Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center

Integrated Methods Development Project

Upper Arkansas River Fluvial Tailings

Subtask Objectives

The upper Arkansas River south of Leadville, Colorado, contains deposits of fluvial tailings from historical mining operations in the Leadville area. These deposits are possible nonpoint sources of acid and metal contamination to surface- and ground-water systems. Prior to remediation, an intact core was excavated from a small fluvial tailings deposit and laboratory column experiments performed to examine the amount of metals leaching through the core. Stable-metal isotopes were used to help ascertain metal retention and release mechanisms that influence metal transport from the deposits to shallow groundwater systems (Ranville and others, 2003; Smith and others, 2003). The site has since undergone in-situ remediation and is one of several sites under investigation by Katherine Walton-Day and others (Water mission area). Water-quality measurements by Walton-Day and others show improvement in water-quality parameters at this site.

The objective of this work is to compare metal and acid release from a fluvial tailings deposit pre and post in-situ remediation. The site has undergone treatment with a compost/lime mixture. We will collect cores at the remediated site and perform leaching experiments to compare with our pre-remediation results.

References

Ranville, J.F., Smith, K.S., Lamothe, P.J., Jackson, B.P. and Walton-Day, K., 2003, Use of an intact core and stable-metal isotopes to examine leaching characteristics of a fluvial tailings deposit, in Proceedings of the Acid Rock Drainage Sixth International Conference, Cairns, North Queensland, Australia, July 14-17, 2003, 4 p.

Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Lamothe, P.J., and Jackson, B.P., 2003, Use of stable isotopes to examine metal attenuation and release processes in a fluvial tailings deposit, in Proceedings of the Joint Conference of the Billings Land Reclamation Symposium and the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation, Billings, Montana, June 3-6, 2003, 18 p.

Products

Posters and Presentations

  • Hoal, K.O., Smith, K.S., Russell, C.C., Walton-Day, Katherine, and Stammer, J.G., 2009, Application of quantitative micro-mineralogy to tailings and mining waste: Tailings and Mine Waste '09, Banff, Alberta, Canada, November 1-4, 2009.
  • Ranville, J.F., Smith, K.S., Lamothe, P.J., Jackson, B.P., and Walton- Day, K., 2003, Use of an intact core and stable-metal isotopes to examine leaching characteristics of a fluvial tailings deposit: Sixth International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD 6), Cairns, North Queensland, Australia, July 14-17, 2003.
  • Smith, K.S., Jerz, J.K., Ranville, J.F., Walton-Day, K., Sutley, S.J., Meier, A.L., and Briggs, P.H., 1997, Geochemical characterization of a fluvial tailings deposit along the Arkansas River, Colorado, USA, in Wanty, R.B., Marsh, S.P., and Gough, L.P., eds., Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry, Vail, Colorado, October 5-10, 1997: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-0496, p. 86.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Lamothe, P.J., and Jackson, B.P., 2003, Use of stable isotopes to examine metal-attenuation and release processes in a fluvial tailings deposit: Joint Conference of the 9th Billings Land Reclamation Symposium (BLRS) and the 20th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation (ASMR), Billings, Montana, June 3-6, 2003.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Lamothe, P.J., Meier, A.L., and Walton-Day, K., 1999, Metal leaching through a fluvial tailings deposit along the upper Arkansas River, Colorado: Sixth International Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste '99, Fort Collins, Colorado, January 24-27, 1999.
  • Smith, K.S., Sutley, S.J., Briggs, P.H., Meier, A.L., Walton-Day, K., Ranville, J.F., and Jerz, J.K., 1998, Trends in water-leachable lead from a fluvial tailings deposit along the upper Arkansas River, Colorado: Fifth International Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste '98, Fort Collins, Colorado, January 26-29, 1998.
  • Smith, K.S., Walton-Day, K., and Ranville, J.F., 2001, Considerations of observational scale when evaluating the effect of, and remediation strategies for, a fluvial tailings deposit in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Colorado, USA: Earth System Processes - Global Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 24-28, 2001.
  • Smith, K.S., Walton-Day, K., and Ranville, J.F., 2000, Evaluating the effects of fluvial tailings deposits on water quality in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Colorado: Observational scale considerations: Fifth International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD 2000) Program and Abstracts, Denver, Colorado, May 21- 24, 2000, p. 19.
  • Smith, K.S., Walton-Day, Katherine, and Ranville, J.F., 1999, Considerations of observational scale when evaluating the effect of, and remediation strategies for, a fluvial tailings deposit in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program Technical Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8-12, 1999.
  • Walton-Day, K., Jerz, J.K., Ranville, J.F., Evans, J.B., and Smith, K.S., 1996, Effects of fluvial tailings deposits on the quality of surface and ground water at a site in the upper Arkansas River basin, Colorado: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28, no. 7, p. A-466.
  • Walton-Day, K., Smith, K.S., and Ranville, J.F., 2001, Control of iron and trace-metal mobility in an alluvial aquifer affected by acidic rock drainage: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 33, no. 6, p. 281. View Walton-Day GSA abstract.

Reports

  • Hoal, K.O., Smith, K.S., Russell, C.C., Walton-Day, K., and Stammer, J.G., 2009, Application of quantitative micro-mineralogy to tailings and mining waste, in D. Sego, M. Alostaz, and N. Beier (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste (Tailings & Mine Waste '09), Banff, Alberta, Canada, November 1-4, 2009: University of Alberta, Canada, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, pp. 703-709 (ISBN 978-1-55195-225-0).
  • Ranville, J.F., Smith, K.S., Lamothe, P.J., Jackson, B.P., and Walton- Day, K., 2003, Use of an intact core and stable-metal isotopes to examine leaching characteristics of a fluvial tailings deposit, in Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD 6), Cairns, North Queensland, Australia, July 14-17, 2003, pp. 1101-1104.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Lamothe, P.J., Meier, A.L., and Walton-Day, K., 1999, Metal leaching through a fluvial tailings deposit along the upper Arkansas River, Colorado, in Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste '99, Fort Collins, Colorado, January 24-27, 1999: Rotterdam, A.A. Balkema, pp. 627- 632.
  • Smith, K.S., Ranville, J.F., Lamothe, P.J., and Jackson, B.P., 2003, Use of stable isotopes to examine metal-attenuation and release processes in a fluvial tailings deposit, in Proceedings of the Joint Conference of the 9th Billings Land Reclamation Symposium (BLRS) and the 20th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation (ASMR), Billings, Montana, June 3-6, 2003, pp. 1186-1203.
  • Smith, K.S., Sutley, S.J., Briggs, P.H., Meier, A.L., Walton-Day, K., Ranville, J.F., and Jerz, J.K., 1998, Trends in water-leachable lead from a fluvial tailings deposit along the upper Arkansas River, Colorado, in Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste '98, Fort Collins, Colorado, January 26-29, 1998: Rotterdam, A.A. Balkema, pp. 763-768.
  • Smith, K.S., Walton-Day, K., and Ranville, J.F., 2000, Evaluating the effects of fluvial tailings deposits on water quality in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Colorado: Observational scale considerations, in Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD 2000), Denver, Colorado, May 21-24, 2000, Volume II: Littleton, Colorado, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., pp. 1415-1424.
  • Smith, K.S., Walton-Day, K., and Ranville, J.F., 1999, Considerations of observational scale when evaluating the effect of, and remediation strategies for, a fluvial tailings deposit in the Upper Arkansas River Basin, Colorado, in Morganwalp, D.W., and Buxton, H.T., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8-12, 1999--Volume 1 of 3--Contamination from Hardrock Mining: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4018A, pp. 131-138. Available online at: http://toxics.usgs.gov/pubs/wri99-4018/Volume1/.
  • Walton-Day, K., Rossi, F.J., Gerner, L.J., Evans, J.B., Yager, T.J., Ranville, J.F., and Smith, K.S., 2000, Effects of fluvial tailings deposits on soils and surface- and ground-water quality, and implications for remediation--Upper Arkansas River, Colorado, 1992-1996: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4273, 100 p.

Related Links

Contact Information

Kathleen Smith
Box 25046 MS 964D Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046
Phone: 303-236-5788
Email: Kathleen Smith

Return to top of this page | Project Home | Main Task | Previous Subtask

Mineral Resources Program
Eastern Central GMEG Alaska Minerals Information Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Spatial Data