Environmental Health - Toxic Substances
Hardrock Mining in Rocky Mountain Terrain -- Upper Arkansas River, Colorado [Completed]
Mined watersheds in the Rocky Mountains are characterized by high altitudes, significant runoff and numerous contaminant sources dispersed through the watershed. Research on hardrock mining contamination in Rocky Mountain terrain is focused in the Arkansas River Basin. Acid mine drainage containing metals enter streams via runoff from mine wastes and tailings and ground-water pathways. The metals and acidic conditions are toxic to aquatic life. Scientists have studied contaminant source mechanisms, transport and transformation in streams, and how to use this knowledge to determine effective remedial strategies.
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Project Remediation Related Activities
Other USGS Information on Acid Mine Drainage and Abandoned Mine Lands
Back to Watershed Contamination from Hard-Rock Mining Investigations
Back to Watershed- and Regional-Scale Contamination Investigations