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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances


U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993, Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015

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Simulation of Reactive Transport During a pH Modification Experiment in a Mountain Stream Affected by Acid Mine Drainage


Robert E. Broshears (U.S. Geological Survey, Lakewood, Colo.), Briant A. Kimball (U.S. Geological Survey, Salt Lake City, Utah) and Robert L. Runkel (U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO; University of Colorado, Center for Advanced Decision Support in Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES))


A field experiment in a mountain stream in Colorado has helped to quantify hydrologic and chemical processes that control the transport of metals in water affected by acid mine drainage. Injection of sodium carbonate raised instream pH from 3.5 to a maximum of 5.8. Responses of aluminum and iron concentrations during the injection indicated the formation of aluminum and iron hydroxysulfate solid phases. Simulation of these responses using a reactive transport model reproduced the general aspects of observed patterns of concentration changes. Discrepancies between simulated and observed concentrations indicated the importance of chemical interactions between the water column and the streambed and kinetic restraints on the attainment of equilibrium.

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