Tailings pond seepage and sulfate equilibrium in the Pima mining district, Pima County, Arizona
AuthorScovill, Georgia Lynn, 1962-
KeywordsTailings dams -- Environmental aspects -- Arizona -- Pima County.
Groundwater -- Arizona -- Pima County -- Quality.
AdvisorBassett, R. L.
Artiola, J. F.
MetadataShow full item record
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.
AbstractMining activity is suspected of contributing sulfate and total dissolved solids (TDS) to ground water downgradient of the Pima mining district. High ionic concentrations in tailing impoundments suggest that tailings-pond recharge may be a source of the contamination. Experiments indicated that sulfate is not significantly produced by inorganic sulfide oxidation in the tailings ponds. Tailings pond water chemistries were compared with historical water quality analyses in the Pima district. The U.S.G.S. computer program PHREEQE modeled saturation indices for anhydrite, calcite, fluorite, and gypsum in water chemistries throughout the study area. Well water downgradient of the mines had lower saturation indices than tailings pond water which discredits the claim that tailings-pond recharge is acquiring salts as it percolates to the aquifer. Evidence supports the opinion that tailings pond seepage is contributing to the sulfate and TDS content in ground water downgradient of the ponds.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Hydrology and Water Resources