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Seasonal variations in the composition of mine drainage-contaminated groundwater in Dalarna, Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Air and Water Science.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, ISSN 0375-6742, Vol. 90, no 3, 197-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Groundwater down-gradient from a mine rock dump in Dalarna, Sweden was sampled from the onset of snowmelt runoff (April) until October in order to investigate seasonal variations in groundwater composition. The results demonstrate that considerable variation in solute concentration (Al, Cu, Fe, SO42-, Zn) and acidity occurs in groundwater; the greatest change in solute concentrations occurs during the melting of the snow cover, when sulfide oxidation products are flushed from the rock dump. During this period, groundwater flow is concentrated near the soil surface with an estimated velocity of 1 m/day. Groundwater acidity varied by a factor of four closest to the rock dump during the sampling period, but these variations were attenuated with distance from the rock dump. Over a distance of 145 in, groundwater pH increases from 2.5 to 4.0 and acidity decreases from 3-13 to 0.8-1.1 meq/L, which is the combined effect of ferric iron precipitation and aluminosilicate weathering. As a result of flushing from the upper soil horizons, peaks in total organic carbon and ammonium concentrations in groundwater are observed at the end of snowmelt. In soils impacted by acidic surface runoff, the sequential extraction of C horizon soils indicates the accumulation of Cu in well-crystallized iron oxyhydroxides in the upper C horizon, while Cu, Fe, Ni and Zn accumulate in a well-crystallized iron oxyhydroxide hardpan that has formed 2.5m below the ground surface. Surface complexation modeling demonstrates that SO42- and Cu adsorb to the abundant iron oxyhydroxides at pH < 4, while Zn adsorption in this pH range is minimal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 90, no 3, 197-214 p.
Keyword [en]
snowmelt, acidity, pyrrhotite, oxidation, surface complexation, sequential extraction
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-83189DOI: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2005.12.002ISI: 000239978500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-83189DiVA: diva2:111096
Available from: 2006-10-23 Created: 2006-10-23 Last updated: 2011-06-21Bibliographically approved

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Herbert, Roger
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