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Acid Mine Drainage in U.S. Coal Regions.

Erickson PM
Proceeds Acid Mine Drainage Seminar/workshop Ottawa Canada 1987 Mar; :89-100
Acid mine drainage is a common problem in the United States, particularly in the Appalachian region where both the coal and overlying strata tend to be relatively high in pyrite and low in carbonate mineral content. Of the three primary sources of stream degradation by acid mine drainage--underground mines, coal refuse disposal sites, and surface mines--the latter source has been studied most intensively. This U.S. Bureau of Mines paper presents two case studies to illustrate contaminant formation and discharge in surface mine settings. The sites are typical small Appalachian mines partially reclaimed at closure. Case 1 represents a revegetated mine with drainage water quality dominated by pyrite oxidation localized in a small fraction of the backfill. Case 2 represents acid production disseminated across the mined area, to the extent that vegetation could not be sustained by conventional reclamation practices. Results of various monitoring methods are described to show the importance of water quality, spoil, and pore gas analyses in developing an understanding of contaminant formation and discharge processes.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 238-90
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceeds, Acid Mine Drainage Seminar/workshop, Ottawa, Canada, Mar. 23-26, 1987, PP. 89-100
Page last reviewed: December 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division