Water quality impacts and river system recovery following the 2014 Mount Polley mine tailings dam spill, British Columbia, Canada
Abstract The Mount Polley mine tailings embankment breach on August 4th, 2014, in British Columbia, Canada, is the second largest mine waste spill on record. The mine operator responded swiftly by removing significant quantities of tailings from the primary receiving watercourse, stabilizing the river corridor and beginning construction of a new river channel. This presented a unique opportunity to study spatial patterns of element cycling in a partially-restored and alkaline river system. Overall, water quality impacts are considered low with Cu, and to a lesser extent V, being the only elements of concern. However, the spatial pattern of stream Cu loading suggested chemical (dominant at low flow) and physical (dominant at high flow) mobilization processes operating in different parts of the watershed. Chemical mobilization was hypothesized to be due to Cu sulfide (chalcopyrite) oxidation in riparian tailings and reductive dissolution of Cu-bearing Fe oxides in tailings and streambed sediments whereas physical mobilization was due to erosion and suspension of Cu-rich stream sediments further downstream. Although elevated aqueous Cu was evident in Hazeltine Creek, this is considered a relatively minor perturbation to a watershed with naturally elevated stream Cu concentrations. The alkaline nature of the tailings and the receiving watercourse ensures most aqueous Cu is rapidly complexed with dissolved organic matter or precipitates as secondary mineral phases. Our data highlights how swift removal of spilled tailings and river corridor stabilization can limit chemical impacts in affected watersheds but also how chemical mobilization (of Cu) can still occur when the spilled tailings and the receiving environment are alkaline. We present a conceptual model of Cu cycling in the Hazeltine Creek watershed. Highlights The Mount Polley mine tailings embankment breach is the second largest on record. Spatial patterns in trace metal cycling were studied in Hazeltine Creek. Water quality impacts are considered low with Cu and V the only elements of concern. Chalcopyrite oxidation and Fe oxide reduction are Cu mobilization mechanisms. Swift removal of spilled tailings can limit chemical impacts in watercourses. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
- 원문이 없습니다.
유료 다운로드의 경우 해당 사이트의 정책에 따라 신규 회원가입, 로그인, 유료 구매 등이 필요할 수 있습니다. 해당 사이트에서 발생하는 귀하의 모든 정보활동은 NDSL의 서비스 정책과 무관합니다.
원문복사신청을 하시면, 일부 해외 인쇄학술지의 경우 외국학술지지원센터(FRIC)에서
무료 원문복사 서비스를 제공합니다.
NDSL에서는 해당 원문을 복사서비스하고 있습니다. 위의 원문복사신청 또는 장바구니 담기를 통하여 원문복사서비스 이용이 가능합니다.
- 이 논문과 함께 출판된 논문 + 더보기