Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
DOI / URL link
Title (Primary) Geochemistry of highly acidic mine water following disposal into a natural lake with carbonate
Author Wisskirchen, C.; Dold, B.; Friese, K.; Spangenberg, J.E.; Morgenstern, P.; Glaesser, W.;
Journal Applied Geochemistry
Year 2010
Department SEEFO; ANA;
Volume 25
Issue 8
Language englisch;
Abstract Acid mine drainage (AMD) from the Zn-Pb(-Ag-Bi-Cu) deposit of Cerro de Pasco (Central Peru) and waste water from a Cu-extraction plant has been discharged since 1981 into Lake Yanamate, a natural lake with carbonate bedrock. The lake has developed a highly acidic pH of 1. Mean lake water chemistry was characterized by 16,775 mg/L acidity as CaCO3, 4330 mg/L Fe and 29,250 mg/L SO4. Mean trace element concentrations were 86.8 mg/L Cu, 493 mg/L Zn, 2.9 mg/L Pb and 48 mg/L As, which did not differ greatly from the discharged AMD. Most elements showed increasing concentrations from the surface to the lake bottom at a maximal depth of 41 m (e.g. from 3581 to 5433 mg/L Fe and 25,609 to 35,959 mg/L SO4). The variations in the H and O isotope compositions and the element concentrations within the upper 10 m of the water column suggest mixing with recently discharged AMD, shallow groundwater and precipitation waters. Below 15 m a stagnant zone had developed. Gypsum (saturation index, SI 0.25) and anglesite (SI 0.1) were in equilibrium with lake water. Jarosite was oversaturated (SI 1.7) in the upper part of the water column, resulting in downward settling and re-dissolution in the lower part of the water column (SI -0.7). Accordingly, jarosite was only found in sediments from less than 7 m water depth. At the lake bottom, a layer of gel-like material (90 wt.% water) of pH 1 with a total organic C content of up to 4.40 wet wt.% originated from the kerosene discharge of the Cu-extraction plant and had contaminant element concentrations similar to the lake water. Below the organic layer followed a layer of gypsum with pH 1.5, which overlaid the dissolving carbonate sediments of pH 5.3-7. In these two layers the contaminant elements were enriched compared to lake water in the sequence As < Pb Cu < Cd < Zn = Mn with increasing depth. This sequence of enrichment was explained by the following processes: (i) adsorption of As on Fe-hydroxides coating plant roots at low pH (up to 3326 mg/kg As), (ii) adsorption at increasing pH near the gypsum/calcite boundary (up to 1812 mg/kg Pb, 2531 mg/kg Cu, and 36 mg/kg Cd), and (iii) precipitation of carbonates (up to 5177 mg/kg Zn and 810 mg/kg Mn; all data corrected to a wet base). The infiltration rate was approximately equal to the discharge rate, thus gypsum and hydroxide precipitation had not resulted in complete clogging of the lake bedrocks.
ID 10669
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Wisskirchen, C., Dold, B., Friese, K., Spangenberg, J.E., Morgenstern, P., Glaesser, W. (2010):
Geochemistry of highly acidic mine water following disposal into a natural lake with carbonate
Appl. Geochem. 25 (8), 1107 - 1119