USGS - science for a changing world

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

Previous PageTable of ContentsNext Page

Difficulties with Intermediate-Scale Experiments for Studies of Iron Chemistry in Streams Affected by Acidic Mine Drainage


Diane M. McKnight (U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colo.), Kenneth E. Bencala (U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.), Richard A. Harnish (U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colo.), and Robert L. Runkel (U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colo.)


Iron chemistry in streams affected by acidic mine drainage is driven by many dynamic processes, such as precipitation, dissolution, photoreduction of ferric iron and microbial oxidation of ferrous iron. These processes can be studied with a variety of approaches, ranging from controlled laboratory experiments to field, stream-scale perturbation experiments. Experiments that are intermediate between laboratory and field experiments using sediments and water from the Snake River have been conducted. These experiments have been useful in demonstrating the general nature of iron biogeochemistry. However, difficulties reproducing results occur both within and among experiments. The heterogeneous nature of the stream sediments and seasonal variations in trace phases of iron oxides confound interpretation of the results and limit the predictive value of such experiments.

Previous PageTable of ContentsNext Page

USGS Home Water Land Resources Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Aug-2015 15:15:53 EDT