Unsaturated seepage and evaporation from a deposited mine tailings profile
AuthorBartlett, Craig Lee.
Committee Chairvan Zyl, Dirk J. A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractUnsaturated seepage and evaporation in a mine tailings profile was simulated using a numerical model (UNSAT 2). Three 30 cm layers were deposited at saturation on an initial profile which had a static water table 300 cm below the surface. The study focused on three variables: (1) the effect of different grain size distributions of tailings, (2) the effect of evaporation, and (3) the effect of different times between deposition of layers. Hydraulic parameters for coarse, medium and fine tailings were obtained from the literature. The fine tailings drain to residual water contents faster than the medium or coarse tailings when no evaporation is present. Evaporation affects only the near surface in the medium and coarse tailings. In the fine tailings, evaporation significantly dries the upper half of the profile and causes steady upward flux from the water table. Results will be useful in managing the disposal of tailings.
Degree ProgramHydrology and Water Resources