Raman spectroscopy of efflorescent sulfate salts from Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site, California

Astrobiology
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
By:  and 

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Abstract

The Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site near Redding, California, is a massive sulfide ore deposit that was mined for iron, silver, gold, copper, zinc, and pyrite intermittently for nearly 100 years. As a result, both water and air reached the sulfide deposits deep within the mountain, producing acid mine drainage consisting of sulfuric acid and heavy metals from the ore. Particularly, the drainage water from the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain is among the most acidic waters naturally found on Earth. The mineralogy at Iron Mountain can serve as a proxy for understanding sulfate formation on Mars. Selected sulfate efflorescent salts from Iron Mountain, formed from extremely acidic waters via drainage from sulfide mining, have been characterized by means of Raman spectroscopy. Gypsum, ferricopiapite, copiapite, melanterite, coquimbite, and voltaite are found within the samples. This work has implications for Mars mineralogical and geochemical investigations as well as for terrestrial environmental investigations related to acid mine drainage contamination.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Raman spectroscopy of efflorescent sulfate salts from Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site, California
Series title Astrobiology
DOI 10.1089/ast.2012.0908
Volume 13
Issue 3
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Publisher location Larchmont, NY
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 270
Last page 278
Country United States
State California
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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