The Water Balance and Chemical Mass Loads at the Zortman and Landusky Mines, Montana

Thomas J. Osborne, InfoMine Inc.

This 27-page PDF demonstrates that generalized hydrologic models can predict infiltration and water quality impacts at hardrock mine sites. The lined leach pads and seepage capture systems at the Zortman and Landusky mines allowed entire rock dumps and small drainage basins to be evaluated as huge lysimeters, enabling direct estimates of groundwater recharge and evapotranspiration. Based on the facility-specific water budgets, chemical mass loading models of both mines were developed to estimate the total loads of contaminants generated by all mine facilities, and evaluate the ultimate fate of the contaminants. Average annual loads of total dissolved solids, acidity, sulfate, nitrate, arsenic, selenium and seven cationic metals were calculated. These site-specific data can give different results than those based on regional data and general methods.

This description of a site outside SERC has not been vetted by SERC staff and may be incomplete or incorrect. If you have information we can use to flesh out or correct this record let us know.

This resource is referenced here:
Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology:Surface Water:Water Quality/Chemistry , Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water:Contaminant hydrology, Water quality/chemistry
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Research Results
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/HydrogeologyKeywords: Mine hydrology, Infiltration, Water Quality