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Interaction of acid mine drainage with waters and sediments of West Squaw Creek in the West Shasta Mining District, California

Environmental Science and Technology

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Abstract

Acid mine drainage has acidified large volumes of water and added high concentrations of dissolved heavy metals to West Squaw Creek, a California stream draining igneous rocks of low acid-neutralizing capacity. During mixing of the acid sulfate stream waters in the South Fork of West Squaw Creek with an almost equal volume of dilute uncontaminated water, Cu, Zn, Mn, and Al remained in solution rather than precipitating or adsorbing on solid phases. Changes in the concentration of these generally conservative metals could be used to determine relative flow volumes of acid tributaries and the main stream. An amorphous orange precipitate (probably ferric hydroxides or a mixture of ferric hydroxides and jarosite) was ubiquitous in the acid stream beds and was intimately associated with algae at the most acid sites. Relative sorption of cations decreased with decreasing water pH. However, arsenic was almost completely scavenged from solution within a short distance from the sulfide sources.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Interaction of acid mine drainage with waters and sediments of West Squaw Creek in the West Shasta Mining District, California
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
Volume
21
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1987
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
388
Last page:
396
Number of Pages:
9