and fixated scrubber sludge (FSS) as fill and cover materials. Prior to reclamation, a deposit of coarse-grained pyritic refuse in the central part of the site was the primary source for acidic mine drainage. The FSS tends to have a low permeability, so it was applied over the refuse to serve as a barrier to vertical recharge and thereby inhibit generation and mobilization of additional acidity. Repeated post-reclamation measurements of soil-water content using a neutron moisture gauge provide evidence that vertical recharge is, in fact, not occurring through the FSS. However, a previously existing plume of acidic water extends beyond the area of the refuse into adjacent areas of disturbed overburden (spoil). Electrical resistivity profiles using the offset Wenner method were used to delineate the horizontal extent of the refuse and to quantify spatial variability of groundwater chemistry within the refuse and adjacent spoil. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to precisely determine the thickness and extent of the FSS layer and its relation to the refuse and to the surrounding plume of acidic water. Together, these techniques provide a complete three-dimensional representation of the FSS, refuse, spoil, and plume of acidic groundwater.

  10. Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA.

    PubMed

    Gray, John E; Theodorakos, Peter M; Fey, David L; Krabbenhoft, David P

    2015-02-01

    Samples of soil, water, mine waste leachates, soil gas, and air were collected from areas mined for mercury (Hg) and baseline sites in the Big Bend area, Texas, to evaluate potential Hg contamination in the region. Soil samples collected within 300 m of an inactive Hg mine contained elevated Hg concentrations (3.8-11 µg/g), which were considerably higher than Hg in soil collected from baseline sites (0.03-0.05 µg/g) distal (as much as 24 km) from mines. Only three soil samples collected within 300 m of the mine exceeded the probable effect concentration for Hg of 1.06 µg/g, above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment-dwelling organisms. Concentrations of Hg in mine water runoff (7.9-14 ng/L) were generally higher than those found in springs and wells (0.05-3.1 ng/L), baseline streams (1.1-9.7 ng/L), and sources of drinking water (0.63-9.1 ng/L) collected in the Big Bend region. Concentrations of Hg in all water samples collected in this study were considerably below the 2,000 ng/L drinking water Hg guideline and the 770 ng/L guideline recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to protect aquatic wildlife from chronic effects of Hg. Concentrations of Hg in water leachates obtained from leaching of mine wastes varied widely from <0.001 to 760 µg of Hg in leachate/g of sample leached, but only one leachate exceeded the USEPA Hg industrial soil screening level of 31 µg/g. Concentrations of Hg in soil gas collected at mined sites (690-82,000 ng/m(3)) were highly elevated compared to soil gas collected from baseline sites (1.2-77 ng/m(3)). However, air collected from mined areas at a height of 2 m above the ground surface contained concentrations of Hg (4.9-64 ng/m(3)) that were considerably lower than Hg in soil gas from the mined areas. Although concentrations of Hg emitted from mine-contaminated soils and mine wastes were elevated, persistent wind in southwest Texas disperses Hg in the air within a few meters of the

  11. Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, John E.; Theodorakos, Peter M.; Fey, David L.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2015-01-01

    Samples of soil, water, mine waste leachates, soil gas, and air were collected from areas mined for mercury (Hg) and baseline sites in the Big Bend area, Texas, to evaluate potential Hg contamination in the region. Soil samples collected within 300 m of an inactive Hg mine contained elevated Hg concentrations (3.8–11 µg/g), which were considerably higher than Hg in soil collected from baseline sites (0.03–0.05 µg/g) distal (as much as 24 km) from mines. Only three soil samples collected within 300 m of the mine exceeded the probable effect concentration for Hg of 1.06 µg/g, above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment-dwelling organisms. Concentrations of Hg in mine water runoff (7.9–14 ng/L) were generally higher than those found in springs and wells (0.05–3.1 ng/L), baseline streams (1.1–9.7 ng/L), and sources of drinking water (0.63–9.1 ng/L) collected in the Big Bend region. Concentrations of Hg in all water samples collected in this study were considerably below the 2,000 ng/L drinking water Hg guideline and the 770 ng/L guideline recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to protect aquatic wildlife from chronic effects of Hg. Concentrations of Hg in water leachates obtained from leaching of mine wastes varied widely from <0.001 to 760 µg of Hg in leachate/g of sample leached, but only one leachate exceeded the USEPA Hg industrial soil screening level of 31 µg/g. Concentrations of Hg in soil gas collected at mined sites (690–82,000 ng/m3) were highly elevated compared to soil gas collected from baseline sites (1.2–77 ng/m3). However, air collected from mined areas at a height of 2 m above the ground surface contained concentrations of Hg (4.9–64 ng/m3) that were considerably lower than Hg in soil gas from the mined areas. Although concentrations of Hg emitted from mine-contaminated soils and mine wastes were elevated, persistent wind in southwest Texas disperses Hg in the air

  12. Trace Element Mobility in Water and Sediments in a Hyporheic Zone Adjacent to an Abandoned Uranium Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roldan, C.; Blake, J.; Cerrato, J.; Ali, A.; Cabaniss, S.

    2015-12-01

    The legacy of abandoned uranium mines lead to community concerns about environmental and health effects. This study focuses on a cross section of the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine on the Laguna Reservation, west-central New Mexico. Often, the geochemical interactions that occur in the hyporheic zone adjacent to these abandoned mines play an important role in trace element mobility. In order to understand the mobility of uranium (U), arsenic (As), and vanadium (V) in the Rio Paguate; surface water, hyporheic zone water, and core sediment samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). All water samples were filtered through 0.45μm and 0.22μm filters and analyzed. The results show that there is no major difference in concentrations of U (378-496μg/L), As (0.872-6.78μg/L), and V (2.94-5.01μg/L) between the filter sizes or with depth (8cm and 15cm) in the hyporheic zone. The unfiltered hyporheic zone water samples were analyzed after acid digestion to assess the particulate fraction. These results show a decrease in U concentration (153-202μg/L) and an increase in As (33.2-219μg/L) and V (169-1130μg/L) concentrations compared to the filtered waters. Surface water concentrations of U(171-184μg/L) are lower than the filtered hyporheic zone waters while As(1.32-8.68μg/L) and V(1.75-2.38μg/L) are significantly lower than the hyporheic zone waters and particulates combined. Concentrations of As in the sediment core samples are higher in the first 15cm below the water-sediment interface (14.3-3.82μg/L) and decrease (0.382μg/L) with depth. Uranium concentrations are consistent (0.047-0.050μg/L) at all depths. The over all data suggest that U is mobile in the dissolved phase and both As and V are mobile in the particular phase as they travel through the system.

  13. Environmental Emission of Mercury During Gold Mining by Amalgamation Process and its Impact on Soils of Gympie, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhindsa, H. S.; Battle, A. R.; Prytz, S.

    - The aims of this study were to estimate the total amount of mercury released to the environment during 60 years of gold mining (1867-1926) at Gympie, Queensland, Australia and to measure the mercury levels in soil samples surrounding the mining activity. We estimated that 1902 tonnes of mercury was released to the environment and about 1236 tonnes of which was released to the air. The mean mercury in the soil samples in the vicinity of the Scottish battery varied from 1.07 to 99.26 μg g-1 as compared to 0.075 μg g-1 as background mercury concentrations. The maximum mercury concentration measured in sediments of the Langton Gully was 6.12 μg g-1. These results show that large amount of mercury was used in this area during gold mining. Since mining is active in the area and Langton Gully flows into Mary River, we therefore, recommend that mercury concentration in air and fish should be monitored.

  14. Perception of mercury contamination by Brazilian adolescents in a gold mining community: an ethnographic approach.

    PubMed

    Novais, Gabriel; Câmara, Volney de Magalhães

    2009-01-01

    This study used ethnographic methods to examine the perception of mercury contamination by adolescents in the mining community of Poconé, Mato Grosso, Brazil. In Phase I, 53 students aged 13 to 16 years in six schools presented theatrical sketches about community health risks to generate key terms for a pile sorting activity in Phase II. Mercury was reported by four of the 15 groups (26%). In Phase II, researchers conducted semi-structured interviews and pile sorts with 31 students to assess adolescent attitudes about mercury and to generate an ethnomedical model of mercury perception. The lack of consensus evident in the model reveals that while students view mercury as an overall threat, many of them do not understand how its presence can harm human health. Few adolescents felt confident about their knowledge (3%) or could accurately explain how it was used (9%), even though many of them had relatives working as miners (55%). Further analysis of pile sort data suggests that mercury may not belong in a 'typical risks' domain. The authors argue that ethnographic methods are a useful tool for public health research, and hope that these findings can contribute to health education interventions in the field.

  15. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence and energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis of runoff water and vegetation from abandoned mining of Pb Zn ores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, A. F.; Queralt, I.; Carvalho, M. L.; Bordalo, M.

    2003-12-01

    The present work reports on the heavy metal content: Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb in running waters and vegetation around abandoned mining areas. Two species of mosses ( Dicranum sp. and Pleurocarpus sp.) and three different species of wild grass ( Bromus sp., Rumex sp. and Pseudoavena sp.) growing on the surrounding areas of old lead-zinc mines (Aran Valley, Pyrenees, NE Spain) have been analyzed. Both water and vegetation were collected in two different sampling places: (a) near the mine gallery water outlets and (b) on the landfill close to the abandoned mineral concentration factories. For the heavy metal content determination, two different techniques were used: total reflection X-ray fluorescence for water analysis and energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence for vegetation study. Surface waters around mine outlets exhibit anomalous content of Co, Ni, Zn, Cd. Stream waters running on mining landfills exhibit higher Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb than those of the waters at the mine gallery outlets. The results allow us to assess the extent of the environmental impact of the mining activities on the water quality. The intake of these elements by vegetation was related with the sampling place, reflecting the metal water content and the substrate chemistry. Accumulation of metals in mosses is higher than those exhibited in wild grasses. Furthermore, different levels of accumulation were found in different wild grass. Rumex sp. presented the lowest metal concentrations, while Pseudoavena sp. reported the highest metal content.

  16. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Fees Section 403—Objectives of Fund Section 404—Eligible Lands and Water Section 405—Reclamation... Past Mining Practices Section 408—Liens Section 409—Filling Voids and Sealing Tunnels Section 410... Water Subsequent to Certification II(O) (1)—Exclusion of Noncoal Reclamation Sites II(P) (1), (2),...

  17. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Fees Section 403—Objectives of Fund Section 404—Eligible Lands and Water Section 405—Reclamation... Past Mining Practices Section 408—Liens Section 409—Filling Voids and Sealing Tunnels Section 410... Water Subsequent to Certification II(O) (1)—Exclusion of Noncoal Reclamation Sites II(P) (1), (2),...

  18. 30 CFR 916.20 - Approval of Kansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ..., 1982. He fully approved the Kansas plan, as amended by Kansas House Bill No. 2994 on April 14, 1982, and Kansas House Bill No. 2516 on May 2, 1983, and removed all conditions prohibiting the funding of... available at: (a) Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Surface Mining Section, 4033 Parkview...

  19. Geochemical and mineralogical characterization of the abandoned Valzinco (lead-zinc) and Mitchell (gold) mine sites prior to reclamation, Spotsylvania County, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hammarstrom, Jane M.; Johnson, Adam N.; Seal, Robert R., II; Meier, Allen L.; Briggs, Paul L.; Piatak, Nadine M.

    2006-01-01

    The Virginia gold-pyrite belt, part of the central Virginia volcanic-plutonic belt, hosts numerous abandoned metal mines. The belt extends from about 50 km south of Washington, D.C., for approximately 175 km to the southwest into central Virginia. The rocks that comprise the belt include metamorphosed volcanic and clastic (noncarbonate) sedimentary rocks that were originally deposited during the Ordovician). Deposits that were mined can be classified into three broad categories: 1. volcanic-associated massive sulfide deposits, 2. low-sulfide quartz-gold vein deposits, 3. gold placer deposits, which result from weathering of the vein deposits The massive sulfide deposits were historically mined for iron and pyrite (sulfur), zinc, lead, and copper but also yielded byproduct gold and silver. The most intensely mineralized and mined section of the belt is southwest of Fredericksburg, in the Mineral district of Louisa and Spotsylvania counties. The Valzinco Piatak lead-zinc mine and the Mitchell gold prospect are abandoned sites in Spotsylvania County. As a result of environmental impacts associated with historic mining, both sites were prioritized for reclamation under the Virginia Orphaned Land Program administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (VDMME). This report summarizes geochemical data for all solid sample media, along with mineralogical data, and results of weathering experiments on Valzinco tailings and field experiments on sediment accumulation in Knights Branch. These data provide a framework for evaluating water-rock interactionsand geoenvironmental signatures of long-abandoned mines developed in massive sulfide deposits and low-sulfide gold-quartz vein deposits in the humid temperate ecosystem domain in the eastern United States.

  20. Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Abandoned Mine Lands as Signifcant Contamination Problem in Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csuhanics, Balazs; Jordan, G.; Foldessy, J.; Szakall, S.

    2010-05-01

    The accurate survey of the home mineral raw material resources in Hungary has been an emphasised research achievement since the early 1950's. In the early 1960's, the ore deposit explorations have begun in the Mátra Mountains which area had a long history of ore mining and the scientific attendance focused on this area such as the polimetallic veins of Parádsasvár. During the field works and in situ surveys , explorers used trenches and exploration adits to heading through the supposed ore veins. The problem is that the exploration areas' land reclamation has not befallen yet. This plight can characterize as mining-related environmental contamination which is a global problem. The associated mining waste is known to be among the largest waste streams in, for example, the European Union, where it is estimated to be 400 Mt, which amounts to about 29% of total waste generated in the European Union (EU) (Jordan, 2004a). Mine site (including exploration areas, as well) remediation have become the major activities of the mining industry according to EU standards by improving environmental and waste legislation (Charbonnier, 2001; Jordan, 2004; Jordan and D'Alessandro, 2004), which gave actuality of this thesis. The disarrayed metallic tailings were deposed onsite without proper pretreatment. These tailings mean not only the anthropogenic effect on natural environment to this day but also a particular environmental danger because they are characterized by a lack of control and a lack of data and information. The objective of this thesis is to define the heavy metal anomalies of the exploration area (Tulk and Tucker, 1998), characterize the connection between the background geochemical values with the tailings' values, evaluate the correlations and give solution to mitigate the undesirable effects. By the recent explorations it can be noticeable that the tailings from the last century's surveys have direct toxic affects on the ecosystems adding to naturally high

  1. Blood biomonitoring of metals in subjects living near abandoned mining and active industrial areas.

    PubMed

    Madeddu, Roberto; Tolu, Paola; Asara, Yolande; Farace, Cristiano; Forte, Giovanni; Bocca, Beatrice

    2013-07-01

    A human blood biomonitoring campaign to detect the environmental exposure to metals (Cd, Cu, Cr, Mn, Pb and Zn) in 265 subjects was performed in the South-Western part of Sardinia (an Italian island) that is a particular area with a great history of coal and metal mining (Pb/Zn mainly) activities and large industrial structures (as metallurgy). Subjects living near the industrial plant area had geometric means (GM) of blood Cd (0.79 μg/l), Cu (971 μg/l), Mn (12.2 μg/l), and Pb (55.7 μg/l) significantly higher than controls (Cd, 0.47 μg/l; Cu, 900 μg/l; Mn 9.98 μg/l; Pb, 26.5 μg/l) and than people living nearby the past mining sites. Subjects living next to one dismissed mine were statistically higher in blood Cu (GM, 1,022 μg/l) and Pb (GM, 41.4 μg/l) concentrations than controls. No differences were observed in people living in the different mining sites, and this might be related to the decennial disclosure of mines and the adoption of environmental remediation programmes. Some interindividual variables influenced blood biomonitoring data, as smoke and age for Cd, gender for Cu, age, sex and alcohol for Pb, and age for Zn. Moreover, blood metal levels of the whole population were similar to reference values representative of the Sardinian population and acceptably safe according to currently available health guidelines.

  2. COMPARISON OF DATA FROM SYNTHETIC LEACHATE AND DIRECT SAMPLING OF ACID DRAINAGE FROM MINE WASTES: IMPLICATIONS FOR MERCURY TRANSPORT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) in Lake County, California operated from the 1860s through the 1950's. Mining for sulfur started with surface operations and progressed to shaft, then open pit techniques to obtain mercury. Mining has resulted in deposition of approximately ...

  3. Performance of a wetland/anoxic limestone drain treatment system at the Douglas abandoned mine land project

    SciTech Connect

    Sterner, P.L.; Cliff, J.B.; Skousen, J.G.; Sexstone, A.J.

    1996-12-31

    Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) exiting West Virginia`s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) sites often is remediated using passive treatment systems. A new passive treatment technology which employs a combination wetland/anoxic limestone drain (WALD) is currently being evaluated at one AML site near Thomas, WV. The WALD utilizes a three cell design to complete treatment. Cell 1 (dimensions 365.8m x 2.5m x 1.8m- L x W x D) employs a 0.6m base of limestone overlain by 1.2m of organic material. Cell 2 (dimensions 457.2m x 9.1m x 2.4m) employs a 1.5m limestone base overlain by 0.9m of organic material. Cell 3 (dimensions 25m x 9.1 in x 1.2m) is a sedimentation basin which allows deposition of precipitating metals. Thirteen polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cylinders with multiple ports were installed throughout the system so that water sampling at various locations and depths can be conducted. The working hypotheses to be tested is whether microbial iron reduction in organic sediments is sufficient to prevent limestone coating by iron oxyhydroxides, thus allowing continuous limestone dissolution and subsequent pH increase of the treated AMD. Influent water enters the system via surface flow at a rate of approximately 240 gpm from pipes draining an underground coal mine. Average influent AMD parameters over the study period were: pH = 3.0, total acidity = 426 mg/L, total alkalinity = 0 mg/L, total iron = 20 mg/L, total manganese = 6 mg/L and aluminum = 31 mg/L. Results based on effluent water quality indicate that AMD is being treated by the WALD.

  4. Exploiting Stable Mercury Isotopic Analysis to Differentiate between Mercury Sources: Gold Mining vs. Land-Use Change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergquist, B. A.; Adler Miserendino, R. A.; Guimarães, J. R.; Veiga, M.; Velasquez-López, P.; Lees, P. S.; Thibodeau, A. M.; Fernandez, L. E.

    2013-12-01

    In parts of the developing world, mercury (Hg) is used to extract gold by amalgamation during artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and this can lead to contamination of downstream aquatic ecosystems. Differentiation between Hg from ASGM and from other sources of Hg, such as increased erosion from land cover and land use change (LCLUC), is challenging and has lead to heated debates over the dominant sources of elevated Hg in some ecosystems. Here, stable Hg isotopic analysis was applied in two aquatic ecosystems in South America: (1) the Amazonian aquatic ecosystem of Amapá, Brazil downstream of artisanal gold mining (AGM) and (2) the Puyango-Tumbes River ecosystem downstream of Portovelo-Zaruma, Ecuador, a large mining area where both AGM and small-scale gold mining (SGM) are in operation. The Hg isotopic analyses from Amapá, Brazil, do not support AGM as the source of elevated Hg in the downstream aquatic ecosystem. Instead, Hg isotopes are most consistent with the elevated Hg being from preferential migration of Hg from soil erosion, which is likely associated with land use change. Although soils are regarded as Hg sinks in the global Hg cycle, this work suggests that LCLUC can disrupt Hg stores with significant ecological consequences. In contrast in the Southwestern Andean region of Ecuador and Peru, analysis of Hg isotopes and other toxic metals (i.e., Pb, Zn, Cu), which are associated with the larger scale mining and cyanide used during SGM, demonstrate Hg used during gold mining is the predominant source of Hg downstream and can be traced far from the dominant mining area. Although it has been speculated that Hg from SGM in Ecuador was not that mobile or that Hg far downstream of SGM processing plants was from erosion due to LCLUC or from AGM taking place downstream, the isotopically heavy signature of Hg used during gold mining and elevated other metal concentrations were observed ~120 km downstream of Portovelo-Zaruma. Mercury isotopes appear

  5. Surface water monitoring in the mercury mining district of Asturias (Spain).

    PubMed

    Loredo, Jorge; Petit-Domínguez, María Dolores; Ordóñez, Almudena; Galán, María Pilar; Fernández-Martínez, Rodolfo; Alvarez, Rodrigo; Rucandio, María Isabel

    2010-04-15

    Systematic monitoring of surface waters in the area of abandoned mine sites constitutes an essential step in the characterisation of pollution from historic mine sites. The analytical data collected throughout a hydrologic period can be used for hydrological modelling and also to select appropriate preventive and/or corrective measures in order to avoid pollution of watercourses. Caudal River drains the main abandoned Hg mine sites (located in Mieres and Pola de Lena districts) in Central Asturias (NW Spain). This paper describes a systematic monitoring of physical and chemical parameters in eighteen selected sampling points within the Caudal River catchment. At each sampling station, water flow, pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, redox potential and turbidity were controlled "in situ" and major and trace elements were analysed in the laboratory. In the Hg-mineralised areas, As is present in the form of As-rich pyrite, realgar and occasionally arsenopyrite. Mine drainage and leachates from spoil heaps exhibit in some cases acidic conditions and high As contents, and they are incorporated to Caudal River tributaries. Multivariate statistical analysis aids to the interpretation of the spatial and temporary variations found in the sampled areas, as part of a methodology applicable to different environmental and geological studies.

  6. Effects of historical coal mining and drainage from abandoned mines on streamflow and water quality in Bear Creek, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania-March 1999-December 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.

    2005-01-01

    More than 100 years of anthracite coal mining has changed surface- and ground-water hydrology and contaminated streams draining the Southern Anthracite Coal Field in east-central Pennsylvania. Bear Creek drains the western prong of the Southern Anthracite Coal Field and is affected by metals in drainage from abandoned mines and streamwater losses. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) developed for dissolved iron of about 5 lb/d (pounds per day) commonly are exceeded in the reach downstream of mine discharges. Restoration of Bear Creek using aerobic ponds to passively remove iron in abandoned mine drainage is under consideration (2004) by the Dauphin County Conservation District. This report, prepared in cooperation with the Dauphin County Conservation District, evaluates chemical and hydrologic data collected in Bear Creek and its receiving waters prior to implementation of mine-drainage treatment. The data collected represent the type of baseline information needed for documentation of water-quality changes following passive treatment of mine drainage in Pennsylvania and in other similar hydrogeologic settings. Seven surface-water sites on Bear Creek and two mine discharges were monitored for nearly three years to characterize the chemistry and hydrology of the following: (1) Bear Creek upstream of the mine discharges (BC-UMD), (2) water draining from the Lykens-Williamstown Mine Pool at the Lykens Water-Level Tunnel (LWLT) and Lykens Drift (LD) discharges, (3) Bear Creek after mixing with the mine discharges (BC-DMD), and (4) Bear Creek prior to mixing with Wiconisco Creek (BCM). Two sites on Wiconisco Creek, upstream and downstream of Bear Creek (WC-UBC and WC-DBC, respectively), were selected to evaluate changes in streamflow and water quality upon mixing with Bear Creek. During periods of below-normal precipitation, streamwater loss was commonly 100 percent upstream of site BC-UMD (streamflow range = 0 to 9.7 ft3/s (cubic feet per second)) but no loss was detected

  7. Abandoned mines, mountain sports, and climate variability: Implications for the Colorado tourism economy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, Andrew; McKnight, Diane; Wyatt, Lane

    Until recently, the allure of the mountains in the American West was primarily extractive, for commodities like timber, water, and precious metals [Baron et. al., 2000]. Now, the effective marketing and management of the regions “white gold” by the ski industry has stimulated significant recreation-related growth and development in the last several decades. Under an uncertain climatic future, however, these burgeoning industries, and the communities that have grown up in relation to them, are facing water quality constraints inherited from historical mining practices, causing mountain water to become a limited resource more valuable than the precious metals of the past. Further, the current lack of proven, in-situ approaches for addressing distributed, mining waste pollution of fresh water complicates potential remediation efforts.

  8. Screening of metal uptake by plant colonizers growing on abandoned copper mine in Kapunda, South Australia.

    PubMed

    Nirola, Ramkrishna; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Aryal, Rupak; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Systematic site survey for sample collection and analysis was conducted at a derelict copper (Cu) mine at Kapunda, South Australia. Cu concentrations in the soils at this former mine ranged from 65-10107 mg kg(-1). The pH and EC varied widely in the 3.9-8.4 and 152-7311 µS ranges, respectively. Nine plant species growing over the copper mine site were selected to screen for metal uptake to determine their suitability for phytoremediation. The Australian native tree species Eucalyptus camaldulensis indicated enrichment factor (EF) of 2.17, 1.89, and 1.30 for Cu, Zn, and Pb, respectively, suggesting that this species of tree can accumulate these metals to some degree. The stress-resistant exotic olive, Olea europaea exhibited EF of ≤ 0.01 for Cu, Cd, and Pb, and 0.29 for Zn, which is characteristic of an excluder plant. Acacia pycnantha, the Australian pioneer legume species with EF 0.03, 0.80, 0.32, and 0.01 for Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb, respectively, emerged as another strong metal excluder and consequently as an ideal metal stabilizer.

  9. Characterization of a Bacterial Community in an Abandoned Semiarid Lead-Zinc Mine Tailing Site▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, Monica O.; Neilson, Julia W.; Maier, Raina M.

    2008-01-01

    Bacterial diversity in mine tailing microbial communities has not been thoroughly investigated despite the correlations that have been observed between the relative microbial diversity and the success of revegetation efforts at tailing sites. This study employed phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA genes to compare the bacterial communities present in highly disturbed, extremely (pH 2.7) and moderately (pH 5.7) acidic lead-zinc mine tailing samples from a semiarid environment with those from a vegetated off-site (OS) control sample (pH 8). Phylotype richness in these communities decreased from 42 in the OS control to 24 in the moderately acidic samples and 8 in the extremely acidic tailing samples. The clones in the extremely acidic tailing sample were most closely related to acidophiles, none of which were detected in the OS control sample. The comparison generated by this study between the bacteria present in extremely acidic tailing and that in moderately acidic tailing communities with those in an OS control soil provides a reference point from which to evaluate the successful restoration of mine tailing disposal sites by phytostabilization. PMID:18424534

  10. Distribution of natural radionuclides in surface soils in the vicinity of abandoned uranium mines in Serbia.

    PubMed

    Momčilović, Milan; Kovačević, Jovan; Tanić, Milan; Dorđević, Milan; Bačić, Goran; Dragović, Snežana

    2013-02-01

    The activity concentrations of natural radionuclides in soils from the area affected by uranium mining at Stara Planina Mountain in Serbia were studied and compared with the results obtained from an area with no mining activities (background area). In the affected area, the activity concentrations ranged from 1.75 to 19.2 mg kg(-1) for uranium and from 1.57 to 26.9 mg kg(-1) for thorium which is several-fold higher than those in the background area. The Th/U, K/U, and K/Th activity ratios were also determined and compared with data from similar studies worldwide. External gamma dose rate in the air due to uranium, thorium, and potassium at 1 m above ground level in the area affected by uranium mining was found to be 91.3 nGy h(-1), i.e., about two-fold higher than that in background area. The results of this preliminary study indicate the importance of radiological evaluation of the area and implementation of remedial measures in order to prevent further dispersion of radionuclides in the environment.

  11. Characterization of a bacterial community in an abandoned semiarid lead-zinc mine tailing site.

    PubMed

    Mendez, Monica O; Neilson, Julia W; Maier, Raina M

    2008-06-01

    Bacterial diversity in mine tailing microbial communities has not been thoroughly investigated despite the correlations that have been observed between the relative microbial diversity and the success of revegetation efforts at tailing sites. This study employed phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA genes to compare the bacterial communities present in highly disturbed, extremely (pH 2.7) and moderately (pH 5.7) acidic lead-zinc mine tailing samples from a semiarid environment with those from a vegetated off-site (OS) control sample (pH 8). Phylotype richness in these communities decreased from 42 in the OS control to 24 in the moderately acidic samples and 8 in the extremely acidic tailing samples. The clones in the extremely acidic tailing sample were most closely related to acidophiles, none of which were detected in the OS control sample. The comparison generated by this study between the bacteria present in extremely acidic tailing and that in moderately acidic tailing communities with those in an OS control soil provides a reference point from which to evaluate the successful restoration of mine tailing disposal sites by phytostabilization.

  12. Mercury emission to atmosphere from Lanmuchang Hg-Tl mining area, Southwestern Guizhou, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shaofeng; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Wei, Zhongqing; Xiao, Tangfu

    In situ mercury emission fluxes from soil in Lanmuchang Hg-Tl mining area, southwestern Guizhou, China, were measured using dynamic flux chamber (DFC) method in December 2002 and May 2003, respectively. Huge mercury emission fluxes from soil were obtained in the mining area, ranging from -623 to 10 544 ng m -2 h -1(n=92) with the maximal mean Hg flux of 2283±2434 ng m -2 h -1. Meanwhile, highly elevated total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations in the ambient air observed during the sampling periods varied from 35.2±26.1 ng m -3 (7.9-353.8 ng m -3, n=532) in cold season to 111.2±91.8ngm ( 12.7-468.0ngm, n=903) in the warm season, respectively. The correlations between mercury emission fluxes and environmental parameters, such as solar radiation, temperature, TGM concentration in air, relative humidity and soil Hg concentration are studied. The strong Hg emission fluxes resulted in the elevated TGM concentrations in the ambient air in the study area. We acquired a significant Log-Log correlation between the ratio of average Hg flux and average solar radiation and the soil Hg concentrations at all sampling sites in warm and cold seasons. Within the Langmuchang Hg-Tl mining area with a total area of ˜2.9 km 2, the annual Hg emission rate is calculated to be ˜3.54 kg Hg, which is a strong mercury emission source to the local ambient air.

  13. Speciation of mercury and mode of transport from placer gold mine tailings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Slowey, A.J.; Rytuba, J.J.; Brown, Gordon E.

    2005-01-01

    Historic placer gold mining in the Clear Creek tributary to the Sacramento River (Redding, CA) has highly impacted the hydrology and ecology of an important salmonid spawning stream. Restoration of the watershed utilized dredge tailings contaminated with mercury (Hg) introduced during gold mining, posing the possibility of persistent Hg release to the surrounding environment, including the San Francisco Bay Delta. Column experiments have been performed to evaluate the extent of Hg transport under chemical conditions potentially similar to those in river restoration projects utilizing dredge tailings such as at Clear Creek. Physicochemical perturbations, in the form of shifts in column influent ionic strength and the presence of a low molecular weight organic acid, were applied to coarse and fine sand placer tailings containing 109-194 and 69-90 ng of Hg/g, respectively. Significant concentrations of mercury, up to 16 ??g/L, leach from these sediments in dissolved and particle-associated forms. Sequential chemical extractions (SCE) of these tailings indicate that elemental Hg initially introduced during gold mining has been transformed to readily soluble species, such as mercury oxides and chlorides (3-4%), intermediately extractable phases that likely include (in)organic sorption complexes and amalgams (75-87%), and fractions of highly insoluble forms such as mercury sulfides (6-20%; e.g., cinnabar and metacinnabar). Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopic analysis of colloids obtained from column effluent identified cinnabar particles as the dominant mobile mercury-bearing phase. The fraction of intermediately extractable Hg phases also likely includes mobile colloids to which Hg is adsorbed. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.

  14. Macroscopic and microscopic observations of particle-facilitated mercury transport from New Idria and Sulphur Bank mercury mine tailings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lowry, G.V.; Shaw, S.; Kim, C.S.; Rytuba, J.J.; Brown, Gordon E.

    2004-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) release from inoperative Hg mines in the California Coast Range has been documented, but little is known about the release and transport mechanisms. In this study, tailings from Hg mines located in different geologic settings-New Idria (NI), a Si-carbonate Hg deposit, and Sulphur Bank (SB), a hot-spring Hg deposit-were characterized, and particle release from these wastes was studied in column experiments to (1) investigate the mechanisms of Hg release from NI and SB mine wastes, (2) determine the speciation of particle-bound Hg released from the mine wastes, and (3) determine the effect of calcinations on Hg release processes. The physical and chemical properties of tailings and the colloids released from them were determined using chemical analyses, selective chemical extractions, XRD, SEM, TEM, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques. The total Hg concentration in tailings increased with decreasing particle size in NI and SB calcines (roasted ore), but reached a maximum at an intermediate particle size in the SB waste rock (unroasted ore). Hg in the tailings exists predominantly as low-solubility HgS (cinnabar and metacinnabar), with NI calcines having >50% HgS, SB calcines having >89% HgS, and SB waste rock having ???100% HgS. Leaching experiments with a high-ionic-strength solution (0.1 M NaCl) resulted in a rapid but brief release of soluble and particulate Hg. Lowering the ionic strength of the leach solution (0.005 M NaCl) resulted in the release of colloidal Hg from two of the three mine wastes studied (NI calcines and SB waste rock). Colloid-associated Hg accounts for as much as 95% of the Hg released during episodic particle release. Colloids generated from the NI calcines are produced by a breakup and release mechanism and consist of hematite, jarosite/alunite, and Al-Si gel with particle sizes of 10-200 nm. ATEM and XAFS analyses indicate that the majority (???78%) of the mercury is present in the form of HgS. SB calcines also

  15. Mercury distribution in the soil-plant-air system at the Wanshan mercury mining district in Guizhou, Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianxu; Feng, Xinbin; Anderson, Christopher W N; Zhu, Wei; Yin, Runsheng; Wang, Heng

    2011-12-01

    The level of mercury bioaccumulation in wild plants; the distribution of bioavailable Hg, elemental Hg, and total Hg in soil; and the concentration of total gaseous Hg (TGM) in ambient air was studied at three different mining sites (SiKeng [SK], WuKeng [WK], and GouXi [GX]) in the Wanshan mercury mining district of China. Results of the present study showed that the distribution of soil total Hg, elemental Hg, bioavailable Hg, and TGM varies across the three mining sites. Higher soil total Hg (29.4-1,972.3 mg/kg) and elemental Hg (19.03-443.8 mg/kg) concentrations were recorded for plots SK and WK than for plot GX. Bioavailable Hg was lower at plot SK and GX (SK, 3-12 ng/g; GX, 9-14 ng/g) than at plot WK (11-1,063 ng/g), although the TGM concentration in the ambient air was significantly higher for plot GX (52,723 ng/m(3) ) relative to WK (106 ng/m(3) ) and SK (43 ng/m(3)). Mercury in sampled herbage was elevated and ranged from 0.8 to 4.75 mg/kg (SK), from 2.17 to 34.38 mg/kg (WK), and from 47.45 to 136.5 mg/kg (GX). Many of the sampled plants are used as fodder or for medicinal purposes. High shoot Hg concentrations may therefore pose an unacceptable human health risk. Statistical analysis of the recorded data showed that the Hg concentration in plant shoots was positively correlated with TGM and that the Hg concentration in roots was positively correlated with the bioavailable Hg concentration in the soil. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) in the present study was defined with reference to the concentration of bioavailable Hg in the soil (Hg([root]) /Hg([bioavail])). Three plant species, Macleaya cordata L., Achillea millefolium L., and Pteris vittata L., showed enhanced accumulation of Hg and therefore may have potential for use in the phytoremediation of soils of the Wanshan mining area.

  16. Gold Mining in the Peruvian Amazon: Global Prices, Deforestation, and Mercury Imports

    PubMed Central

    Swenson, Jennifer J.; Carter, Catherine E.; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Delgado, Cesar I.

    2011-01-01

    Many factors such as poverty, ineffective institutions and environmental regulations may prevent developing countries from managing how natural resources are extracted to meet a strong market demand. Extraction for some resources has reached such proportions that evidence is measurable from space. We present recent evidence of the global demand for a single commodity and the ecosystem destruction resulting from commodity extraction, recorded by satellites for one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. We find that since 2003, recent mining deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru is increasing nonlinearly alongside a constant annual rate of increase in international gold price (∼18%/yr). We detect that the new pattern of mining deforestation (1915 ha/year, 2006–2009) is outpacing that of nearby settlement deforestation. We show that gold price is linked with exponential increases in Peruvian national mercury imports over time (R2 = 0.93, p = 0.04, 2003–2009). Given the past rates of increase we predict that mercury imports may more than double for 2011 (∼500 t/year). Virtually all of Peru's mercury imports are used in artisanal gold mining. Much of the mining increase is unregulated/artisanal in nature, lacking environmental impact analysis or miner education. As a result, large quantities of mercury are being released into the atmosphere, sediments and waterways. Other developing countries endowed with gold deposits are likely experiencing similar environmental destruction in response to recent record high gold prices. The increasing availability of satellite imagery ought to evoke further studies linking economic variables with land use and cover changes on the ground. PMID:21526143

  17. Gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon: global prices, deforestation, and mercury imports.

    PubMed

    Swenson, Jennifer J; Carter, Catherine E; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Delgado, Cesar I

    2011-04-19

    Many factors such as poverty, ineffective institutions and environmental regulations may prevent developing countries from managing how natural resources are extracted to meet a strong market demand. Extraction for some resources has reached such proportions that evidence is measurable from space. We present recent evidence of the global demand for a single commodity and the ecosystem destruction resulting from commodity extraction, recorded by satellites for one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. We find that since 2003, recent mining deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru is increasing nonlinearly alongside a constant annual rate of increase in international gold price (∼18%/yr). We detect that the new pattern of mining deforestation (1915 ha/year, 2006-2009) is outpacing that of nearby settlement deforestation. We show that gold price is linked with exponential increases in Peruvian national mercury imports over time (R(2) = 0.93, p = 0.04, 2003-2009). Given the past rates of increase we predict that mercury imports may more than double for 2011 (∼500 t/year). Virtually all of Peru's mercury imports are used in artisanal gold mining. Much of the mining increase is unregulated/artisanal in nature, lacking environmental impact analysis or miner education. As a result, large quantities of mercury are being released into the atmosphere, sediments and waterways. Other developing countries endowed with gold deposits are likely experiencing similar environmental destruction in response to recent record high gold prices. The increasing availability of satellite imagery ought to evoke further studies linking economic variables with land use and cover changes on the ground.

  18. Pollution by Arsenic, Mercury and other Heavy Metals in Sunchulli mining district of Apolobamba (Bolivia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terán Mita, Tania; Faz Cano, Angel; Muñoz, Maria Angeles; Millán Gómez, Rocio; Chincheros Paniagua, Jaime

    2010-05-01

    In Bolivia, metal mining activities since historical times have been one of the most important sources of environmental pollution. This is the case of the National Area of Apolobamba Integrated Management (ANMIN of Apolobamba) in La Paz, Bolivia, where intense gold mining activities have been carried out from former times to the present, with very little gold extraction and very primitive mineral processing technology; in fact, mercury is still being used in the amalgam processes of the gold concentration, which is burned outdoors to recover the gold. Sunchullí is a representative mining district in ANMIN of Apolobamba where mining activity is mainly gold extraction and its water effluents go to the Amazonian basin; in this mining district the productivity of extracted mineral is very low but the processes can result in heavy-metal contamination of the air, water, soils and plants. Due to its high toxicity, the contamination by arsenic and mercury create the most critical environmental problems. In addition, some other heavy metals may also be present such as lead, copper, zinc and cadmium. These heavy metals could be incorporated in the trophic chain, through the flora and the fauna, in their bio-available and soluble forms. Inhabitants of this area consume foodcrops, fish from lakes and rivers and use the waters for the livestock, domestic use, and irrigation. The aim of this work was to evaluate the heavy metals pollution by gold mining activities in Sunchullí area. In Sunchullí two representative zones were distinguished and sampled. Zone near the mining operation site was considered as affected by mineral extraction processes, while far away zones represented the non affected ones by the mining operation. In each zone, 3 plots were established; in each plot, 3 soil sampling points were selected in a random manner and analysed separately. In each sampling point, two samples were taken, one at the surface, from 0-5 cm depth (topsoil), and the other between 5

  19. Effects of Historical Coal Mining and Drainage from Abandoned Mines on Streamflow and Water Quality in Newport and Nanticoke Creeks, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 1999-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.; Cravotta, Charles A.; Weitzel, Jeffrey B.; Klemow, Kenneth M.

    2007-01-01

    This report characterizes the effects of historical mining and abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streamflow and water quality and evaluates potential strategies for AMD abatement in the 14-square-mile Newport Creek Basin and 7.6-square-mile Nanticoke Creek Basin. Both basins are mostly within the Northern Anthracite Coal Field and drain to the Susquehanna River in central Luzerne County, Pa. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Earth Conservancy, conducted an assessment from April 1999 to September 2000 that included (1) continuous stage measurement at 7 sites; (2) synoptic water-quality and flow sampling at 21 sites on June 2-4, 1999, and at 24 sites on October 7-8, 1999; and (3) periodic measurement of flow and water quality at 26 additional sites not included in the synoptic sampling effort. Stream water and surface runoff from the unmined uplands drain northward to the valley, where most of the water is intercepted and diverted into abandoned underground mines. Water that infiltrates into the mine workings becomes loaded with acidity, metals, and sulfate and later discharges as AMD at topographically low points along lower reaches of Newport Creek, Nanticoke Creek, and their tributaries. Differences among streamflows in unmined and mined areas of the watersheds indicated that (1) intermediate stream reaches within the mined area but upgradient of AMD sites generally were either dry or losing reaches, (2) ground water flowing to AMD sites could cross beneath surface-drainage divides, and (3) AMD discharging to the lower stream reaches restored volumes lost in the upstream reaches. The synoptic data for June and October 1999, along with continuous stage data during the study period, indicated flows during synoptic surveys were comparable to average values. The headwaters upstream of the mined area generally were oxygenated (dissolved oxygen range was 4.7 to 11.0 mg/L [milligrams per liter]), near-neutral (pH range was 5.8 to 7.6), and net

  20. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil

    PubMed Central

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10−4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10−2 and 4×10−2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10−3 and 4×10−3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already

  1. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10-4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10-2 and 4×10-2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10-3 and 4×10-3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already compromised by

  2. Antimony and arsenic behaviours in soils from three abandoned gold mining areas in northern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvalho, Paula; Neiva, Ana; Silva, Maria

    2013-04-01

    The Valongo anticline located 18 km at East of Porto is characterized by the occurrence of several gold deposits, which were exploited until the end of the nineteenth century. This anticline comprises Cambrian to Carboniferous metasediments. The Cambrian schist-graywacke complex crops out in the western limb of the anticline and is intersected by several Sb-Au quartz veins, mainly Montalto and Tapada. At the eastern limb of the anticline, As-Au quartz veins cut Ordovician black slates and were exploited at the Banjas mine. The Sb-Au quartz veins contain mainly quartz, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, pyrite, marcasite, sphalerite, chalcophyrite, galena, gold, tetrahedrite, jamesonite, plagionite, berthierite, stibnite, antimony and carbonates. The As-Au quartz veins consist of quartz, arsenopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, cobaltite, glaucodote, sphalerite, boulangerite, tetrahedrite and siderite. Stibnite and arsenopyrite are the most abundant sulphides in Sb-Au and As-Au quartz veins, respectively. Therefore, antimony and arsenic are potential contaminants in the surrounding environments of these old mines. The principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to organic matter, pH, cation exchange capacity, clay size particle and reducible, oxidizable and aqua regia Fe, Mn, As and Sb concentrations obtained by the BCR method in 29 soil samples. The PCA shows a substantial distinction between Sb and As behaviours in soils from the old mining areas of Montalto, Tapada and Banjas. The arsenic concentration ranges between 16.98 mg/kg and 1116 mg/kg, whereas the Sb concentration ranges from 6.4 mg/kg to 21775 mg/kg. The antimony is statistically more correlated with Fe and Mn in the oxides fraction, whereas As in the reducible fraction dependents on pH values. Moreover, Fe and Mn concentrations in the oxidizable fraction are highly correlated with the organic matter, suggesting that pyrite, the main host mineral of Fe, was probably totally altered. However, the As concentration in

  3. ASSESSING AND MANAGING MERCURY FROM HISTORIC AND CURRENT MINING ACTIVITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    In order for ORD to address uncertainties resulting from past or historical mining practices a technology transfer workshop was conducted in November, 2000 in San Francisco, CA. Two primary objectives for this workshop were: 1) identify state-of-the-science practices and techniqu...

  4. Stable isotopes of nitrogen in plants of contaminated soils and sediments by an abandoned gold mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, O. F.; Sanchez, A.; Marmolejo, A. J.; Magallanes, V. R.

    2013-05-01

    Mining industry is an economic activity which generates high ecological impact. In the mining district "El Triunfo", the concentration of potential toxic elements (PTE: As, Cd, Hg, Sb) have exceeded 50 times allowable limits. Nowadays, environmental pollution levels can be evaluated through the use of stable isotopes of N. For this, isotopic analysis of nitrogen and concentrations of metals and metalloids were considered in the area where plants are exposed (Prosopis spp., Parkinsonia spp. and Salicornia spp.) Polluted sediments were collected over 48 km of the Las Gallinas-El Hondo-El Carrizal arroyo. PTE concentrations, with a previous acidic digestion (HF, HCl, HNO3 and H2SO4) were determined by ICP-MS. As and Sb were determined by NAA. For N isotopes, obtained samples were grounded to fine powder in an agate mortar with an acetone rinse between samples then analyzed by an EA-IRMS. Results showed that plants growing on the tailings decreased their δ15N proportionally to the metal concentration in the area.

  5. Heavy metal impact on bacterial biomass based on DNA analyses and uptake by wild plants in the abandoned copper mine soils.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaohui; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Beer, Michael; Ming, Hui; Mahmudur Rahman, Mohammad; Wu, Weihong; Naidu, Ravi

    2009-09-01

    The metals contamination in surface soils and their accumulation in wild plants from the abandoned Burra and Kapunda copper mines located in South Australia were assessed, and the predominant bacterial diversity in the contaminated surface soils from these two abandoned copper mine sites were evaluated through polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis. The results showed the average concentration of Cu in soils was 3821.59 mg/kg while wild plants accumulated up to 173.44 mg/kg. The concentration of Cu in shoots of spear grass (Stipa uitida) and berry saltbush (Afriplex semibaccata) was higher than that of roots. The concentration of total and extractable As, Cd, Cu and Pb in soils slightly correlated with of these elements in the corresponding wild plants. The toxicity of Cu in heavily contaminated soils impacted on the quantities of specific microbial populations and no significant change in the microbial diversity of highly contaminated soils.

  6. Historical and Present Day Mercury Contamination From Gold Mining in Three Feeding Guilds of Bats From the Peruvian Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, A.; Divoll, T.

    2014-12-01

    Miners in many countries use mercury as an amalgam to separate gold from river sediments. In the last twenty years the price of gold has risen and the number of small-scale, artisanal gold mining operations in the Amazon basin have also increased. The influx of mercury into natural river systems has detrimental consequences for the surrounding ecosystem and for organisms, particularly those at higher trophic levels. Toxic mercury levels have been shown to impair reproductive, neurological and behavioral functioning of organisms. I used bats (Chiroptera) as a mammalian model system to study mercury contamination and accumulation due to gold mining from field caught and museum collection specimens in Amazonian Perú and showed that: (1) Total mercury concentrations in Amazonian bat species have increased over time since the 1920's; (2) Bat species from sites with current active mining have higher concentrations of mercury than non-mining sites, with some species having levels exceeding those considered toxic for mammals; (3) Higher trophic levels of bats (piscivores and insectivores) bioaccumulate more mercury than bats of lower trophic levels (frugivores); (4) Bats located in present day uncontaminated sites have the same mercury levels as bats collected in the 1920's from the Amazon basin. The variety of bat feeding guilds allowed for a comparison of how mercury accumulation is affected by diet within one taxonomic order. The novel use of museum specimens allowed for a look back into the historical timeline of mercury contamination in the Amazon basin. Bats represent a new and exciting study system since, like humans, they are mammals and should therefore show similar neurochemical and behavioral responses to this toxic element.

  7. Field study on the accumulation of trace elements by vegetables produced in the vicinity of abandoned pyrite mines.

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, Paula; Simões, Isabel; Palma, Patrícia; Amaral, Olga; Matos, João Xavier

    2014-02-01

    To evaluate the accumulation of trace elements (TE) by vegetables produced in the vicinity of abandoned pyrite mines, eighteen different small farms were selected near three mines from the Portuguese sector of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (São Domingos, Aljustrel and Lousal). Total and bioavailable As, Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations were analyzed in the soils, and the same TE were analyzed in three different vegetables, lettuce (Lactuca sativa), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea), collected at the same locations. The soils were contaminated with As, Cu, Pb, and Zn, since their total concentrations exceeded the considered soil quality guideline values for plant production in the majority of the sampling sites. The maximum total concentrations for those TE were extremely high in some of the sampling sites (e.g. 1,851 mg As kg(-1) in São Domingos, 1,126 mg Cu kg(-1) in Aljustrel, 4,946 mg Pb kg(-1) in São Domingos, and 1,224 mg Zn kg(-1) in Aljustrel). However, the soils were mainly circumneutral, a factor that contributes to their low bioavailable fractions. As a result, generally, the plants contained levels of these elements characteristic of uncontaminated plants, and accumulation factors for all elements <1, typical of excluder plants. Furthermore, the estimated daily intake (EDI) for Cu and Zn, through the consumption of these vegetables, falls below the recommended upper limit for daily intake of these elements. The sampling site that stood out from the others was located at São João de Negrilhos (Aljustrel), where bioavailable Zn levels were higher, a consequence of the slight acidity of the soil. Therefore, the Zn content in vegetables was also higher, characteristic of contaminated plants, emphasizing the risk of Zn entering the human food chain via the consumption of crops produced on those soils.

  8. Antimony in the soil-water-plant system at the Su Suergiu abandoned mine (Sardinia, Italy): strategies to mitigate contamination.

    PubMed

    Cidu, Rosa; Biddau, Riccardo; Dore, Elisabetta; Vacca, Andrea; Marini, Luigi

    2014-11-01

    This study was aimed to implement the understanding of the Sb behavior in near-surface environments, as a contribution to address appropriate mitigation actions at contaminated sites. For this purpose, geochemical data of soil (8 sites), water (29 sites), and plant (12 sites) samples were collected. The study area is located at Su Suergiu and surroundings in Sardinia (Italy), an abandoned mine area heavily contaminated with Sb, with relevant impact on water bodies that supply water for agriculture and domestic uses. Antimony in the soil horizons ranged from 19 to 4400 mg kg(-1), with highest concentrations in soils located close to the mining-related wastes, and concentrations in the topsoil much higher than in the bedrock. The Sb readily available fraction was about 2% of the total Sb in the soil. Antimony in the pore water ranged from 23 to 1700 μg L(-1), with highest values in the Sb-rich soils. The waters showed neutral to slightly alkaline pH, redox potential values indicating oxidizing conditions, electrical conductivity in the range of 0.2 to 3.7 mS cm(-1), and dissolved organic carbon ≤2 mg L(-1). The waters collected upstream of the mine have Ca-bicarbonate dominant composition, and median concentration of Sb(tot) of 1.7 μg L(-1) (that is total antimony determined in waters filtered through 0.45 μm), a value relatively high as compared with the background value (≤0.5 μg L(-1) Sb) estimated for Sardinian waters, but below the limits established by the European Union and the World Health Organization for drinking water (5 μg L(-1) Sb and 20 μg L(-1) Sb, respectively). The waters flowing in the mine area are characterized by Ca-sulfate dominant composition, and median concentrations of 7000 μg L(-1) Sb(tot). Extreme concentrations, up to 30,000 μg L(-1) Sb(tot), were observed in waters flowing out of the slag materials derived from the processing of Sb-ore. The Sb(III) was in the range of 0.8 to 760 μg L(-1) and represented up to 6% of Sb

  9. Wild plants as tools for the remediation of abandoned mining sites with a high arsenic content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Lopez, Salvadora; Martínez-Sanchez, MJose; Perez-Sirvent, Carmen; Martínez, Lucia B.; Bech, Jaume

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the environmental risk posed by arsenic when new vegetation types are introduced, analyzing the transfer of arsenic in different plant species that grow spontaneously in mining areas of SE Spain (Sierra Minera of Cartagena), and the contribution of such plants to the environmental risk represented by their ingestion by animals living in the same ecosystems. When dealing with remediation projects in zones affected by mining activities, the risk posed by the ingestion of the plants by fauna is often forgotten. To study the transfer to the trophic chain, two mammals, sheep and vole, were selected. The risk analysis was centered in the contribution of these natural plants to the ingestion calculated. For this study, 21 vegetal species naturally growing in the soils were collected from the Sierra Minera. The vegetal material studied is clearly associated with the Mediterranean Region (S.E. of Spain) and the plant species collected are endemisms and plants characteristic of the zone. Physico-chemical properties were obtained by means of the usual procedures. To determine the arsenic content, the soil samples and plant materials were digested in a microwave system and the arsenic concentration was determined using atomic fluorescence spectrometry with an automated continuous flow hydride generation system. A semiquantitative estimation of the mineralogical composition of the samples was made by X Ray Diffraction analysis. The soils were classified into three groups: Low (group 1) (7-35 mg/kg) medium (group 2) (35-327 mg/kg) and high (group 3) (> 327 mg/kg), according to their As content. The mineralogy and As content of the soils studied depends on the materials related with mining activity. The descriptive statistical analysis of the population of plants studied showed the As range in roots to be 0.31-150 mg/kg while leaf concentrations were lower (0.21-83.4 mg/kg). The potential risk of As entering the food chain through of the plant

  10. Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower using abandoned open pit mines: influence of groundwater seepage on the system efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pujades, Estanislao; Bodeux, Sarah; Orban, Philippe; Dassargues, Alain

    2016-04-01

    Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) plants can be used to manage the production of electrical energy according to the demand. These plants allow storing and generating electricity during low and high demand energy periods, respectively. Nevertheless, PSH plants require a determined topography because two reservoirs located at different heights are needed. At sites where PSH plants cannot be constructed due to topography requirements (flat regions), Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower (UPSH) plants can be used to adjust the electricity production. These plants consist in two reservoirs, the upper one is located at the surface (or at shallow depth) while the lower one is underground (or deeper). Abandoned open pit mines can be used as lower reservoirs but these are rarely isolated. As a consequence, UPSH plants will interact with surrounding aquifers exchanging groundwater. Groundwater seepage will modify hydraulic head inside the underground reservoir affecting global efficiency of the UPSH plant. The influence on the plant efficiency caused by the interaction between UPSH plants and aquifers will depend on the aquifer parameters, underground reservoir properties and pumping and injection characteristics. The alteration of the efficiency produced by the groundwater exchanges, which has not been previously considered, is now studied numerically. A set of numerical simulations are performed to establish in terms of efficiency the effects of groundwater exchanges and the optimum conditions to locate an UPSH plant.

  11. Leachability of major and minor elements from soils and sediments of an abandoned coal mining area in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Santos, Maria Josefa; Tarley, César Ricardo Teixeira; Cunha, Isabella; Zapelini, Iago; Galunin, Evgeny; Bleinroth, Diego; Vieira, Isadora; Abrão, Taufik

    2015-03-01

    Leachability of major and trace elements from sediment and soil samples of an abandoned coal mining area in southern Brazil was assessed by titration and pH-stat tests according to the SR002.1 and CEN/TS 14429 protocols. Major (Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, and Mn) and trace (Cu, Zn, As, Ni, Pb, Cd, and Hg) elements were quantified in aqueous extracts. Acid and base neutralizing capacity values and pH changes after the addition of certain acid/base amounts were estimated. In general, a decrease in the major metal leaching at pH < 4.0 and an increase at pH > 8.0 was observed. The response to the acid and base additions confirmed that strong acids can cause an effect on Ca- and Mg-bearing silicate phases and Mn oxides, and strong bases can only affect Ca silicates. At pH < 5.0, higher extractability was found for Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, and Cd. Considering that the samples showed sharp pH changes after acid additions and released major and trace metal into the solution at greater rates, high metal contamination risks can be assumed for the studied area.

  12. SSH gene expression profile of Eisenia andrei exposed in situ to a naturally contaminated soil from an abandoned uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Joana; Pereira, Ruth; Gonçalves, Fernando; Mendo, Sónia

    2013-02-01

    The effects of the exposure of earthworms (Eisenia andrei) to contaminated soil from an abandoned uranium mine, were assessed through gene expression profile evaluation by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH). Organisms were exposed in situ for 56 days, in containers placed both in a contaminated and in a non-contaminated site (reference). Organisms were sampled after 14 and 56 days of exposure. Results showed that the main physiological functions affected by the exposure to metals and radionuclides were: metabolism, oxireductase activity, redox homeostasis and response to chemical stimulus and stress. The relative expression of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 and elongation factor 1 alpha was also affected, since the genes encoding these enzymes were significantly up and down-regulated, after 14 and 56 days of exposure, respectively. Also, an EST with homology for SET oncogene was found to be up-regulated. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that this gene was identified in earthworms and thus, further studies are required, to clarify its involvement in the toxicity of metals and radionuclides. Considering the results herein presented, gene expression profiling proved to be a very useful tool to detect earthworms underlying responses to metals and radionuclides exposure, pointing out for the detection and development of potential new biomarkers.

  13. Co-treatment of abandoned mine drainage and Marcellus Shale flowback water for use in hydraulic fracturing.

    PubMed

    He, Can; Zhang, Tieyuan; Vidic, Radisav D

    2016-11-01

    Flowback water generated during shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania is mostly reused for hydraulic fracturing operation. Abandoned mine drainage (AMD), one of the most widespread threats to water quality in Pennsylvania, can potentially serve as a make-up water source to enable flowback water reuse. This study demonstrated co-treatment of flowback water and AMD produced in northeastern Pennsylvania in a pilot-scale system consisting of rapid mix reactor, flocculation tank and sedimentation tank. Sulfate concentration in the finished water can be controlled at a desired level (i.e., below 100 mg/L) by adjusting the ratio of flowback water and AMD in the influent. Fe(3+) contained in the AMD can serve as a coagulant to enhance the removal of suspended solids, during which Fe(2+) is co-precipitated and the total iron is reduced to a desirable level. Solid waste generated in this process (i.e., barite) will incorporate over 99% of radium present in the flowback water, which offers the possibility to control the fate of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) brought to the surface by unconventional gas extraction. Sludge recirculation in the treatment process can be used to increase the size of barite particles formed by mixing flowback water and AMD to meet specifications for use as a weighting agent in drilling fluid. This alternative management approach for NORM can be used to offset the treatment cost and promote flowback water reuse, reduce environmental impacts of AMD and reduce pressure on fresh water sources.

  14. Environmental geochemistry of abandoned flotation tailing reservior from the Tonglvshan Fe-Cu sulfide mine in Daye, Central China.

    PubMed

    Guo, Y; Bao, Z Y; Deng, Y M; Ma, Z Z; Yan, S

    2011-07-01

    This study investigated metals of tailings from Tonglvshan mine in Daye and assessed the effect of metal contamination in water and sediment near the tailing reservoir. The concentration of copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, chromium and nickel was measured in deposit samples taken from a profile in an abandoned flotation tailing reservoir, as well as in water and sediment samples near the reservoir. The results of this study indicate that copper concentration ranges from 780 to 4390 mg/kg, 2-10 times higher than the limit values in soil, while the contents of other metals are below the limit values. Metal levels in water and sediments are high and varied widely in different sampling sites. The mean concentrations of copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, chromium and nickel in waters are 27.76, 2.28, 8.20, 0.12, 5.30 and 3.04 mg/L, while those in sediments are 557.65, 96.95, 285.20, 0.92, 94.30 and 4.75 mg/kg, respectively. All of the results indicate that the environment near the tailing reservoir is polluted to some extent by some kinds of metals, especially by copper, lead, zinc and cadmium, which may be caused not only by some discharge sources of metals, but also by life garbage and sewage.

  15. Colour and toxic characteristics of metakaolinite-hematite pigment for integrally coloured concrete, prepared from iron oxide recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadasivam, Sivachidambaram; Thomas, Hywel Rhys

    2016-07-01

    A metakaolinite-hematite (KH) red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine. The KH pigment was prepared by heating the kaolinite and the iron oxide sludge at kaolinite's dehydroxylation temperature. Both the raw sludge and the KH specimen were characterised for their colour properties and toxic characteristics. The KH specimen could serve as a pigment for integrally coloured concrete and offers a potential use for the large volumes of the iron oxide sludge collected from mine water treatment plants.

  16. Field scale remediation of mine wastes at an abandoned gold mine, Australia II: Effects on plant growth and groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddocks, Greg; Lin, Chuxia; McConchie, David

    2009-05-01

    This second paper reports the results of plant growth, plant mortality, plant leaf tissue metal and salt concentrations and leachate quality monitoring from lysimeters in four large field trial treatments established on sulfidic waste rock/soil that was used for haul road construction at a closed gold mine in Australia. The TerraB™, lime and clay treatments allowed good tree growth of four Eucalypt species, compared to the control. There was no statistical difference in tree growth between the TerraB™, lime or clay treatments over the 2 years of monitoring in this paper. However, the growth of one tree species was poor in the TerraB™ treatment. Leaf tissue metal and major ion data are also presented. Leachate pH in the control became increasingly acidic (pH 4.57-3.95). The addition of Ca(OH)2 and biosolids led to an initial increase in leachate pH, compared to the control; however, this has decreased over the duration of the study (pH 5.37-4.89) and may affect the sustainable growth of plants in the future. In the TerraB™ and biosolids treatment leachate pH increased to 6.92 after the first rainfall event and continued to increase over the duration of the study to pH 7.4 after 24 months. After 24 months average heavy metal leachate concentrations (mg/L) in the lysimeters for Al, Cd, Cu, Mn and Zn were, control: 32.55, 5.67, 12.71, 39.29, 121.80, TerraB™: 0.07, 0.02, 0.07, 0.57, 0.23, and lime: 2.19, 1.19, 2.33, 3.6, 28.4. No leachate was available for collection from the clay treatment indicating that this technique was functioning in terms of minimizing the infiltration of water into the mine soil.

  17. Effect of Intermittent Flow on the Mobility of Metals from Abandoned Uranium Mine Waste Sites on Native American Land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avasarala, S.; Ali, A.; Artyushkova, K.; Gonzalez-Pinzon, R.; Cerrato, J.

    2015-12-01

    Column experiments were conducted to study the effect of intermittent flow on the mobility of metals from abandoned uranium mine waste sites in Blue Gap Tachee (BGT), AZ and Laguna, NM. Intermittent flow represent the rainfall patterns in the southwestern United States, involving alternate wet and dry cycles. In order to simulate these rainfall patterns shorter wet periods of 15, 30, 60, 120 and 360 minutes, followed by longer dry periods of 24 hours, were adopted for the column experiments. The experiment involved sequential leaching of sediments from Laguna and BGT with 18MὨ water (pH 5.4), Synthetic Rain Water (SRW, pH 5.6), 10mM bicarbonate solution (pH 7.9) and 10mM acetic acid (pH 3.4) solution that represent the environmentally relevant conditions as witnessed in BGT water samples (pH 3.8 and 7.4). These reagents were specifically chosen to target most metal species through various transport mechanisms which include advective-dispersive forces, ion-exchange, desorption and dissolution. With just 18MὨ water and SRW almost 90 µg/L of U, 4500 µg/L of V and 20 µg/L of As were released from BGT mine waste while the Laguna sample showed the release of 380 µg/L of U, 2 µg/L of V and 40 µg/L of As. The released U concentrations were 3-13 times its EPA MCL for U which under natural circumstances could threaten the proximate communities. Bicarbonate and acetic acid extractions on the other hand released 3500-6000 µg/L of U, 50-3000 µg/L of V and 14-35 µg/L of As from both Laguna and BGT mine waste respectively. Based on our previously published results, U and V from the uranyl-vanadate (U-V) species within BGT mine waste samples were only partially released with bicarbonate unlike the column experiments where almost all of the U and V from the U-V species were dissolved and released using 10mM bicarbonate solution. For reference, the columns were also leached continuously with bicarbonate and acetic acid for a week (each), to identify if the phases were

  18. River transport of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining and risks for dietary mercury exposure in Madre de Dios, Peru.

    PubMed

    Diringer, Sarah E; Feingold, Beth J; Ortiz, Ernesto J; Gallis, John A; Araújo-Flores, Julio M; Berky, Axel; Pan, William K Y; Hsu-Kim, Heileen

    2015-02-01

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a major contributor to deforestation and the largest anthropogenic source of atmospheric mercury worldwide. Despite significant information on the direct health impacts of mercury to ASGM miners, the impact of mercury contamination on downstream communities has not been well characterized, particularly in Peru's Madre de Dios region. In this area, ASGM has increased significantly since 2000 and has led to substantial political and social controversy. This research examined the spatial distribution and transport of mercury through the Madre de Dios River with distance from ASGM activity. This study also characterized risks for dietary mercury exposure to local residents who depend on fish from the river. River sediment, suspended solids from the water column, and fish samples were collected in 2013 at 62 sites near 17 communities over a 560 km stretch of the Madre de Dios River and its major tributaries. In areas downstream of known ASGM activity, mercury concentrations in sediment, suspended solids, and fish within the Madre de Dios River were elevated relative to locations upstream of mining. Fish tissue mercury concentrations were observed at levels representing a public health threat, with greater than one-third of carnivorous fish exceeding the international health standard of 0.5 mg kg(-1). This study demonstrates that communities located hundreds of kilometers downstream of ASGM activity, including children and indigenous populations who may not be involved in mining, are at risk of dietary mercury exposure that exceed acceptable body burdens. This report represents the first systematic study of the region to aid policy decision-making related to ASGM activities in Peru.

  19. Assessment of factors related to heavy metals distribution in abandoned mining soils in Madrid, central Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Manuel; Carral, Pilar; Alvarez, Ana M.; Hernández, Zulimar; Lorena, Recio-Vázquez; Marques, Maria J.; Almendros, Gonzalo

    2013-04-01

    Exploitation of metallic mineral deposits and its subsequent abandonment in last decades has lead to significant environmental hazard for natural systems. The present study concerns the distribution and mobility of heavy metals and trace elements mainly As, Cu, Cd, Co, Mn and V, in sulphide-rich soils. The site studied (Sierra de Guadarrama, Garganta de los Montes, Madrid) is at 1200 m asl. Soils are Humic and Dystric Cambisols (WRB) developed on gneisses; the main minerals consist of sulphides and include chalcopyrite, pyrite, marcasite, galena and arsenopyrite. Concentration data of the different species of heavy metals as dependent variables in addition to a series of independent variables mainly soil organic matter were subjected to multivariate chemometric treatments including multidimensional scaling (MDS), principal component analysis (PCA) and support vector machine (SVM) for a preliminary survey on the possible role of soil organic matter in the distribution and speciation of heavy metals in soils. The soil heavy metals speciation was determined using the BCR (Community Bureau of Reference, European Commission) sequential extraction procedure and analysed by ICP-MS. The total contents of these elements were calculated as the sum of the four BCR fractions. The results showed element concentrations decreasing with the distance from the source of pollution. The highest amounts of As and Mn, and Cu, Cd, Co and V were found at 10 and 100 m respectively. These values exceed the allowed limits of the environmental regulation. The percentages of extractable elements (step one of BCR) in relation to total elements show that Cu and Cd were significantly more easily extractable than the other elements. Metal availability in soils was generally controlled by total metal concentration. Data processing techniques coincided in pointing out the association of high levels of organic matter with the concentrations of elements extracted just in the most available forms: i

  20. Lead distribution and its potential risk to the environment: lesson learned from environmental monitoring of abandon mine.

    PubMed

    Nobuntou, Wanida; Parkpian, Preeda; Oanh, Nguyen Thi Kim; Noomhorm, Athapol; Delaune, R D; Jugsujinda, Aroon

    2010-11-01

    There are many abandon and existing mines (tin, lead and zinc) in the mountainous areas of Thailand. Toxic elements including heavy metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) have been released and transported from the mining sites to the adjacent landscape. In Thong Pha Phum District, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand Pb contamination in the vicinity of the mine has occurred which could lead to potential health problems in downstream communities. To better understand current status of Pb contamination and accumulation in the surrounding environment and potential health impact, surface sediment, soil and plant samples were collected seasonally from representative monitoring sites along the aquatic track or flow regime. Potential health risk was determined using hazard quotient (HQ) as an index for local inhabitants who consume rice. Environmental monitoring illustrated that Pb concentrations in the surface sediment was as high as 869.4 mg kg(-1) dry weight and varied differently among stations sampled. Lead content in agricultural soil ranged between 137.8 to 613.5 mg kg(-1) dry weight and was inversely proportion to the distance from the point source. Moreover Pb was transported from the point source to down hill areas. At the highly polluted monitoring stations (S1, S2, and S3), concentrations of Pb exceeded the maximum allowable concentration for Pb in agricultural soil (300 mg kg(-1)) by 1.7-2 times. The Pb in soil was primarily associated with Fe/Mn oxides bound fraction (46-56%) followed by the organic bound fraction (25-30%). Lead uptake by plant varied and was species dependent. However root and tuber crops like cassava (19.92 mg Pb kg(-1) dry weight) and curcumin (3.25 mg Pb kg(-1) dry weight) could have removed Pb from the soil which suggest growing root crops in Pb contaminated soils should be avoided. However Cd, a co-contaminant at one of monitored stations (S4) yielded rice grain with Cd exceeding the maximum allowable concentration

  1. Dissolved metals and associated constituents in abandoned coal-mine discharges, Pennsylvania, USA. Part 1: Constituent quantities and correlations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cravotta, C.A.

    2008-01-01

    Complete hydrochemical data are rarely reported for coal-mine discharges (CMD). This report summarizes major and trace-element concentrations and loadings for CMD at 140 abandoned mines in the Anthracite and Bituminous Coalfields of Pennsylvania. Clean-sampling and low-level analytical methods were used in 1999 to collect data that could be useful to determine potential environmental effects, remediation strategies, and quantities of valuable constituents. A subset of 10 sites was resampled in 2003 to analyze both the CMD and associated ochreous precipitates; the hydrochemical data were similar in 2003 and 1999. In 1999, the flow at the 140 CMD sites ranged from 0.028 to 2210 L s-1, with a median of 18.4 L s-1. The pH ranged from 2.7 to 7.3; concentrations (range in mg/L) of dissolved (0.45-??m pore-size filter) SO4 (34-2000), Fe (0.046-512), Mn (0.019-74), and Al (0.007-108) varied widely. Predominant metalloid elements were Si (2.7-31.3 mg L-1), B ( C > P = N = Se) were not elevated in the CMD samples compared to average river water or seawater. Compared to seawater, the CMD samples also were poor in halogens (Cl > Br > I > F), alkalies (Na > K > Li > Rb > Cs), most alkaline earths (Ca > Mg > Sr), and most metalloids but were enriched by two to four orders of magnitude with Fe, Al, Mn, Co, Be, Sc, Y and the lanthanide rare-earth elements, and one order of magnitude with Ni and Zn. The ochre samples collected at a subset of 10 sites in 2003 were dominantly goethite with minor ferrihydrite or lepidocrocite. None of the samples for this subset contained schwertmannite or was Al rich, but most contained minor aluminosilicate detritus. Compared to concentrations in global average shale, the ochres were rich in Fe, Ag, As and Au, but were poor in most other metals and rare earths. The ochres were not enriched compared to commercial ore deposits mined for Au or other valuable metals. Although similar to commercial Fe ores in composition, the ochres are dispersed and

  2. Abandoned coal mining sites: using ecotoxicological tests to support an industrial organic sludge amendment.

    PubMed

    Chiochetta, Claudete G; Radetski, Marilice R; Corrêa, Albertina X R; Tischer, Vinícius; Tiepo, Erasmo N; Radetski, Claudemir M

    2013-11-01

    The different stages involved in coal mining-related activities result in a degraded landscape and sites associated with large amounts of dumped waste material. Remediation of these contaminated soils can be carried out by application of industrial organic sludge if the concerns regarding the potential negative environmental impacts of this experimental practice are properly addressed. In this context, the objective of this study was to use ecotoxicological tests to determine the quantity of organic industrial sludge that is required as a soil amendment to restore soil production while avoiding environmental impact. Chemical analysis of the solids (industrial sludge and soil) and their leachates was carried out as well as a battery of ecotoxicity tests on enzymes (hydrolytic activity), bacteria, algae, daphnids, earthworms, and higher plants, according to standardized methodologies. Solid and leachate samples of coal-contaminated soil were more toxic than those of industrial sludge towards enzyme activity, bacteria, algae, daphnids, and earthworms. In the case of the higher plants (lettuce, corn, wild cabbage, and Surinam cherry) the industrial sludge was more toxic than the coal-contaminated soil, and a soil/sludge mixture (66:34% dry weight basis) had a stimulatory effect on the Surinam cherry biomass. The ecotoxicological assessment of the coal-contaminated soil remediation using sludge as an amendment is very important to determine application rates that could promote a stimulatory effect on agronomic species without negatively affecting the environment.

  3. Abandoned mine slags analysis by EPMA WDS X-ray mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guimarães, F.; Rosado, L.; Morais, C.; Candeias, A. E.; Pinto, A. P.; Mirão, J.

    2010-02-01

    Mining activity on the Iberian Pyritic Belt (Portugal and Spain) started before Phoenician times, became particularly intense during the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula (for gold), and after the industrial revolution (for gold, copper, zinc, lead and sulphur). The commonest ore of this region is a massive polymetalic sulphide accumulation, where pyrite (FeS2) is the main mineral, with variable concentrations of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), sphalerite (ZnS), galena (PbS), arsenopyrite (FeAsS2), other sulphides and sulfosalts which include minor elements like Mn, Co, Ni, Se, Cd, Sb, Te, Hg and Bi. Some of the main and minor elements of these ores are hazardous and the drainage basins of pollutant source areas often induce health concerns in the resident population. Electron probe microanalysis study followed previous optical and XRD analysis of the slags. The study focused on the identification of phases how sulphide and metallic phases are distributed within the material and infer about leachable elements during weathering. Electron probe X-ray maps show evidences of different behaviour between the elements: Ca and Zn are completely leached; iron is retained in oxyhydroxides, lead and arsenic precipitate as sulphates. Electron probe microanalysis studies are essential to understand complex materials as earth materials. Nevertheless, care is required to a correct interpretation of data and most quantitative compositional data are not trustworthy.

  4. Assessment of mercury and methylmercury in water, sediment, and biota in Sulphur Creek in the vicinity of the Clyde Gold Mine and the Elgin Mercury Mine, Colusa County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothem, Roger L.; Rytuba, James J.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Goldstein, Daniel N.

    2013-01-01

    At the request of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, we performed a study during April–July 2010 to characterize mercury (Hg), monomethyl mercury (MMeHg), and other geochemical constituents in sediment, water, and biota at the Clyde Gold Mine and the Elgin Mercury Mine, located in neighboring subwatersheds of Sulphur Creek, Colusa County, California. This study was in support of a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act - Removal Site Investigation. The investigation was in response to an abatement notification from the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to evaluate the release of Hg from the Clyde and Elgin mines. Samples of water, sediment, and biota (aquatic macroinvertebrates) were collected from sites upstream and downstream from the two mine sites to evaluate the level of Hg contamination contributed by each mine to the aquatic ecosystem. Physical parameters, as well as dissolved organic carbon, total Hg (HgT), and MMeHg were analyzed in water and sediment. Other relevant geochemical constituents were analyzed in sediment, filtered water, and unfiltered water. Samples of aquatic macroinvertebrates from each mine were analyzed for HgT and MMeHg. The presence of low to moderate concentrations of HgT and MMeHg in water, sediment, and biota from the Freshwater Branch of Sulphur Creek, and the lack of significant increases in these concentrations downstream from the Clyde Mine indicated that this mine is not a significant source of Hg to the watershed during low flow conditions. Although concentrations of HgT and MMeHg were generally higher in samples of sediment and water from the Elgin Mine compared to the Clyde Mine, concentrations in comparable biota from the two mine areas were similar. It is likely that highly saline effluent from nearby hot springs contribute more Hg to the West Fork of Sulphur Creek than the mine waste material at the Elgin Mine.

  5. Mercury

    MedlinePlus

    Mercury is an element that is found in air, water and soil. It has several forms. Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If ... with other elements to form powders or crystals. Mercury is in many products. Metallic mercury is used ...

  6. Atmospheric distribution and deposition of mercury in the Idrija Hg mine region, Slovenia.

    PubMed

    Kocman, David; Vreča, Polona; Fajon, Vesna; Horvat, Milena

    2011-01-01

    The atmospheric distribution and deposition of Hg in the area of the former Idrija Hg-mine, Slovenia, were investigated. Mapping of air Hg(0) concentrations was performed to assess the spatial distribution and major sources of mercury to the atmosphere in the area. In addition, analyses of mercury speciation in the air over Idrija were performed during a 4-day sampling campaign in September 2006 to better understand the fate and transformation of Hg in the atmosphere of this specific mercury polluted site. The speciation results were then compared to the results of mercury speciation in the wet and throughfall deposition sampled on a precipitation event basis from October 2006 to September 2007. The Hg(0) concentration in air was mostly below 10 ng m(-3), with the highest concentration in the area of the former smelter complex exceeding 5000 ng m(-3). Mercury-bearing airborne particles (TPM) seem to dominate the atmospheric Hg deposition, which revealed noticeable variations between precipitation events (11-76 ng m(-2)day(-1)), mostly as a function of the amount of precipitation. Hg in precipitation was largely (∼ 50%) associated with the particulate phase (THg(P)). No correlation was found between the THg(P) and the dissolved phases (THg(D)), suggesting that particulate phase Hg is mostly the result of dry deposition. In the throughfall, significantly higher (2-10 fold) Hg concentrations than in associated event precipitation were observed, mostly due to Hg in the particulate phase (∼ 70% THg). As shown by SEM/EDXS microscopy, an important amount of mercury in the precipitation and throughfall samples is due to the presence of cinnabar particles as a result of the aeolian erosion of cinnabar-containing surfaces in the area.

  7. Liver histopathology in brown trout (Salmo trutta f. fario) from the Tinhela River, subjected to mine drainage from the abandoned Jales Mine (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Carrola, J; Fontaínhas-Fernandes, A; Matos, P; Rocha, E

    2009-07-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the occurrence of toxicopathic liver lesions in brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) from Tinhela River near the Jales Mine, both before implementation (2002) and after completion of the governmental mitigation program (2006). Fish were caught in April 2002 and May 2006, using an electrofishing system at four sites: S0, reference station; S1, S2 and S3 as contaminated stations. In 2002, the hepatosomatic index (HSI) was significantly higher for trout captured at the contaminated sites S2 and S3 than in S0. After the rehabilitation program, the HSI of fish sampled at the contaminated sites did not differ from the reference group. The liver of trout caught at S0 exhibited the normal parenchymal and stromal architecture described for the species and there were no pathological abnormalities. In contrast, fish sampled at S3 and S2 sites had diverse toxicopathic alterations. Specifically, livers from the two contaminated sites showed bile duct hyperplasia, often with mild epithelial dysplasia and fibrotic adventitial sleeve, foci of smaller and more basophilic hepatocytes and foci of hepatocellular necrosis; the latter conditions were frequently associated. Compared with the reference animals, increased hepatocellular vacuolization was found in livers from the polluted sites. Histopathological examination revealed differences among sampling sites in the severity and diversity of hepatic lesions clearly related to the proximity of the tailings. No pathological alterations were observed in the livers of brown trout caught in the same four areas of the Tinhela River after the mitigation program in 2006. In conclusion, our results supported that drainage from the abandoned Jales Mine had deleterious toxicological effects in brown trout. Our data suggested that the governmental mitigation program may have reduced the impact of Jales tailings.

  8. Removal and accumulation of mercury by aquatic macrophytes from an open cast coal mine effluent.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Virendra Kumar; Tripathi, B D; Kim, Ki-Hyun

    2009-12-30

    In this study, the mercury (Hg) removal capacities of two aquatic macrophytes, Pistia stratiotes and Azolla pinnata, were investigated against the coal mining effluent. These plants reduced mercury from the effluent via rhizofiltration and subsequent accumulation in plant. The removal rate of P. stratiotes and A. pinnata was 80% and 68%, respectively, after 21 days of exposure to the effluent containing 10 microg L(-1) of Hg. As mercury from the effluent was accumulated in the root and shoot tissues of both aquatic macrophytes, they were proven to be a root accumulator with a translocation factor of less than one during the entire study. The decreasing Hg content in effluent (from 10 to 2.0 microg L(-1)) was reflected by its accumulation in roots (0.57+/-0.02 mg g(-1) in P. stratiotes) and leaves of the experimental plants (0.42+/-0.01 mg g(-1), P. stratiotes). As a result, Hg concentrations in the coal mining effluent were tightly associated with those observed from macrophytes. Considering the high removal efficiencies of Hg by these aquatic macrophytes, these plants can be recommended for the actual treatment of Hg-containing waste waters.

  9. Mercury speciation in the Mt. Amiata mining district (Italy): interplay between urban activities and mercury contamination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rimondi, Valentina; Bardelli, Fabrizio; Benvenuti, Marco; Costagliola, Pilario; Gray, John E.; Lattanzi, Pierfranco

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental step to evaluate the biogeochemical and eco-toxicological significance of Hg dispersion in the environment is to determine speciation of Hg in solid matrices. In this study, several analytical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), sequential chemical extractions (SCEs), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES) were used to identify Hg compounds and Hg speciation in samples collected from the Mt. Amiata Hg mining district, southern Tuscany, Italy. Different geological materials, such as mine waste calcine (retorted ore), soil, stream sediment, and stream water suspended particulate matter were analyzed. Results show that the samples were generally composed of highly insoluble Hg compounds such as sulphides (HgS, cinnabar and metacinnabar), and more soluble Hg halides such as those associated with the mosesite group. Other moderately soluble Hg compounds, HgCl2, HgO and Hg0, were also identified in stream sediments draining the mining area. The presence of these minerals suggests active and continuous runoff of soluble Hg compounds from calcines, where such Hg compounds form during retorting, or later in secondary processes. Specifically, we suggest that, due to the proximity of Hg mines to the urban center of Abbadia San Salvatore, the influence of other anthropogenic activities was a key factor for Hg speciation, resulting in the formation of unusual Hg-minerals such as mosesite.

  10. Gaseous Oxidized Mercury Flux from Substrates Associated with Industrial Scale Gold Mining in Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M. B.

    2015-12-01

    Gaseous elemental and oxidized mercury (Hg) fluxes were measured in a laboratory setting from substrate materials derived from industrial-scale open pit gold mining operations in Nevada, USA. Mercury is present in these substrates at a range of concentrations (10 - 40000 ng g-1), predominantly of local geogenic origin in association with the mineralized gold ores, but altered and redistributed to a varying degree by subsequent ore extraction and processing operations, including deposition of Hg recently emitted to the atmosphere from large point sources on the mines. Waste rock, heap leach, and tailings material usually comprise the most extensive and Hg emission relevant substrate surfaces. All three of these material types were collected from active Nevada mine sites in 2010 for previous research, and have since been stored undisturbed at the University of Nevada, Reno. Gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) flux was previously measured from these materials under a variety of conditions, and was re-measured in this study, using Teflon® flux chambers and Tekran® 2537A automated ambient air analyzers. GEM flux from dry undisturbed materials was comparable between the two measurement periods. Gaseous oxidized Hg (GOM) flux from these materials was quantified using an active filter sampling method that consisted of polysulfone cation-exchange membranes deployed in conjunction with the GEM flux apparatus. Initial measurements conducted within greenhouse laboratory space indicate that in dry conditions GOM is deposited to relatively low Hg cap and leach materials, but may be emitted from the much higher Hg concentration tailings material.

  11. A Mass balance mercury budget for a mine-dominated lake: Clear Lake, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suchanek, T.H.; Cooke, J.; Keller, K.; Jorgensen, S.; Richerson, P.J.; Eagles-Smith, C. A.; Harner, E.J.; Adam, D.P.

    2009-01-01

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM), active intermittently from 1873-1957 and now a USEPA Superfund site, was previously estimated to have contributed at least 100 metric tons (105 kg) of mercury (Hg) into the Clear Lake aquatic ecosystem. We have confirmed this minimum estimate. To better quantify the contribution of the mine in relation to other sources of Hg loading into Clear Lake and provide data that might help reduce that loading, we analyzed Inputs and Outputs of Hg to Clear Lake and Storage of Hg in lakebed sediments using a mass balance approach. We evaluated Inputs from (1) wet and dry atmospheric deposition from both global/regional and local sources, (2) watershed tributaries, (3) groundwater inflows, (4) lakebed springs and (5) the mine. Outputs were quantified from (1) efflux (volatilization) of Hg from the lake surface to the atmosphere, (2) municipal and agricultural water diversions, (3) losses from out-flowing drainage of Cache Creek that feeds into the California Central Valley and (4) biotic Hg removal by humans and wildlife. Storage estimates include (1) sediment burial from historic and prehistoric periods (over the past 150-3,000 years) from sediment cores to ca. 2.5m depth dated using dichloro diphenyl dichloroethane (DDD), 210Pb and 14C and (2) recent Hg deposition in surficial sediments. Surficial sediments collected in October 2003 (11 years after mine site remediation) indicate no reduction (but a possible increase) in sediment Hg concentrations over that time and suggest that remediation has not significantly reduced overall Hg loading to the lake. Currently, the mine is believed to contribute ca. 322-331 kg of Hg annually to Clear Lake, which represents ca. 86-99% of the total Hg loading to the lake. We estimate that natural sedimentation would cover the existing contaminated sediments within ca. 150-300 years. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Exposure to mercury in susceptible population groups living in the former mercury mining town of Idrija, Slovenia.

    PubMed

    Kobal, Alfred B; Snoj Tratnik, Janja; Mazej, Darja; Fajon, Vesna; Gibičar, Darija; Miklavčič, Ana; Kocman, David; Kotnik, Jože; Sešek Briški, Alenka; Osredkar, Joško; Krsnik, Mladen; Prezelj, Marija; Knap, Črtomir; Križaj, Bojana; Liang, Lian; Horvat, Milena

    2017-01-01

    500 years of mercury (Hg) mining in the town of Idrija has caused severe pollution in Idrija and its surroundings. Following the closure of the mine in 1995, the environment remains contaminated with Hg. Sources of elemental-, inorganic- and methyl Hg exposure were identified, potential environmental level of exposure to Hg was evaluated and actual internal exposure to Hg was assessed in selected susceptible population groups comprising school-age children and pregnant women living in Idrija and in control groups from rural and urban environments. The study of pregnant women (n=31) was conducted between 2003 and 2008, and the study of school-age children (n=176) in 2008. Potential interaction of Hg with selenium (Se) in plasma was assessed in both study populations, while in pregnant women antioxidative enzyme activity (glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase) in erythrocytes of maternal and cord blood was also assessed. Actual exposure to Hg as indicated by levels of Hg in children's blood (geometric mean (GM) 0.92µg/L), mother's blood (GM 1.86µg/L), children's urine (GM 1.08µg/g crea.), mother's urine (GM 2.51µg/L), children's hair (GM 241ng/g) and mother's hair (GM 251ng/g) was higher in the two study groups from Idrija than in the control groups from rural areas, but was still at the level of a "normal" population and reflects mainly exposure to elemental Hg (Hg°) from dental amalgam and, to a certain extent atmospheric Hg°. Furthermore, the internal doses of Hg received during pregnancy did not decrease the bioavailability of Se. Based on observation in children, the increase in Se protein expression is suggested to be a consequence of moderately elevated exposure to Hg°. The observed changes in activity of antioxidative enzymes, as biomarkers of oxidative stress, appear to be mainly associated with pregnancy per se and not with an increased exposure to Hg. In view of the continuing increased potential for Hg exposure and the low

  13. Mineralogical characterization of tailing dams: incidence of abandoned mining works on soil pollution (Linares, Jaén)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Torre, M. J.; Hidalgo, C.; Rey, J.; Martínez, J.

    2012-04-01

    The metallogenic district of Linares-La Carolina (Jaén, Spain) consists of dyke mineralizations mainly of galena, accompanied by blende, chalcopyrite and barite. Associated to these abandoned mines, relatively extensive areas occupied by spoil heaps and tailing impoundments exist and constitute potential sources of soil pollution by metals and semimetals. In order to analyze the pollution potential of these mining wastes, we have carried out a mineralogical and geochemical study of seven tailing dams and surrounding soils in the area. The mineralogy of the samples was studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). In addition, the total metal content of samples was determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis. Samples were taken from the first 30 cm of the waste piles and soil deposits and white efflorescences were also obtained from the surface of the tailings. In all analyzed heaps, high to very high total contents in Pb (1220-22890 mg/kg), Zn (150-51280 mg/kg), Mn (2658-4160 mg/kg), Ba (1026-19610 mg/kg) and Fe (19400-138000 mg/kg) were observed. The concentrations for these same elements in the studied soils range from 527-9900 mg/kg for Pb, 27-1700 mg/kg for Zn, 506-2464 mg/kg for Mn, 2832-4306 for Ba and 8642-29753 mg/kg for Fe, and these figures indicate a contamination of the soils, according to the guidelines established by the Spanish law. The XRD and SEM results indicate that the tailings are primarily constituted by gangue of the exploited mineralization: quartz, calcite, ankerite, feldspars and phyllosilicates. They are inherited, primary mineral phases. Galena, also primary, appears in low proportion, as well as lepidocrocite, melanterite and cerussite, being these three last secondary minerals and indicating a certain remobilization of metal cations, especially lead and iron. On the other hand, quartz and phyllosilicates predominate in the soils, in which, in addition, is identified a

  14. Measurement of surface mercury fluxes at active industrial gold mines in Nevada (USA).

    PubMed

    Eckley, C S; Gustin, M; Marsik, F; Miller, M B

    2011-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) may be naturally associated with the rock units hosting precious and base metal deposits. Active gold mines are known to have point source releases of Hg associated with ore processing facilities. The nonpoint source release of Hg to the air from the large area (hundreds to thousands of hectares) of disturbed and processed material at industrial open pit gold mines has not been quantified. This paper describes the field data collected as part of a project focused on estimating nonpoint source emissions of Hg from two active mines in Nevada, USA. In situ Hg flux data were collected on diel and seasonal time steps using a dynamic flux chamber from representative mine surfaces. Hg fluxes ranged from <1500 ng m(-2) day(-1) for waste rock piles (0.6-3.5 μg g(-1)) to 684,000 ng m(-2) day(-1) for tailings (2.8-58 μg g(-1)). Releases were positively correlated with material Hg concentrations, surface grain size, and moisture content. Highest Hg releases occurred from materials under active cyanide leaching and from tailings impoundments containing processed high-grade ore. Data collected indicate that as mine sites are reclaimed and material disturbance ceases, emissions will decline. Additionally local cycling of atmospheric Hg (deposition and re-emission) was found to occur.

  15. Improving awareness of mercury pollution in small-scale gold mining communities: challenges and ways forward in rural Ghana.

    PubMed

    Hilson, Gavin; Hilson, Christopher J; Pardie, Sandra

    2007-02-01

    This paper critiques the approach taken by the Ghanaian Government to address mercury pollution in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. Unmonitored releases of mercury-used in the gold-amalgamation process-have caused numerous environmental complications throughout rural Ghana. Certain policy, technological and educational initiatives taken to address the mounting problem, however, have proved marginally effective at best, having been designed and implemented without careful analysis of mine community dynamics, the organization of activities, operators' needs and local geological conditions. Marked improvements can only be achieved in this area through increased government-initiated dialogue with the now-ostracized illegal galamsey mining community; introducing simple, cost-effective techniques for the reduction of mercury emissions; and effecting government-sponsored participatory training exercises as mediums for communicating information about appropriate technologies and the environment.

  16. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations and loads in the Cache Creek watershed, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Domagalski, J.L.; Alpers, C.N.; Slotton, D.G.; Suchanek, T.H.; Ayers, S.M.

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations and loads of total mercury and methylmercury were measured in streams draining abandoned mercury mines and in the proximity of geothermal discharge in the Cache Creek watershed of California during a 17-month period from January 2000 through May 2001. Rainfall and runoff were lower than long-term averages during the study period. The greatest loading of mercury and methylmercury from upstream sources to downstream receiving waters, such as San Francisco Bay, generally occurred during or after winter rainfall events. During the study period, loads of mercury and methylmercury from geothermal sources tended to be greater than those from abandoned mining areas, a pattern attributable to the lack of large precipitation events capable of mobilizing significant amounts of either mercury-laden sediment or dissolved mercury and methylmercury from mine waste. Streambed sediments of Cache Creek are a significant source of mercury and methylmercury to downstream receiving bodies of water. Much of the mercury in these sediments is the result of deposition over the last 100-150 years by either storm-water runoff, from abandoned mines, or continuous discharges from geothermal areas. Several geochemical constituents were useful as natural tracers for mining and geothermal areas, including the aqueous concentrations of boron, chloride, lithium and sulfate, and the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water. Stable isotopes of water in areas draining geothermal discharges showed a distinct trend toward enrichment of 18O compared with meteoric waters, whereas much of the runoff from abandoned mines indicated a stable isotopic pattern more consistent with local meteoric water. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations and loads in the Cache Creek watershed, California.

    PubMed

    Domagalski, Joseph L; Alpers, Charles N; Slotton, Darell G; Suchanek, Thomas H; Ayers, Shaun M

    2004-07-05

    Concentrations and loads of total mercury and methylmercury were measured in streams draining abandoned mercury mines and in the proximity of geothermal discharge in the Cache Creek watershed of California during a 17-month period from January 2000 through May 2001. Rainfall and runoff were lower than long-term averages during the study period. The greatest loading of mercury and methylmercury from upstream sources to downstream receiving waters, such as San Francisco Bay, generally occurred during or after winter rainfall events. During the study period, loads of mercury and methylmercury from geothermal sources tended to be greater than those from abandoned mining areas, a pattern attributable to the lack of large precipitation events capable of mobilizing significant amounts of either mercury-laden sediment or dissolved mercury and methylmercury from mine waste. Streambed sediments of Cache Creek are a significant source of mercury and methylmercury to downstream receiving bodies of water. Much of the mercury in these sediments is the result of deposition over the last 100-150 years by either storm-water runoff, from abandoned mines, or continuous discharges from geothermal areas. Several geochemical constituents were useful as natural tracers for mining and geothermal areas, including the aqueous concentrations of boron, chloride, lithium and sulfate, and the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water. Stable isotopes of water in areas draining geothermal discharges showed a distinct trend toward enrichment of (18)O compared with meteoric waters, whereas much of the runoff from abandoned mines indicated a stable isotopic pattern more consistent with local meteoric water.

  18. The distribution of mercury around the small-scale gold mining area along the Cikaniki river, Bogor, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Tomiyasu, Takashi; Kono, Yuriko; Kodamatani, Hitoshi; Hidayati, Nuril; Rahajoe, Joeni Setijo

    2013-08-01

    The distribution of mercury in the soil, sediment and river water around the artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) area along the Cikaniki River, West Java, Indonesia, was investigated. The total mercury concentration (T-Hg) in the forest soil ranged from 0.11 to 7.0mgkg(-1), and the highest value was observed at the ASGM village. In the vertical T-Hg profile around the villages, the highest value was observed at the soil surface, and the concentration decreased with depth. This result suggested that the mercury released by mining activity was dispersed through the atmosphere and deposited on the surface. The total organic carbon content (TOC) showed a similar vertical profile as the T-Hg, and a linear relationship was found between T-Hg and TOC. Mercury deposited on the surface can be absorbed by organic matter. The slope of the line was larger near the ASGM village, implying a higher rate of deposition of mercury. The T-Hg in the sediment ranged from 10 to 70mgkg(-1), decreasing gradually toward the lower reaches of the river. Mining waste can be transported with the river flow and deposited along the river. The distribution of the mining waste can be determined using the mineralogical composition measured by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.

  19. Check on level of environmental contamination by mercury and cleanup of Abetina Mining area (Grosseto-Italia)

    SciTech Connect

    Belardi, G.; Marabini, A.M.; Passariello, B.

    1996-12-31

    The purpose of the study was to check on the level of environmental contamination and to design a project for cleaning up the Abetina Mine area at Piancastagnaio (Grosseto, Italy). Contamination of this area had occurred during the mining and treatment of cinnabar (HgS) over a prolonged period. The aim of the project is to remove the sources of contamination or render them harmless. Mining of the Piancastagnaio deposit started in 1840, mercury metal being extracted from the ore by thermal treatment. Together with Spain, Italy was the first country to produce this metal and was the world leader in this field between 1936 and 1943. Though mercury production in the Monte Amiata region of Tuscany ceased in 1974 the ensuing environmental impact is very evident, taking the form of rusty old mining and processing works, plus waste tips which still contain considerable amount of mercury even after the ore had been subject to thermal extraction treatment. The research which has been conducted included mapping the area to identify the main sources of mercury and arsenic pollution, as well as the level of environmental contamination. Mercury and arsenic values in excess of 16,000 and 150 ppm respectively are encountered in the most highly-contaminated places. 11 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  20. Exposure of insects and insectivorous birds to metals and other elements from abandoned mine tailings in three Summit County drainages, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, Christine M.; Yang, C.; Crock, J.G.; Shearn-Bochsler, V.; Smith, K.S.; Hageman, P.L.

    2009-01-01

    Concentrations of 31 metals, metalloids, and other elements were measured in insects and insectivorous bird tissues from three drainages with different geochemistry and mining histories in Summit Co., Colorado, in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In insect samples, all 25 elements that were analyzed in all years increased in both Snake and Deer Creeks in the mining impacted areas compared to areas above and below the mining impacted areas. This distribution of elements was predicted from known or expected sediment contamination resulting from abandoned mine tailings in those drainages. Element concentrations in avian liver tissues were in concordance with levels in insects, that is with concentrations higher in mid-drainage areas where mine tailings were present compared to both upstream and downstream locations; these differences were not always statistically different, however. The lack of statistically significant differences in liver tissues, except for a few elements, was due to relatively small sample sizes and because many of these elements are essential and therefore well regulated by the bird's homeostatic processes. Most elements were at background concentrations in avian liver tissue except for Pb which was elevated at mid-drainage sites to levels where ??-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity was inhibited at other mining sites in Colorado. Lead exposure, however, was not at toxic levels. Fecal samples were not a good indication of what elements birds ingested and were potentially exposed to. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

  1. Mercury contamination from mine and natural sources in Harley Gulch, downstream from the Abbott and Turkey Run Mercury Mines, Lake County, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hothem, R. L.; Rytuba, J. J.; Goldstein, D.; Brussee, B.

    2011-12-01

    The Abbott and Turkey Run Mercury (Hg) mine area in central California has released Hg tailings into the Harley Gulch watershed since 1862. Harley Gulch flows into Cache Creek which is a significant source of Hg into San Francisco Bay Delta. Thermal mine water effluent emanating from the Turkey Run adit flows into the upper part of the watershed. Despite remediation efforts, Hg tailings and enriched sediment remain in the Harley Gulch wetlands and in the creek downstream from the mine area. Water, sediment, and biota have been sampled from below the mine area to 15 km downstream to the confluence with Cache Creek in order to assess the impact of Hg on water quality and biota. Two previously unrecognized natural sources of Hg in the watershed are connate groundwater with elevated levels of Hg, and biogenic sediment composed of phytoplankton that accumulates in the upper part of the watershed during the dry season. The connate groundwater source contains isotopically-heavy Mg-Ca-Cl-CO3-SO4 water that has elevated concentrations of Ba, W, Ti, and Hg. This water first enters Harley Gulch in the central part of the wetland immediately downstream from the mine area and continues to contribute water downstream for a distance of 1.5 km. It is both chemically and isotopically distinct from the thermal mine water effluent from the Turkey Run adit. The biogenic source consists of blooms of phytoplankton that accumulate to a thickness of up to 0.2 m. Phytoplankton have a large bioaccumulation factor of Hg and monomethyl mercury (MMeHg) that results in a high concentrations of Hg and MMeHg (Hg: 5-25 μg/g, MMeHg 5.2 ng/g) in the biogenic sediment. The tan biogenic sediment at the surface consists of living diatoms and below it is a layer of black reduced biogenic sediment consisting of diatom fragments with micron- to submicron-sized FeS, HgS, and barite grains. Sulfate-reducing bacteria reduce sulfate to sulfide in the pore waters of the biogenic sediment that reacts with

  2. Dissolved metals and associated constituents in abandoned coal-mine discharges, Pennsylvania, USA. Part 2: Geochemical controls on constituent concentrations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cravotta, C.A.

    2008-01-01

    Water-quality data for discharges from 140 abandoned mines in the Anthracite and Bituminous Coalfields of Pennsylvania reveal complex relations among the pH and dissolved solute concentrations that can be explained with geochemical equilibrium models. Observed values of pH ranged from 2.7 to 7.3 in the coal-mine discharges (CMD). Generally, flow rates were smaller and solute concentrations were greater for low-pH CMD samples; pH typically increased with flow rate. Although the frequency distribution of pH was similar for the anthracite and bituminous discharges, the bituminous discharges had smaller median flow rates; greater concentrations of SO4, Fe, Al, As, Cd, Cu, Ni and Sr; comparable concentrations of Mn, Cd, Zn and Se; and smaller concentrations of Ba and Pb than anthracite discharges with the same pH values. The observed relations between the pH and constituent concentrations can be attributed to (1) dilution of acidic water by near-neutral or alkaline ground water; (2) solubility control of Al, Fe, Mn, Ba and Sr by hydroxide, sulfate, and/or carbonate minerals; and (3) aqueous SO4-complexation and surface-complexation (adsorption) reactions. The formation of AlSO4+ and AlHSO42 + complexes adds to the total dissolved Al concentration at equilibrium with Al(OH)3 and/or Al hydroxysulfate phases and can account for 10-20 times greater concentrations of dissolved Al in SO4-laden bituminous discharges compared to anthracite discharges at pH of 5. Sulfate complexation can also account for 10-30 times greater concentrations of dissolved FeIII concentrations at equilibrium with Fe(OH)3 and/or schwertmannite (Fe8O8(OH)4.5(SO4)1.75) at pH of 3-5. In contrast, lower Ba concentrations in bituminous discharges indicate that elevated SO4 concentrations in these CMD sources could limit Ba concentrations by the precipitation of barite (BaSO4). Coprecipitation of Sr with barite could limit concentrations of this element. However, concentrations of dissolved Pb, Cu, Cd, Zn

  3. Mercury biogeochemistry in the Idrija River, Slovenia, from above the mine into the Gulf of Trieste

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hines, M.E.; Horvat, M.; Faganeli, J.; Bonzongo, J.-C.J.; Barkay, T.; Major, E.B.; Scott, K.J.; Bailey, E.A.; Warwick, J.J.; Lyons, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    The Idrija Mine is the second largest Hg mine in the world which operated for 500 years. Mercury (Hg)-laden tailings still line the banks, and the system is a threat to the Idrija River and water bodies downstream including the Soca/Isonzo River and the Gulf of Trieste in the northern Adriatic Sea. A multidisciplinary study was conducted in June 1998 on water samples collected throughout the Idrija and Soca River systems and waters and sediments in the Gulf. Total Hg in the Idrija River increased >20-fold downstream of the mine from 60 ng liter-1 with methyl mercury (MeHg) accounting for ~0.5%. Concentrations increased again downstream and into the estuary with MeHg accounting for nearly 1.5% of the total. While bacteria upstream of the mine did not contain mercury detoxification genes (mer), such genes were detected in bacteria collected downstream. Benthic macroinvertebrate diversity decreased downstream of the mine. Gulf waters near the river mouth contained up to 65 ng liter-1 total Hg with ~0.05 ng liter-1 MeHg. Gulf sediments near the river mouth contained 40 ??g g-1 total Hg with MeHg concentrations of about 3 ng g-1. Hg in sediment pore waters varied between 1 and 8 ng liter-1, with MeHg accounting for up to 85%. Hg methylation and MeHg demethylation were active in Gulf sediments with highest activities near the surface. MeHg was degraded by an oxidative pathway with >97% C released from MeHg as CO2. Hg methylation depth profiles resembled profiles of dissolved MeHg. Hg-laden waters still strongly impact the riverine, estuarine, and marine systems. Macroinvertebrates and bacteria in the Idrija River responded to Hg stress, and high Hg levels persist into the Gulf. Increases in total Hg and MeHg in the estuary demonstrate the remobilization of Hg, presumably as HgS dissolution and recycling. Gulf sediments actively produce MeHg, which enters bottom waters and presumably the marine food chain. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

  4. Assessing mercury exposure and effects to American dippers in headwater streams near mining sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, Charles J.; Kaiser, James L.; Packard, Heidi A.; Grove, Robert A.; Taft, Mike R.

    2005-01-01

    To evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure and possible adverse effects of Hg on American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) reproduction, we collected eggs and nestling feathers and the larval/nymph form of three Orders of aquatic macroinvertebrates (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera = EPT) important in their diet from three major headwater tributaries of the upper Willamette River, Oregon in 2002. The Coast Fork Willamette River is contaminated with Hg due to historical cinnabar (HgS) mining at the Black Butte Mine; the Row River is affected by past gold-mining operations located within the Bohemia Mining District, where Hg was used in the amalgamation process to recover gold; and the Middle Fork Willamette River is the reference area with no known mining. Methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations (geometric mean) in composite EPT larvae (111.9 ng/g dry weight [dw] or 19.8 ng/g wet weight [ww]), dipper eggs (38.5 ng/g ww) and nestling feathers (1158 ng/g ww) collected from the Coast Fork Willamette were significantly higher than MeHg concentrations in EPT and dipper samples from other streams. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in surface sediments along the same Hg-impacted streams were investigated by others in 1999 (Row River tributaries) and 2002 (Coast Fork). The reported sediment THg concentrations paralleled our biological findings. Dipper breeding territories at higher elevations had fewer second clutches; however, dipper reproductive success along all streams (including the lower elevation and most Hg-contaminated Coast Fork), was judged excellent compared to other studies reviewed. Furthermore, MeHg concentrations in EPT samples from this study were well below dietary concentrations in other aquatic bird species, such as loons and ducks, reported to cause Hg-related reproductive problems. Our data suggest that either dipper feathers or EPT composites used to project MeHg concentrations in dipper feathers (with biomagnification factor of 10a??20??) may be used, but

  5. Assessing mercury exposure and effects to American dippers in headwater streams near mining sites.

    PubMed

    Henny, Charles J; Kaiser, James L; Packard, Heidi A; Grove, Robert A; Taft, Michael R

    2005-10-01

    To evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure and possible adverse effects of Hg on American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) reproduction, we collected eggs and nestling feathers and the larval/nymph form of three Orders of aquatic macroinvertebrates (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera = EPT) important in their diet from three major headwater tributaries of the upper Willamette River, Oregon in 2002. The Coast Fork Willamette River is contaminated with Hg due to historical cinnabar (HgS) mining at the Black Butte Mine; the Row River is affected by past gold-mining operations located within the Bohemia Mining District, where Hg was used in the amalgamation process to recover gold; and the Middle Fork Willamette River is the reference area with no known mining. Methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations (geometric mean) in composite EPT larvae (111.9 ng/g dry weight [dw] or 19.8 ng/g wet weight [ww]), dipper eggs (38.5 ng/g ww) and nestling feathers (1158 ng/g ww) collected from the Coast Fork Willamette were significantly higher than MeHg concentrations in EPT and dipper samples from other streams. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in surface sediments along the same Hg-impacted streams were investigated by others in 1999 (Row River tributaries) and 2002 (Coast Fork). The reported sediment THg concentrations paralleled our biological findings. Dipper breeding territories at higher elevations had fewer second clutches; however, dipper reproductive success along all streams (including the lower elevation and most Hg-contaminated Coast Fork), was judged excellent compared to other studies reviewed. Furthermore, MeHg concentrations in EPT samples from this study were well below dietary concentrations in other aquatic bird species, such as loons and ducks, reported to cause Hg-related reproductive problems. Our data suggest that either dipper feathers or EPT composites used to project MeHg concentrations in dipper feathers (with biomagnification factor of 10-20x) may be used, but with

  6. Mercury accumulation and attenuation at a rapidly forming delta with a point source of mining waste

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Bryce E.; Esser, Bradley K.; Whyte, Dyan C.; Ganguli, Priya M.; Austin, Carrie M.; Hunt, James R.

    2009-01-01

    The Walker Creek intertidal delta of Tomales Bay, California is impacted by a former mercury mine within the watershed. Eleven short sediment cores (10 cm length) collected from the delta found monomethylmercury (MMHg) concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 11.4 ng/g (dry wt.), with lower concentrations occurring at the vegetated marsh and upstream channel locations. Algal mats common to the delta’s sediment surface had MMHg concentrations ranging from 7.5 to 31.5 ng/g, and the top 1 cm of sediment directly under the mats had two times greater MMHg concentrations compared to adjacent locations without algal covering. Spatial trends in resident biota reflect enhanced MMHg uptake at the delta compared to other bay locations. Eighteen sediment cores, 1 to 2 meters deep, collected from the 1.2 km2 delta provide an estimate of a total mercury (Hg) inventory of 2500 ± 500 kg. Sediment Hg concentrations ranged from pre-mining background conditions of approximately 0.1 μg/g to a post-mining maximum of 5 μg/g. Sediment accumulation rates were determined from three sediment cores using measured differences of 137Cs activity. We estimate a pre-mining Hg accumulation of less than 20 kg/yr, and a period of maximum Hg accumulation in the 1970s and 1980s with loading rates greater than 50 kg/yr, corresponding to the failure of a tailings dam at the mine site. At the time of sampling (2003) over 40 kg/yr of Hg was still accumulating at the delta, indicating limited recovery. We attribute observed spatial evolution of elevated Hg levels to ongoing inputs and sediment re-working, and estimate the inventory of the anthropogenic fraction of total Hg to be at least 1500 ± 300 kg. We suggest ongoing sediment inputs and methylation at the deltaic surface support enhanced mercury levels for resident biota and transfer to higher trophic levels throughout the Bay. PMID:19539980

  7. Geochemical investigations and interim recommendations for priority abandoned mine sites on U.S.D.A. Forest Service lands, Mineral Creek watershed, San Juan County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nash, J.T.

    1999-01-01

    estimate in ranking feasibility of reclamation is the amount of natural and mine-related contamination at each mining area. Mitigation of natural contributions at mines or unmined areas is beyond the scope of these Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) investigations, but must be considered when planning reclamation. Available information for the 25 problem sites is adequate for ranking, but at some sites additional information on groundwater conditions is needed for a more reliable ranking and evaluation of reclamation methods.

  8. Oral bioaccessibility and human exposure to anthropogenic and geogenic mercury in urban, industrial and mining areas.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, S M; Coelho, C; Cruz, N; Monteiro, R J R; Henriques, B; Duarte, A C; Römkens, P F A M; Pereira, E

    2014-10-15

    The objective of this study was to characterize the link between bioaccessibility and fractionation of mercury (Hg) in soils and to provide insight into human exposure to Hg due to inhalation of airborne soil particles and hand-to-mouth ingestion of Hg-bearing soil. Mercury in soils from mining, urban and industrial areas was fractionated in organometallic forms; mobile; semi-mobile; and non-mobile forms as well as HCl-extractable Hg. The in vitro bioaccessibility of Hg was obtained by extracting soils with (1) a simulated human gastric fluid (pH1.5), and (2) a simulated human lung fluid (pH7.4). Total soil Hg concentrations ranged from 0.72 to 1.8 mg kg(-1) (urban areas), 0.28 to 94 mg kg(-1) (industrial area) and 0.92 to 37 mg kg(-1) (mining areas). Both organometallic Hg as well as 0.1M HCl extractable Hg were lower (<0.5% of total Hg) than Hg extracted by gastric fluid (up to 1.8% of total Hg) and lung fluid (up to 12% of total Hg). In addition, Hg extracted by lung fluid was significantly higher in urban and industrial soils (average 5.0-6.6% of total Hg) compared to mining soils. Such differences were related to levels of mobile Hg species in urban and industrial soils compared to mining soils. These results strengthen the need to measure site-specific Hg fractionation when determining Hg bioaccessibility. Results also show that ingestion and/or inhalation of Hg from soil particles can contribute up to 8% of adult total Hg intake when compared to total Hg intake via consumption of contaminated fish and animal products from contaminated areas.

  9. Application of electromagnetic techniques in survey of contaminated groundwater at an abandoned mine complex in southwestern Indiana, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, G.A.; Olyphant, G.A.; Harper, D.

    1991-01-01

    In part of a large abandoned mining complex, electromagnetic geophysical surveys were used along with data derived from cores and monitoring wells to infer sources of contamination and subsurface hydrologic connections between acidic refuse deposits and adjacent undisturbed geologic materials. Electrical resistivity increases sharply along the boundary of an elevated deposit of pyritic coarse refuse, which is highly contaminated and electrically conductive, indicating poor subsurface hydrologic connections with surrounding deposits of fine refuse and undisturbed glacial material. Groundwater chemistry, as reflected in values of specific conductance, also differs markedly across the deposit's boundary, indicating that a widespread contaminant plume has not developed around the coarse refuse in more than 40 yr since the deposit was created. Most acidic drainage from the coarse refuse is by surface runoff and is concentrated around stream channels. Although most of the contaminated groundwater within the study area is concentrated within the surficial refuse deposits, transects of apparent resistivity and phase angle indicate the existence of an anomalous conductive layer at depth (>4 m) in thick alluvial sediments along the northern boundary of the mining complex. Based on knowledge of local geology, the anomaly is interpreted to represent a subsurface connection between the alluvium and a flooded abandoned underground mine. ?? 1991 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  10. Removal of mercury from gold mine effluents using Limnocharis flava in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Enamorado-Montes, Germán; Durango-Hernández, José; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2017-01-01

    Phytoremediation has received increased attention over the recent decades, as an emerging and eco-friendly approach that utilizes the natural properties of plants to remediate contaminated water, soils or sediments. The current study provides information about a pilot-scale experiment designed to evaluate the potential of the anchored aquatic plant Limnocharis flava for phytoremediation of water contaminated with mercury (Hg), in a constructed wetland (CW) with horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF). Mine effluent used in this experiment was collected from a gold mining area located at the Alacran mine in Colombia (Hg: 0.11 ± 0.03 μg mL(-1)) and spiked with HgNO3 (1.50 ± 0.09 μg mL(-1)). Over a 30 day test period, the efficiency of the reduction in the heavy metal concentration in the wetlands, and the relative metal sorption by the L. flava, varied according to the exposure time. The continued rate of removal of Hg from the constructed wetland was 9 times higher than the control, demonstrating a better performance and nearly 90% reduction in Hg concentrations in the contaminated water in the presence of L. flava. The results in this present study show the great potential of the aquatic macrophyte L. flava for phytoremediation of Hg from gold mining effluents in constructed wetlands.

  11. Effects of historical and modern mining on mercury deposition in southeastern Peru.

    PubMed

    Beal, Samuel A; Jackson, Brian P; Kelly, Meredith A; Stroup, Justin S; Landis, Joshua D

    2013-11-19

    Both modern anthropogenic emissions of mercury (Hg), primarily from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), and preindustrial anthropogenic emissions from mining are thought to have a large impact on present-day atmospheric Hg deposition. We study the spatial distribution of Hg and its depositional history over the past ∼400 years in sediment cores from lakes located regionally proximal (∼90-150 km) to the largest ASGM in Peru and distal (>400 km) to major preindustrial mining centers. Total Hg concentrations in surface sediments from fourteen lakes are typical of remote regions (10-115 ng g(-1)). Hg fluxes in cores from four lakes demonstrate preindustrial Hg deposition in southeastern Peru was spatially variable and at least an order of magnitude lower than previously reported fluxes in lakes located closer to mining centers. Average modern (A.D. 2000-2011) Hg fluxes in these cores are 3.4-6.9 μg m(-2) a(-1), compared to average preindustrial (A.D. 1800-1850) fluxes of 0.8-2.5 μg m(-2) a(-1). Modern Hg fluxes determined from the four lakes are on average 3.3 (±1.5) times greater than their preindustrial fluxes, similar to those determined in other remote lakes around the world. This agreement suggests that Hg emissions from ASGM are likely not significantly deposited in nearby down-wind regions.

  12. Role of organic acids in promoting colloidal transport of mercury from mine tailings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Slowey, A.J.; Johnson, S.B.; Rytuba, J.J.; Brown, Gordon E.

    2005-01-01

    A number of factors affect the transport of dissolved and paniculate mercury (Hg) from inoperative Hg mines, including the presence of organic acids in the rooting zone of vegetated mine waste. We examined the role of the two most common organic acids in soils (oxalic and citric acid) on Hg transport from such waste by pumping a mixed organic acid solution (pH 5.7) at 1 mL/min through Hg mine tailings columns. For the two total organic acid concentrations investigated (20 ??M and 1 mM), particle-associated Hg was mobilized, with the onset of paniculate Hg transport occurring later for the lower organic acid concentration. Chemical analyses of column effluent indicate that 98 wt % of Hg mobilized from the column was paniculate. Hg speciation was determined using extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy, showing that HgS minerals are dominant in the mobilized particles. Hg adsorbed to colloids is another likely mode of transport due to the abundance of Fe-(oxyhydr)oxides, Fe-sulfides, alunite, and jarosite in the tailings to which Hg(II) adsorbs. Organic acids produced by plants are likely to enhance the transport of colloid-associated Hg from vegetated Hg mine tailings by dissolving cements to enable colloid release. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.

  13. Effects of historical and modern mining on mercury deposition in southeastern Peru

    PubMed Central

    Beal, Samuel A.; Jackson, Brian P.; Kelly, Meredith A.; Stroup, Justin S.; Landis, Joshua D.

    2013-01-01

    Both modern anthropogenic emissions of mercury (Hg), primarily from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), and preindustrial anthropogenic emissions from mining are thought to have a large impact on present-day atmospheric Hg deposition. We study the spatial distribution of Hg and its depositional history over the past ~400 years in sediment cores from lakes located regionally proximal (~90–150 km) to the largest ASGM in Peru and distal (>400 km) to major preindustrial mining centers. Total Hg concentrations in surface sediments from fourteen lakes are typical of remote regions (10–115 ng g−1). Hg fluxes in cores from four lakes demonstrate preindustrial Hg deposition in southeastern Peru was spatially variable and at least an order of magnitude lower than previously reported fluxes in lakes located closer to mining centers. Average modern (A.D. 2000–2011) Hg fluxes in these cores are 3.4–6.9 μg m−2 a−1, compared to average preindustrial (A.D. 1800–1850) fluxes of 0.8–2.5 μg m−2 a−1. Modern Hg fluxes determined from the four lakes are on average 3.3 (±1.5) times greater than their preindustrial fluxes, similar to those determined in other remote lakes around the world. This agreement suggests that Hg emissions from ASGM are likely not significantly deposited in nearby downwind regions. PMID:24124645

  14. Transcriptional effects of metal-rich acid drainage water from the abandoned Løkken Mine on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolt.

    PubMed

    Olsvik, Pål A; Ulvund, John B; Teien, Hans C; Urke, Henning A; Lie, Kai K; Kristensen, Torstein

    2016-01-01

    Runoff of metals represents one of the major environmental challenges related to historic and ongoing mining activity. In this study, transcriptomics (direct RNA sequencing [RNA-seq] and reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction [RT-qPCR]) was used to predict toxicity of metal-rich acid mine drainage (AMD) water collected in the abandoned copper (Cu) mine called Løkken Mine on Atlantic salmon liver and kidney, the main target organs of Cu-induced toxicity in fish. Smolts were exposed to control and diluted AMD water, which contains a mixture of metals but is especially enriched with Cu, at 4 concentrations in freshwater (FW) for 96 h, and then were transferred to and kept in seawater (SW) for another 24 h. Significant accumulation of Cu was observed in the gills, but not liver and kidney tissues, after 96 h of exposure. Short-term exposure to metal-rich ADM (high exposure group) significantly upregulated 3201 transcripts and downregulated 3782 transcripts in liver. The strongest effect attributed to exposure was observed on the KEGG pathway "protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum," followed by "steroid biosynthesis." Gene ontology (GO) analysis suggested that exposure predominantly affected "protein folding," possibly by disrupting disulfide bonds as a result of endoplasmic-reticulum-generated stress, and "sterol biosynthetic processes." Transfer to uncontaminated SW for 24 h amended the transcription of several genes, suggesting a transient effect of treatment on some mechanisms. In conclusion, the data show that trace metals in AMD from abandoned pyrite mines might disturb molecular mechanisms linked to protein folding in Atlantic salmon smolt endoplasmic reticulum.

  15. Mapping Copper and Lead Concentrations at Abandoned Mine Areas Using Element Analysis Data from ICP-AES and Portable XRF Instruments: A Comparative Study.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon; Suh, Jangwon; Lee, Seung-Ho

    2016-03-30

    Understanding spatial variation of potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in soil is necessary to identify the proper measures for preventing soil contamination at both operating and abandoned mining areas. Many studies have been conducted worldwide to explore the spatial variation of PTEs and to create soil contamination maps using geostatistical methods. However, they generally depend only on inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) analysis data, therefore such studies are limited by insufficient input data owing to the disadvantages of ICP-AES analysis such as its costly operation and lengthy period required for analysis. To overcome this limitation, this study used both ICP-AES and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysis data, with relatively low accuracy, for mapping copper and lead concentrations at a section of the Busan abandoned mine in Korea and compared the prediction performances of four different approaches: the application of ordinary kriging to ICP-AES analysis data, PXRF analysis data, both ICP-AES and transformed PXRF analysis data by considering the correlation between the ICP-AES and PXRF analysis data, and co-kriging to both the ICP-AES (primary variable) and PXRF analysis data (secondary variable). Their results were compared using an independent validation data set. The results obtained in this case study showed that the application of ordinary kriging to both ICP-AES and transformed PXRF analysis data is the most accurate approach when considers the spatial distribution of copper and lead contaminants in the soil and the estimation errors at 11 sampling points for validation. Therefore, when generating soil contamination maps for an abandoned mine, it is beneficial to use the proposed approach that incorporates the advantageous aspects of both ICP-AES and PXRF analysis data.

  16. Mapping Copper and Lead Concentrations at Abandoned Mine Areas Using Element Analysis Data from ICP–AES and Portable XRF Instruments: A Comparative Study

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon; Suh, Jangwon; Lee, Seung-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Understanding spatial variation of potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in soil is necessary to identify the proper measures for preventing soil contamination at both operating and abandoned mining areas. Many studies have been conducted worldwide to explore the spatial variation of PTEs and to create soil contamination maps using geostatistical methods. However, they generally depend only on inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP–AES) analysis data, therefore such studies are limited by insufficient input data owing to the disadvantages of ICP–AES analysis such as its costly operation and lengthy period required for analysis. To overcome this limitation, this study used both ICP–AES and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysis data, with relatively low accuracy, for mapping copper and lead concentrations at a section of the Busan abandoned mine in Korea and compared the prediction performances of four different approaches: the application of ordinary kriging to ICP–AES analysis data, PXRF analysis data, both ICP–AES and transformed PXRF analysis data by considering the correlation between the ICP–AES and PXRF analysis data, and co-kriging to both the ICP–AES (primary variable) and PXRF analysis data (secondary variable). Their results were compared using an independent validation data set. The results obtained in this case study showed that the application of ordinary kriging to both ICP–AES and transformed PXRF analysis data is the most accurate approach when considers the spatial distribution of copper and lead contaminants in the soil and the estimation errors at 11 sampling points for validation. Therefore, when generating soil contamination maps for an abandoned mine, it is beneficial to use the proposed approach that incorporates the advantageous aspects of both ICP–AES and PXRF analysis data. PMID:27043594

  17. U.S. EPA Settles with El Paso Natural Gas for Cleanup Costs at Abandoned Uranium Mines on Navajo Nation

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced a settlement worth more than $500,000 with El Paso Natural Gas Company LLC, (EPNG) to reimburse government costs related to 19 abandoned uranium

  18. Isotopic Composition of Inorganic Mercury and Methylmercury Downstream of a Historical Gold Mining Region.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Patrick M; Blum, Joel D; Singer, Michael Bliss; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Tsui, Martin T K

    2016-02-16

    We measured total mercury (THg) and monomethyl mercury (MMHg) concentrations and mercury (Hg) isotopic compositions in sediment and aquatic organisms from the Yuba River (California, USA) to identify Hg sources and biogeochemical transformations downstream of a historical gold mining region. Sediment THg concentrations and δ(202)Hg decreased from the upper Yuba Fan to the lower Yuba Fan and the Feather River. These results are consistent with the release of Hg during gold mining followed by downstream mixing and dilution. The Hg isotopic composition of Yuba Fan sediment (δ(202)Hg = -0.38 ± 0.17‰ and Δ(199)Hg = 0.04 ± 0.03‰; mean ± 1 SD, n = 7) provides a fingerprint of inorganic Hg (IHg) that could be methylated locally or after transport downstream. The isotopic composition of MMHg in the Yuba River food web was estimated using biota with a range of %MMHg (the percent of THg present as MMHg) and compared to IHg in sediment, algae, and the food web. The estimated δ(202)Hg of MMHg prior to photodegradation (-1.29 to -1.07‰) was lower than that of IHg and we suggest this is due to mass-dependent fractionation (MDF) of up to -0.9‰ between IHg and MMHg. This result is in contrast to net positive MDF (+0.4 to +0.8‰) previously observed in lakes, estuaries, coastal oceans, and forests. We hypothesize that this unique relationship could be due to differences in the extent or pathway of biotic MMHg degradation in stream environments.

  19. Isotopic composition of inorganic mercury and methylmercury downstream of a historical gold mining region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Donovan, Patrick M.; Blum, Joel D.; Singer, Michael B.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Tsui, Martin T.K.

    2016-01-01

    We measured total mercury (THg) and monomethyl mercury (MMHg) concentrations and mercury (Hg) isotopic compositions in sediment and aquatic organisms from the Yuba River (California, USA) to identify Hg sources and biogeochemical transformations downstream of a historical gold mining region. Sediment THg concentrations and δ202Hg decreased from the upper Yuba Fan to the lower Yuba Fan and the Feather River. These results are consistent with the release of Hg during gold mining followed by downstream mixing and dilution. The Hg isotopic composition of Yuba Fan sediment (δ202Hg = −0.38 ± 0.17‰ and Δ199Hg = 0.04 ± 0.03‰; mean ± 1 SD, n = 7) provides a fingerprint of inorganic Hg (IHg) that could be methylated locally or after transport downstream. The isotopic composition of MMHg in the Yuba River food web was estimated using biota with a range of %MMHg (the percent of THg present as MMHg) and compared to IHg in sediment, algae, and the food web. The estimated δ202Hg of MMHg prior to photodegradation (−1.29 to −1.07‰) was lower than that of IHg and we suggest this is due to mass-dependent fractionation (MDF) of up to −0.9‰ between IHg and MMHg. This result is in contrast to net positive MDF (+0.4 to +0.8‰) previously observed in lakes, estuaries, coastal oceans, and forests. We hypothesize that this unique relationship could be due to differences in the extent or pathway of biotic MMHg degradation in stream environments.

  20. Ecosystem conceptual model- Mercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alpers, Charles N.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Foe, Chris; Klasing, Susan; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Slotton, Darell G.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie

    2008-01-01

    Mercury has been identified as an important contaminant in the Delta, based on elevated concentrations of methylmercury (a toxic, organic form that readily bioaccumulates) in fish and wildlife. There are health risks associated with human exposure to methylmercury by consumption of sport fish, particularly top predators such as bass species. Original mercury sources were upstream tributaries where historical mining of mercury in the Coast Ranges and gold in the Sierra Nevada and Klamath-Trinity Mountains caused contamination of water and sediment on a regional scale. Remediation of abandoned mine sites may reduce local sources in these watersheds, but much of the mercury contamination occurs in sediments stored in the riverbeds, floodplains, and the Bay- Delta, where scouring of Gold-Rush-era sediment represents an ongoing source.Conversion of inorganic mercury to toxic methylmercury occurs in anaerobic environments including some wetlands. Wetland restoration managers must be cognizant of potential effects on mercury cycling so that the problem is not exacerbated. Recent research suggests that wettingdrying cycles can contribute to mercury methylation. For example, high marshes (inundated only during the highest tides for several days per month) tend to have higher methylmercury concentrations in water, sediment, and biota compared with low marshes, which do not dry out completely during the tidal cycle. Seasonally inundated flood plains are another environment experiencing wetting and drying where methylmercury concentrations are typically elevated. Stream restoration efforts using gravel injection or other reworking of coarse sediment in most watersheds of the Central Valley involve tailings from historical gold mining that are likely to contain elevated mercury in associated fines. Habitat restoration projects, particularly those involving wetlands, may cause increases in methylmercury exposure in the watershed. This possibility should be evaluated.The DRERIP

  1. Mercury contamination in fish from gold mining areas in Indonesia and human health risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Castilhos, Zuleica C; Rodrigues-Filho, Saulo; Rodrigues, Ana Paula C; Villas-Bôas, Roberto C; Siegel, Shefa; Veiga, Marcello M; Beinhoff, Christian

    2006-09-01

    This study investigates the effects on fish and assesses human health hazards from mercury released in two gold mining areas in Indonesia: Tatelu (North Sulawesi Province) and Galangan (Katingan District, Central Kalimatan Province). In Tatelu, 154 fish specimens of 10 freshwater species were collected, as well as five marine species from the fish market. The mean concentration of total mercury in muscles of freshwater fish from this area was 0.58+/-0.44 microg/g, with more than 45% of fish having Hg levels above the WHO guideline for human consumption of 0.5 microg/g. In Galangan, where 263 fish specimens of 25 species were collected, the total mercury in muscles averaged 0.25+/-0.69 microg/g. Excluding data from flooded open pits in sub-area P4, mean Hg levels in fish from Galangan were 2 to 4 times lower than 0.5 microg/g, while fewer than 10% of fish from Galangan exceeded WHO guidelines. The Hazard Quotient (HQ) was applied to both areas to determine the threat of MeHg exposure for communities in both areas. The HQ is a risk assessment indicator which defines the ratio of exposure level to a single substance in relation to a reference dose. Samples from Tatelu (excluding marine species) had an HQ above one, while those from Galangan resulted in values of 2.4 for the whole area and 9.9 for sub-area P4, pointing to potentially harmful fish consumption for the local population. By using the single-compartment model to estimate mercury levels in blood and hair from daily intake dose, sub-area P4 showed the highest levels, higher than the upper limit guideline for pregnant women, but still lower than threshold levels associated with observed clinical effects.

  2. Spatial and seasonal variations in mercury methylation and microbial community structure in a historic mercury mining area, Yolo County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holloway, J.M.; Goldhaber, M.B.; Scow, K.M.; Drenovsky, R.E.

    2009-01-01

    The relationships between soil parent lithology, nutrient concentrations, microbial biomass and community structure were evaluated in soils from a small watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Upland and wetland soils, stream sediments and tailings were collected and analyzed for nutrients (DOC, SO4=, NO3-), Hg, MeHg, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Stream sediment was derived from serpentinite, siltstone, volcanic rocks and mineralized serpentine with cinnabar, metacinnabar and other Hg phases. Soils from different parent materials had distinct PLFA biomass and community structures that are related to nutrient concentrations and toxicity effects of trace metals including Hg. The formation of MeHg appears to be most strongly linked to soil moisture, which in turn has a correlative relationship with PLFA biomass in wetland soils. The greatest concentrations of MeHg (> 0.5??ng g- 1 MeHg) were measured in wetland soils and soil with a volcanic parent (9.5-37????g g- 1 Hg). Mercury methylation was associated with sulfate-reducing bacteria, including Desulfobacter sp. and Desulfovibrio sp., although these organisms are not exclusively responsible for Hg methylation. Statistical models of the data demonstrated that soil microbial communities varied more with soil type than with season.

  3. Mercury uptake and distribution in Lavandula stoechas plants grown in soil from Almadén mining district (Spain).

    PubMed

    Sierra, M J; Millán, R; Esteban, E

    2009-11-01

    This work studies mercury root uptake by Lavandula stoechas var. Kew Red (lavender) and the distribution of this metal through the plant under greenhouse conditions along three consecutive seasons. Mercury concentration in plant tissues and in the different products obtained from lavender plants (essential oil, toilet water and in lavender tea) was assessed in order to evaluate the possible cultivation of lavender as a profitable alternative land use to mercury mining in the Almadén area once the mine had been closed down. Mercury concentration in useful parts of the plant was low (0.03-0.55 mg kg(-1)). Likewise, the essential oil, toilet water and tea obtained from these plants presented very low mercury levels, below the detection limit of the used equipment (<0.5 microg kg(-1)). In the case of the obtained tea, according to the recommendations given by the World Health Organization, the maximum daily intake of it without intoxication risk would be 85.2l. So, although other sources of mercury intake should also be considered in order to elaborate a complete toxicological risk assessment. Lavender data, obtained under this greenhouse working conditions, shows that lavender cultivation could be an alternative crop in the Almadén area.

  4. Prediction of fish and sediment mercury in streams using landscape variables and historical mining.

    PubMed

    Alpers, Charles N; Yee, Julie L; Ackerman, Joshua T; Orlando, James L; Slotton, Darrel G; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C

    2016-11-15

    Widespread mercury (Hg) contamination of aquatic systems in the Sierra Nevada of California, U.S., is associated with historical use to enhance gold (Au) recovery by amalgamation. In areas affected by historical Au mining operations, including the western slope of the Sierra Nevada and downstream areas in northern California, such as San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River-San Joaquin River Delta, microbial conversion of Hg to methylmercury (MeHg) leads to bioaccumulation of MeHg in food webs, and increased risks to humans and wildlife. This study focused on developing a predictive model for THg in stream fish tissue based on geospatial data, including land use/land cover data, and the distribution of legacy Au mines. Data on total mercury (THg) and MeHg concentrations in fish tissue and streambed sediment collected during 1980-2012 from stream sites in the Sierra Nevada, California were combined with geospatial data to estimate fish THg concentrations across the landscape. THg concentrations of five fish species (Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Sacramento Pikeminnow, Sacramento Sucker, and Smallmouth Bass) within stream sections were predicted using multi-model inference based on Akaike Information Criteria, using geospatial data for mining history and landscape characteristics as well as fish species and length (r(2)=0.61, p<0.001). Including THg concentrations in streambed sediment did not improve the model's fit, however including MeHg concentrations in streambed sediment, organic content (loss on ignition), and sediment grain size resulted in an improved fit (r(2)=0.63, p<0.001). These models can be used to estimate THg concentrations in stream fish based on landscape variables in the Sierra Nevada in areas where direct measurements of THg concentration in fish are unavailable.

  5. Prediction of fish and sediment mercury in streams using landscape variables and historical mining

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alpers, Charles N.; Yee, Julie L.; Ackerman, Josh; Orlando, James L.; Slotton, Darrell G.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.

    2016-01-01

    Widespread mercury (Hg) contamination of aquatic systems in the Sierra Nevada of California, U.S., is associated with historical use to enhance gold (Au) recovery by amalgamation. In areas affected by historical Au mining operations, including the western slope of the Sierra Nevada and downstream areas in northern California, such as San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River–San Joaquin River Delta, microbial conversion of Hg to methylmercury (MeHg) leads to bioaccumulation of MeHg in food webs, and increased risks to humans and wildlife. This study focused on developing a predictive model for THg in stream fish tissue based on geospatial data, including land use/land cover data, and the distribution of legacy Au mines. Data on total mercury (THg) and MeHg concentrations in fish tissue and streambed sediment collected during 1980–2012 from stream sites in the Sierra Nevada, California were combined with geospatial data to estimate fish THg concentrations across the landscape. THg concentrations of five fish species (Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Sacramento Pikeminnow, Sacramento Sucker, and Smallmouth Bass) within stream sections were predicted using multi-model inference based on Akaike Information Criteria, using geospatial data for mining history and landscape characteristics as well as fish species and length (r2 = 0.61, p < 0.001). Including THg concentrations in streambed sediment did not improve the model's fit, however including MeHg concentrations in streambed sediment, organic content (loss on ignition), and sediment grain size resulted in an improved fit (r2 = 0.63, p < 0.001). These models can be used to estimate THg concentrations in stream fish based on landscape variables in the Sierra Nevada in areas where direct measurements of THg concentration in fish are unavailable.

  6. Distribution and mobility of mercury in soils of a gold mining region, Cuyuni river basin, Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Santos-Francés, F; García-Sánchez, A; Alonso-Rojo, P; Contreras, F; Adams, M

    2011-04-01

    An extensive and remote gold mining region located in the East of Venezuela has been studied with the aim of assessing the distribution and mobility of mercury in soil and the level of Hg pollution at artisanal gold mining sites. To do so, soils and pond sediments were sampled at sites not subject to anthropological influence, as well as in areas affected by gold mining activities. Total Hg in regionally distributed soils ranged between 0.02 mg kg(-1) and 0.40 mg kg(-1), with a median value of 0.11 mg kg(-1), which is slightly higher than soil Hg worldwide, possibly indicating long-term atmospheric input or more recent local atmospheric input, in addition to minor lithogenic sources. A reference Hg concentration of 0.33 mg kg(-1) is proposed for the detection of mining affected soils in this region. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the surrounding soils of pollutant sources, such as milling-amalgamation sites, where soil Hg contents ranged from 0.16 mg kg(-1) to 542 mg kg(-1) with an average of 26.89 mg kg(-1), which also showed high levels of elemental Hg, but quite low soluble+exchangeable Hg fraction (0.02-4.90 mg kg(-1)), suggesting low Hg soil mobility and bioavailability, as confirmed by soil column leaching tests. The vertical distribution of Hg through the soil profiles, as well as variations in soil Hg contents with distance from the pollution source, and Hg in pond mining sediments were also analysed.

  7. Potential application of a semi-quantitative method for mercury determination in soils, sediments and gold mining residues.

    PubMed

    Yallouz, A V; Cesar, R G; Egler, S G

    2008-02-01

    An alternative, low cost method for analyzing mercury in soil, sediment and gold mining residues was developed, optimized and applied to 30 real samples. It is semiquantitative, performed using an acid extraction pretreatment step, followed by mercury reduction and collection in a detecting paper containing cuprous iodide. A complex is formed with characteristic color whose intensity is proportional to mercury concentration in the original sample. The results are reported as range of concentration and the minimum detectable is 100 ng/g. Method quality assurance was performed by comparing results obtained using the alternative method and the Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry techniques. The average results from duplicate analysis by CVAAS were 100% coincident with alternative method results. The method is applicable for screening tests and can be used in regions where a preliminary diagnosis is necessary, at programs of environmental surveillance or by scientists interested in investigating mercury geochemistry.

  8. Assessing anthropogenic sources of mercury in soil in Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou, China.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhihui; Feng, Xinbin; Zhang, Chao; Wang, Jingfu; Jiang, Taiming; Xiao, Houjun; Li, Yu; Wang, Xun; Qiu, Guangle

    2013-11-01

    Long-term mining and smelting activities brought a series of environmental issues into soils in Wanshan mercury (Hg) mining area (WMMA), Guizhou, China. Several studies have been published on the concentrations of Hg in local soils, but a comprehensive assessment of the mass of Hg in soil induced by anthropogenic activities, as presented in this paper, has not been previously conducted. Three districts of WMMA were chosen as the study areas. We summarized previous published data and sampled 14 typical soil profiles to analyze the spatial and vertical distributions of Hg in soil in the study areas. The regional geologic background, direct and indirect Hg deposition, and Hg-polluted irrigation water were considered as the main sources of Hg contaminations in local soils. Furthermore, the enrichment factor (EF) method was applied to assess the extent of anthropogenic input of Hg to soil. Titanium (Ti) was chosen to be the reference element to calculate the EF. Generally, the elevated values of EF were observed in the upper soil layers and close to mine wastes. The total budget of Hg in soil contributed from anthropogenic sources was estimated to be 1,227 t in arable soil and 75 t in natural soil. Our data showed that arable soil was the major sink of anthropogenic Hg in the study area.

  9. A preliminary study on health effects in villagers exposed to mercury in a small-scale artisanal gold mining area in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Schierl, Rudolf; Nowak, Dennis; Siebert, Uwe; William, Jossep Frederick; Owi, Fradico Teorgi; Ir, Yuyun Ismawati

    2016-08-01

    Cisitu is a small-scale gold mining village in Indonesia. Mercury (Hg) is used to extract gold from ore, heavily polluting air, soil, fish and rice paddy fields with Hg. Rice in Cisitu is burdened with mercury. The main staple food of the inhabitants of Cisitu is this polluted rice. Villagers were concerned that the severe diseases they observed in the community might be related to their mining activities, including high mercury exposure. Case report of the medical examinations and the mercury levels in urine and hair of 18 people with neurological symptoms. Typical signs and symptoms of chronic mercury intoxication were found (excessive salivation, sleep disturbances, tremor, ataxia, dysdiadochokinesia, pathological coordination tests, gray to bluish discoloration of the oral cavity and proteinuria). Mercury levels in urine were increased in eight patients (>7µg Hg/L urine). All 18 people had increased hair levels (>1µg Hg/g hair). 15 patients exhibited several, and sometimes numerous, symptoms in addition to having moderately to highly elevated levels of mercury in their specimens. These patients were classified as intoxicated. The situation in Cisitu is special, with rice paddy fields being irrigated with mercury-contaminated water and villagers consuming only local food, especially mercury-contaminated rice. Severe neurological symptoms and increased levels of mercury in urine and hair support are possibly caused by exposure to inorganic mercury in air, and the consumption of mercury-contaminated fish and rice. The mercury exposure needs to be reduced and treatment provided. Further research is needed to test the hypothesis that mercury-contaminated rice from small-scale gold mining areas might cause mercury intoxication.

  10. Sedentary nestlings of Wood Stork as monitors of mercury contamination in the gold mining region of the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Del Lama, Silvia Nassif; Dosualdo Rocha, Cristiano; Figueiredo Jardim, Wilson; Tsai, Jo-Szu; Frederick, Peter Crawford

    2011-11-01

    Sedentary organisms that are at top trophic levels allow inference about the level of local mercury contamination. We evaluated mercury contamination in feather tissue of nestling Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), sampled in different parts of the Brazilian Pantanal that were variably polluted by mercury releases from gold mining activities. Levels of mercury in feathers sampled in seven breeding colonies were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy, and the mean value of mercury concentration was 0.557 μg/g, dry weight (n=124), range 0.024-4.423 μg/g. From this total sample, 21 feathers that represent 30% of nestlings collected in Porto da Fazenda and Tucum colonies, in the northern region, ranged from 1.0 to 4.43 μg/g, dry weight (median value=1.87 μg/g). We found significant differences among regions (H=57.342; p=0<0.05). Results suggest that permanently flooded areas, or along mainstream rivers are more contaminated by mercury than dry areas, regardless of the distance from the gold mining center, which is located in the northern Pantanal. Highest values found in nestlings feathers were similar to those found in feathers of adult birds and in tissues of adult mammals that are less sedentary and were captured in the same region of Pantanal. These findings indicate that mercury released has been biomag