Acid mine drainage (AMD) formation has been widely recognized as one of the major environmental problems caused by mining worldwide, as evidenced by. In a nutshell, acid mine drainage is a form of water pollution that happens when rain, runoff, or streams come in contact with rock that is rich in. Specifically, in the first visit, the high school student saw acid mine drainage from an old mine that had been worked with crude equipment, likely producing no.


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Some common methods include: Reclamation of contaminated land[2] by 1 adding lime or other alkaline materials to neutralize the acidity, and 2 adding uncontaminated top soil, planting vegetation, and modifying slopes to stabilize the soil and reduce infiltration of surface water into underlying contaminated material.

Soil removal to relocate contaminated material to new sites where acid mine drainage can be monitored and treated[2].


Direct treatment of the contaminated water, either through treatment acid mine drainage where lime or other neutralizing materials are added to reduce the acidity, which causes metals to precipitate out of the contaminated water or artificial wetlands which help sequester contaminated material in place, and where microbial action produces oxygen-free conditions to help prevent further sulfuric acid formation [2].

Acute toxicity of an acid mine drainage mixing acid mine drainage to juvenile bluegill and largemouth bass The toxicity of an acid mixing zone produced at the confluence of a stream that was contaminated by acid mine drainage AMD and a pH-neutral stream was investigated in toxicity tests with juvenile bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides.

What can be done to prevent or clean up acid mine drainage?

Fish mortalities in instream cages located in the mixing zone, below the mixing Big Wheeling Creek in Lansing, Ohio is shown here inwhen it was polluted with sulfuric acid, iron pyrites, and other mine runoff.

Acid mine drainage efforts can slowly return polluted sites to a more acceptable state.


AMD from the mine flowed into the headwaters of two nearby creeks, which were habitat for threatened salmon and steelhead. Studies performed before documented an abundance of aquatic insects and fish in both creeks.

Acid Mine Drainage

After the mine closed, the creeks flowed red, white, turquoise-blue, and blue-green as the metals in the AMD precipitated out into the streambed. A total of 29 kilometers 18 acid mine drainage of stream were contaminated with metals from the AMD. Eighteen kilometers 11 miles were found to be mostly void of aquatic insects, and fish populations were reduced by over 90 percent.

This occurs along outcrops or scree slopes where sulfide-bearing rock is acid mine drainage weathered.

Acid mine drainage general, rocks that contain valuable metals usually contain sulfides metals combined with sulfur. The reason for this marriage metal deposits with sulfide or sulfur is that thermal waters are typically responsible for depositing many types of metallic ore.

These thermal waters travel along fractures or small channels in the host rock.

Acid mine drainage - Wikipedia

As a result, the thermal waters also change the mineralogy of the host rock along these fractures, creating bodies of rock referred to as hydrothermal alteration zoneswhich may be many times larger than the economically-defined ore zones or veins that fill the fracture. Mineral Deposits Gangue minerals are the nonvaluable minerals closely associated with the valuable ore deposits.

They generally include minerals like quartz or calcite. During mining activities, the gangue material is commonly discarded as waste rock or low-grade ore in an effort to extract more valuable ore minerals found in the veins.

Constructed wetlands[ edit ] Constructed wetlands systems have been proposed during the s to treat acid mine drainage generated by the abandoned acid mine drainage mines in Eastern Acid mine drainage.

Acid Mine Drainage

acid mine drainage The latter results from sediment-borne anaerobic bacteria capable of reverting sulfate ions into sulfide ions. These sulfide ions can then bind with heavy metal ions, precipitating heavy metals out of solution and effectively reversing the entire process.

Typically, the effluent from constructed acid mine drainage receiving near-neutral water will be well-buffered at between 6. Some of metal precipitates retained in sediments are unstable when exposed to oxygen e.

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