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Combined DC resistivity and induced polarization (DC-IP) for mapping the internal composition of a mine waste rock pile in Nova Scotia, Canada

Power, Christopher; Tsourlos, Panagiotis; Ramasamy, Murugan; Nivorlis, Aristeidis LU and Mkandawire, Martin (2018) In Journal of Applied Geophysics 150. p.40-51
Abstract

Mine waste rock piles (WRPs) can contain sulfidic minerals whose interaction with oxygen and water can generate acid mine drainage (AMD). Thus, WRPs can be a long-term source of environmental pollution. Since the generation of AMD and its release into the environment is dependent on the net volume and bulk composition of waste rock, effective characterization of WRPs is necessary for successful remedial design and monitoring. In this study, a combined DC resistivity and induced polarization (DC-IP) approach was employed to characterize an AMD-generating WRP in the Sydney Coalfield, Nova Scotia, Canada. Two-dimensional (2D) DC-IP imaging with 6 survey lines was performed to capture the full WRP landform. 2D DC results indicated a highly... (More)

Mine waste rock piles (WRPs) can contain sulfidic minerals whose interaction with oxygen and water can generate acid mine drainage (AMD). Thus, WRPs can be a long-term source of environmental pollution. Since the generation of AMD and its release into the environment is dependent on the net volume and bulk composition of waste rock, effective characterization of WRPs is necessary for successful remedial design and monitoring. In this study, a combined DC resistivity and induced polarization (DC-IP) approach was employed to characterize an AMD-generating WRP in the Sydney Coalfield, Nova Scotia, Canada. Two-dimensional (2D) DC-IP imaging with 6 survey lines was performed to capture the full WRP landform. 2D DC results indicated a highly heterogeneous and moderately conductive waste rock underlain by a resistive bedrock containing numerous fractures. 2D IP (chargeability) results identified several highly-chargeable regions within the waste, with normalized chargeability delineating regions specific to waste mineralogy only. Three-dimensional (3D) DC-IP imaging, using 17 parallel lines on the plateau of the pile, was then used to focus on the composition of the waste rock. The full 3D inverted DC-IP distributions were used to identify coincident and continuous zones (isosurfaces) of low resistivity (<30 Ω-m) and high normalized chargeability (>0.4 mS/m) that were inferred as generated AMD (leachate) and stored AMD (sulfides), respectively. Integrated geological, hydrogeological and geochemical data increased confidence in the geoelectrical interpretations. Knowledge on the location of potentially more reactive waste material is extremely valuable for improved long-term AMD monitoring at the WRP.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Acid mine drainage, Electrical resistivity, Geoelectrical characterization, Groundwater contamination, Normalized chargeability, Sulfide minerals
in
Journal of Applied Geophysics
volume
150
pages
12 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85042865648
ISSN
0926-9851
DOI
10.1016/j.jappgeo.2018.01.009
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a9aa90c9-2c13-4545-a631-f77963fbf200
date added to LUP
2018-05-07 14:22:40
date last changed
2018-09-16 04:55:06
@article{a9aa90c9-2c13-4545-a631-f77963fbf200,
  abstract     = {<p>Mine waste rock piles (WRPs) can contain sulfidic minerals whose interaction with oxygen and water can generate acid mine drainage (AMD). Thus, WRPs can be a long-term source of environmental pollution. Since the generation of AMD and its release into the environment is dependent on the net volume and bulk composition of waste rock, effective characterization of WRPs is necessary for successful remedial design and monitoring. In this study, a combined DC resistivity and induced polarization (DC-IP) approach was employed to characterize an AMD-generating WRP in the Sydney Coalfield, Nova Scotia, Canada. Two-dimensional (2D) DC-IP imaging with 6 survey lines was performed to capture the full WRP landform. 2D DC results indicated a highly heterogeneous and moderately conductive waste rock underlain by a resistive bedrock containing numerous fractures. 2D IP (chargeability) results identified several highly-chargeable regions within the waste, with normalized chargeability delineating regions specific to waste mineralogy only. Three-dimensional (3D) DC-IP imaging, using 17 parallel lines on the plateau of the pile, was then used to focus on the composition of the waste rock. The full 3D inverted DC-IP distributions were used to identify coincident and continuous zones (isosurfaces) of low resistivity (&lt;30 Ω-m) and high normalized chargeability (&gt;0.4 mS/m) that were inferred as generated AMD (leachate) and stored AMD (sulfides), respectively. Integrated geological, hydrogeological and geochemical data increased confidence in the geoelectrical interpretations. Knowledge on the location of potentially more reactive waste material is extremely valuable for improved long-term AMD monitoring at the WRP.</p>},
  author       = {Power, Christopher and Tsourlos, Panagiotis and Ramasamy, Murugan and Nivorlis, Aristeidis and Mkandawire, Martin},
  issn         = {0926-9851},
  keyword      = {Acid mine drainage,Electrical resistivity,Geoelectrical characterization,Groundwater contamination,Normalized chargeability,Sulfide minerals},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  pages        = {40--51},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Applied Geophysics},
  title        = {Combined DC resistivity and induced polarization (DC-IP) for mapping the internal composition of a mine waste rock pile in Nova Scotia, Canada},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2018.01.009},
  volume       = {150},
  year         = {2018},
}