Pre- and post-remediation characterization of acid-generating fluvial tailings material

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The upper Arkansas River south of Leadville, Colorado, USA, contains deposits of fluvial tailings from historical mining operations in the Leadville area. These deposits are potential non-point sources of acid and metal contamination to surface- and groundwater systems. We are investigating a site that recently underwent in situ remediation treatment with lime, fertilizer, and compost. Pre- and post-remediation fluvial tailings material was collected from a variety of depths to examine changes in mineralogy, acid generation, and extractable nutrients. Results indicate sufficient nutrient availability in the post-remediation near-surface material, but pyrite and acid generation persist below the depth of lime and fertilizer addition. Mineralogical characterization performed using semi-quantitative X-ray diffraction and quantitative SEM-based micro-mineralogy (Mineral Liberation Analysis, MLA) reveal formation of gypsum, jarosite, and complex coatings surrounding mineral grains in post-remediation samples.

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Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Pre- and post-remediation characterization of acid-generating fluvial tailings material
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher International Conferences on Acid Rock Drainage
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 10 p.
Conference Title 9th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage
Conference Location Ottawa, Canada
Conference Date May 20-26, 2012
Country United States
State Colorado
County Lake county
Other Geospatial Arkansas River
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