In part of a large abandoned mining complex, electromagnetic geophysical surveys were used along with data derived from cores and monitoring wells to infer sources of contamination and subsurface hydrologic connections between acidic refuse deposits and adjacent undisturbed geologic materials. Electrical resistivity increases sharply along the boundary of an elevated deposit of pyritic coarse refuse, which is highly contaminated and electrically conductive, indicating poor subsurface hydrologic connections with surrounding deposits of fine refuse and undisturbed glacial material. Groundwater chemistry, as reflected in values of specific conductance, also differs markedly across the deposit's boundary, indicating that a widespread contaminant plume has not developed around the coarse refuse in more than 40 yr since the deposit was created. Most acidic drainage from the coarse refuse is by surface runoff and is concentrated around stream channels. Although most of the contaminated groundwater within the study area is concentrated within the surficial refuse deposits, transects of apparent resistivity and phase angle indicate the existence of an anomalous conductive layer at depth (>4 m) in thick alluvial sediments along the northern boundary of the mining complex. Based on knowledge of local geology, the anomaly is interpreted to represent a subsurface connection between the alluvium and a flooded abandoned underground mine. ?? 1991 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Additional publication details
Application of electromagnetic techniques in survey of contaminated groundwater at an abandoned mine complex in southwestern Indiana, U.S.A.