- Discover essay samples

The Cause And Effects Of Acid Mine Drainage

4.9 of 5.0 (140 reviews)

809 words
Science & Nature

The Cause And Effects Of Acid Mine Drainage page 1
The Cause And Effects Of Acid Mine Drainage page 2
The Cause And Effects Of Acid Mine Drainage page 3
The above thumbnails are of reduced quality. To view the work in full quality, click download.

Imagine going fishing on a cool Autumn day, the trees are all different
shades of orange, brown and red and the birds are singing their beautiful songs,
but their is a serious problem because when you arrive at the river all plant
and animal life are gone. This is by no means a recent phenomenon. This is due
to the effects of acid rock drainage (ARD). This is a problem that has been
occurring since ancient times, but it was not until the 1800's when fast growing
industrialization and heavy mining that it caught alot of attention.
Acid rock drainage is the term used to describe leachate, seepage, or
drainage that has been affected by the natural oxidation of sulfur minerals
contained in rock which is exposed to air and water. The major components of
ARD formation are reactive sulfide minerals, oxygen, and water. Biological
activity and reactions is what is responsible for the production of ARD. These
reactions make low pH water that has the ability to mobilize heavy metals
contained in geological materials with which it comes in contact. "ARD causes a
devastating impact on the quality of the ground or surface water it discharges
to. (Ellison & Hutchison)"


Within the mining process there are several sources that cause ARD. No
matter what activities occur, ARD usually occurs when certain conditions are met.
These conditions are the factors that limit or accelerate the release of ARD.
The initial release of ARD can occur anywhere from a few months to many decades
after the sulfide containing material is disturbed or deposited. ARD has been
associated with mines since mining began. When ARD occurs due to the effects of
mining it is called acid mine drainage, or AMD. The coal mining industry here
in the eastern United States has been associated with a major source of AMD for
decades. When water comes in contact with pyrite in coal and the rock
surrounding it, chemical reactions take place which cause the water to gain
acidity and to pick up iron, manganese and aluminum. Water that comes into
contact with coal has a orange-red yellow and sometimes white color. The metals
stay in the solution beneath the earth due to the lack of oxygen. When the
water comes out of the mine or the borehole it reacts with the oxygen in the air
or some that may be deposited in the stream and deposits the iron, manganese and
aluminum and deposits it on the rocks and the stream bed. Each of the chemicals
in acid mine drainage is toxic to fish and aquatic insects in moderate
concentrations. At real high concentrations all plant life is killed.
"Underground mines that are likely to result in ARD are those where
mining is located above the water table. (Kelly 1988)" Most of the mines are
also located in mountainous terrain. "Underground workings usually result in a
ground water table that has been lowered significantly and permanently. (Kelly
1988)" Mining also helps in the breaking of rock exposing more surface area to


ARD is not necessarily confined to these mining activities. "Any
process, natural or anthropogenic, that exposes sulfide- bearing rock to air and
water will cause it to occur. (Ellison & Hutchison)" There are examples of
natural ARD where springs produce acidic water. These are found near outcrops
of sulfide-bearing rock, but not all exposing sulfide rock will result in ARD
formation. "Acid drainage will not occur if sulfide minerals are nonreactive,
the rock contains sufficient alkaline material to neutralize any acid produced,
or the climate is arid and there is not adequate rainfall infiltration to cause
leakage. (Ellison & Hutchison 1992)"


"The most important factor in determining the extent of the acid mine
drainage is not the pH, but the total acidity. (Ellison &Hutchison 1992)" Total
acidity is a measure of the excess amount of H+ ions over other ions in the
solution. A high acidity is accompanied by a low pH in AMD. This is what
separates AMD from acid rain, which has a low pH and a low acidity. These
differences are due to the sources of acid in different ecosystems.
A buffer, as we learned in class, "is a compound that tends to maintain
the pH of a solution over a narrow range as small amounts of acid or base are
added.(Rhankin 1996)" This is also a substance that can also be either an acid
or a base. A ...

You are currently seeing 50% of this paper.

You're seeing 809 words of 1618.

Keywords: causes and effects of acid mine drainage, acid mine drainage effects, what is the cause of acid mine drainage, acid mine drainage is the result of

Similar essays

Caffeine 2

As can be seen above, caffeine consists of two carbon/nitrogen rings with oxygen and methyl groups as substituents. The fused rings are similar to those in adenine only the substituents differ. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, and many soft drinks. There is also some amount of caffeine in chocolate, as well as a closely related stimulant, theobr...

114 reviews
Lithium Report

Lithium (Li) Atomic Number: 3 Atomic Mass: 6.941 Description: Lithium is a soft, silvery-white metal which reacts vigorously with water and has the lowest density of all metals. It comes from the alkali metal group which is found on the periodic table of elements. Discovery and Naming: Lithium was discovered by Johan August Arfvedson in...

180 reviews
Millennium Bug

What Effect will the have on Society? People talk about the , but few actually know what it is and how big an effect is could have. Virtually everything is our society is vulnerable, from water and electricity to our phone bills and savings accounts. The is a design fault dating back to the early days of computers and the way they store time and...

3 reviews
Marijuana For Migranes

1) Russo, Ethan M.D. (1998). Cannabis for migraine treatment. Pain, 76, 3 ' 8. This particular journal entry is actually a historic review on the benefits of utilizing cannabis for the medicinal use of relieving migraines. In an attempt to find a journal that might actually have a case study or something on the affects of marijuana on a human, I...

122 reviews
Computer Engineering

Introduction-Computers are changing the world as we know it, and they provide an interesting field of occupations. I. Definition of a computer engineer II. Change in society A. Internet B. Advertising C. Web sites D. Chat rooms III. Community and technology A. Schools 1. Homework 2. College applications B. Church IV. New technolog...

150 reviews

has the symbol No and is a radioactive metallic element with an atomic number of 102. is in the actinide series being labeled as one of the transuranium elements. The element is named after Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the Swedish inventor and philanthropist. can be found when produced artificially in a laboratory. Discovery of the element was first...

199 reviews
Cardiovascular Conditioning

Conditioning Assignment: can be defined as the efficient transport and utilization of necessary oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the body. The cardiovascular system needs to be well conditioned to enable the body to deliver adequate oxygenated blood and nutrients to the working muscles, in addition to improving the muscles' capacity to use...

22 reviews
Hydrologic Cycle

The is a constant movement of water above, on, and below the earth's surface. It is a cycle that replenishes ground water supplies. It begins as water vaporizes into the atmosphere from vegetation, soil, lakes, rivers, snowfields and oceans-a process called evapotranspiration. As the water vapor rises it condenses to form clouds that return water...

84 reviews
The Rock Cycle

The rock cycle I. what types of rocks are affected by volcanoes and how are they affected/formed? A. "igneous rocks begin as magma in the rock cycle" "when lava cools enough it solidifies and turns into igneous rock" (Peter 44). 1. Close your eyes. Now imagine a bowl of ice cream; take that bowl of ice cream and pour some Hershey shell on it. At...

144 reviews

may be created by substituting some or all of the hydrogen of a phosphoric acid by metals. Depending on the number of hydrogen atoms that are replaced, the resulting compound is described as a primary, secondary or tertiary phosphate. Primary and secondary contain hydrogen and are acid salts. Secondary and tertiary phosphates, with the exception o...

11 reviews

are playful and cleverness make them fascinating to watch. are not fish they are mammals that live in the sea. They have to come to the top of the water every half minute, so they can breathe. But dolphins can stay under the water for six or seven minutes,if he holds his breath. The dolphin breathes in his head because he has a blow hole in his h...

91 reviews
The Cause And Effects Of Acid Mine Drainage

INTRODUCTION Imagine going fishing on a cool Autumn day, the trees are all different shades of orange, brown and red and the birds are singing their beautiful songs, but their is a serious problem because when you arrive at the river all plant and animal life are gone. This is by no means a recent phenomenon. This is due to the effects of acid ro...

140 reviews
Chemistry: Acid-Base Titration

Purpose: The objective of this experiment were: a) to review the concept of simple acid-base reactions; b) to review the stoichiometric calculations involved in chemical reactions; c) to review the basic lab procedure of a titration and introduce the student to the concept of a primary standard and the process of standardization; d) to review the c...

4 reviews

The atmosphere is divided into four layers based on their temperatures, the outermost region called the is located above the mesosphere and above this layer is outer space. The Greek name Thermos meaning "hot" shows that this is the hottest part of the atmosphere. Temperature here steadily increases with height, beginning at about 85 km (53 mi) a...

184 reviews
Atsisiųsti šį darbą