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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Research Projects

Hardrock Mining in Southwest Alluvial Basins -- Pinal Creek, Arizona

USGS scientists conducting field work at a well site with a view of a large tailings pile in the background
Project Bibliography
115 Publications

Southwest alluvial basins are characterized by arid climates. Source mechanisms to streams are predominantly controlled by ground-water flow paths in buried alluvial valleys. Research on hardrock mining contamination in Southwest Alluvial Basins has been focused in the Pinal Creek Basin, Arizona. In Pinal Creek, dissolved metals are moving in an acidic plume through a shallow aquifer downstream from a copper mining area. Chemical reactions that change the form and nature of metals in the ground-water plume are being studied. Movement of metals from ground water into the stream and chemical reactions in the stream also are being studied. The investigation has used field and laboratory techniques and geochemical modeling to identify hydrologic processes in the plume and the creek that determine the effectiveness of remediation efforts.

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Pinal Creek Site Map

Project Remediation Related Activities

Other Acid Mine Drainage Remediation Related Activates

Other Information on Acid Mine Drainage and Abandoned Mine Lands

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USGS scientists conducting field work at a well site