A mine waste dump in which active oxidation of pyritic materials occurs can generate a large amount of heat to form convection cells. We analyze the onset of thermal convection in a two-dimensional, infinite horizontal layer of waste rock filled with moist gas, with the top surface of the waste dump open to the atmosphere and the bedrock beneath the waste dump forming a horizontal and impermeable boundary. Our analysis shows that the thermal regime of a waste rock system depends heavily on the atmospheric temperature, the strength of the heat source and the vapor pressure. ?? 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Onset of thermally induced gas convection in mine wastes