A Calibrated Predictive Geochemical Model of Leaching and Attenuation Reactions in a Mine Pit Lake
A geochemical model was developed to predict future water quality of the Cove pit lake in support of site closure and regulatory permitting. The terminal, groundwater-fed Cove pit lake began filling in 2001, and water-quality samples from the 15-year filling period were used to calibrate the pit-lake model and evaluate the accuracy of the predictions. Inputs to the pit-lake model included geochemical characterization results and a calibrated groundwater flow model. Modeling included the processes of mineral dissolution and precipitation, gas exchange, and adsorption. The results of the geochemical model assess long-term chemogenetic effects on water quality and, overall, closely match observed chemistry for a variety of constituents. This work highlights the applicability of various geochemical datasets to predictive modeling, evaluates discrepancies between observed and predicted water quality, and presents geochemical modeling techniques used to achieve predictions that are both representatives of observed water quality and useful for evaluating future pit-lake chemistry.
Hanna, B.T, Newman, C.P., Sterrett, R.J. “A Calibrated Predictive Geochemical Model of Leaching and Attenuation Reactions in a Mine Pit Lake,” in Tailings and Mine Waste ’16, CRC Press, 2016