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The Phosphoria Formation at the Hot Springs Mine in Southeast Idaho; a source of selenium and other trace elements to surface water, ground water, vegetation, and biota

Open-File Report 2000-50

By:
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Abstract

Major-element oxides and trace elements in the Phosphoria Formation at the Hot Springs Mine, Idaho were determined by a series of techniques. In this report, we examine the distribution of trace elements between the different solid components aluminosilicates, apatite, organic matter, opal, calcite, and dolomite that largely make up the rocks. High concentrations of several trace elements throughout the deposit, for example, As, Cd, Se, Tl, and U, at this and previously examined sites have raised concern about their introduction into the environment via weathering and the degree to which mining and the disposal of mined waste rock from this deposit might be accelerating that process. The question addressed here is how might the partitioning of trace elements between these solid host components influence the introduction of trace elements into ground water, surface water, and eventually biota, via weathering? In the case of Se, it is partitioned into components that are quite labile under the oxidizing conditions of subaerial weathering. As a result, it is widely distributed throughout the environment. Its concentration exceeds the level of concern for protection of wildlife at virtually every trophic level.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
The Phosphoria Formation at the Hot Springs Mine in Southeast Idaho; a source of selenium and other trace elements to surface water, ground water, vegetation, and biota
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2000-50
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description:
73 p.