Water chemistry and ecotoxicity of an acid mine drainage-affected stream in subtropical China during a major flood event

Lin, C. and Wu, Y. and Lu, W. and Chen, A. and Liu, Y. (2007) Water chemistry and ecotoxicity of an acid mine drainage-affected stream in subtropical China during a major flood event. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 142 (1-2). pp. 199-207. ISSN 0304-3894


Field and laboratory work was carried out to investigate the chemistry and ecotoxicity of stream water affected by acid mine drainage in a tributary catchment of the Pearl River in subtropical China during a major flood that corresponded to a return period of 100 years. The results
indicate that stream water was affected by acid mine drainage from the Dabaoshan mine at least to a distance of 25 km downstream of the mine water discharge point. It appears that H+ generated from sulfide oxidation in the waste rock dumps was readily available for exporting. The amount of H+ being discharged into the receiving stream depended on the volume of out-flowing waters. However, there was a lag time for the discharges of the metals. This may be attributed to the slower release of metals, relative to H+, because it might take more time for the dissolution of heavy metal-bearing compounds, particularly the sparsely soluble jarosites. Fe, Zn and Al were the major metals of potential toxicity contained in the AMD-affected stream water, followed by Mn, Cu, Pb, As, Cd and Ni. The concentrations of these metals in the water decreased rapidly down the stream. This corresponds with an increase in the concentrations of reactive heavy metal fractions in benthic mud down the stream, reflecting the precipitation of heavy metal compounds with increasing pH and their subsequent deposition in the streambed. Toxicity tests show that the AMD-affected stream water at 3.5 km downstream of the discharge point was highly toxic to the test organism. At 25 km downstream of the discharge point where stream water pH was as high as 5.75, marked toxic responses of the test organism were still observed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 25 May 2011 09:29
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: acid mine drainage; flood; illegal mining; heavy metals; ecotoxicity; water analysis; water pollutants; natural disasters; mine waste; river water
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
03 Chemical Sciences > 0399 Other Chemical Sciences > 039901 Environmental Chemistry (incl. Atmospheric Chemistry)
06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060204 Freshwater Ecology
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961007 Natural Hazards in Mining Environments
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2006.08.006
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18892

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