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Techniques and Methods 5–D3

U.S. Geological Survey Field Leach Test for Assessing Water Reactivity and Leaching Potential of Mine Wastes, Soils, and Other Geologic and Environmental Materials

By Philip L. Hageman

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Techniques and Methods
Chapter 3
Section D, Geologic Analysis
Book 5, Laboratory Methods and Analysis
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The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a fast (5-minute), effective, simple, and cost-effective leach test that can be used to simulate the reactions that occur when materials are leached by water. The USGS Field Leach Test has been used to predict, assess, and characterize the geochemical interactions between water and a broad variety of geologic and environmental matrices. Examples of some of the samples leached include metal mine wastes, various types of dusts, biosolids (processed sewage sludge), flood and wetland sediments, volcanic ash, forest-fire burned soils, and many other diverse matrices. The Field Leach Test has been an integral part of these investigations and has demonstrated its value as a geochemical characterization tool. It has enabled investigators to identify which constituents are water reactive, soluble, mobilized, and made bioaccessible because of leaching by water, and to understand potential impacts of these interactions on the surrounding environment.

Version 1.0

Posted March 2007

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