Occurrence and Prediction of Acid Drainages

by Frank T. Caruccio, Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Geology, Environmental Hydrogeology Program, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. 29208,
Mike Pelletier, South Carolina Water Resources Commission, Columbia, S.C. 29204,
Gwendelyn Geidel, Dept. of Geology, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. 29208,

Serial Information: Journal of the Energy Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 1, Pg. 167-178

Document Type: Journal Paper


During some land excavations, sulfide minerals are exposed to the atmosphere, and they oxidize and subsequently produce acid drainages. A method to monitor rock characteristics and to identify potentially acid-producing strata has been developed. Samples of dark shales were exposed to simulated weathering tests and periodically leached with deionized water, simulated acid rain and acid mine drainage. The leachate quality was monitored and related to the whole rock analysis. Samples with low concentrations of calcareous material and low total sulfur contents produced mildly acidic leachates when leached with water and acid rain. Samples with high concentrations of calcareous material and high sulfur contents were found initially to neutralize the simulated acid drainage and generate acidity. A strong relationship was found to exist between the effluent quality and the carbonate-sulfur ratio.

Subject Headings: Acid rain | Acids | Drainage | Leaching | Water sampling | Rain water | Leachates | Sulfur

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