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Trace-element geochemistry of Onion Creek near Van Stone lead-zinc mine (Washington, USA) — Chemical analysis and geochemical modeling
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.
Department of Geology, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA 99004, USA.
1996 (English)In: Chemical Geology, ISSN 0009-2541, E-ISSN 1872-6836, Vol. 133, no 1, p. 211-224Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Van Stone lead-zinc mine in Washington is a possible contamination source of Columbia River water. Breaching of an old tailings pond, seepage of contaminated water, and surficial transport of mine tailings have increased trace-element (TE) concentrations in the Onion Creek water and sediments. Chemical analyses of water and sediment samples indicate high TE levels near the breached tailings pond. TE contamination indices for sediments indicate high values of Pb, Zn, and other TE’s which decrease downstream. High Kd values (> 104) for several TE’s (e.g., Al, Cd, Fe, Mn, Pb, V, and Zn) suggest their enrichment in the solid phase. TE concentrations in Onion Creek water and sediment sharply attenuate downstream due to: (1) enhanced carbonate dissolution, thereby increasing pH and immobilizing TE’s; (2) sorption to oxides; and (3) change in lithology from carbonate to granite. Speciation model MINTEQA2 was used to study the effect on TE dispersion due to dissolution-precipitation reactions and adsorption to ferrihydrite. In addition to the field and chemical data, the model also supports the hypothesis that Onion Creek sediments are the major sink for TE’s at VSM. Model runs indicate precipitation of Al, Ba, Ca, Fe, Mg, and Mn minerals from oversaturation, whereas TE’s with low concentrations (Cr, Cu, Ni, Se) or geochemically more mobile (As, Mo, Sb) remain dissolved in water. Near the tailings ponds, high pH and abundance of sorption sites in sediments contribute to the complete adsorption of Pb and Zn species. Because ambient conditions result in the sorption of most Pb and Zn ions, Onion Creek water quality meets EPA regulatory standards. These species will persist in Onion Creek sediments as sorbed or insoluble complexes, and without drastic pH changes (< 4.0) they will remain immobilized. However, continued TE enrichment in sediments will prove hazardous to filter feeding and aquatic organisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 1996. Vol. 133, no 1, p. 211-224
Keywords [en]
Tailings pond, Geochemistry, Trace-elements, Contamination, Sorption, Modeling
National Category
Geochemistry Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources Environmental Sciences Water Treatment Water Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151927DOI: 10.1016/S0009-2541(96)00091-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-151927DiVA, id: diva2:1254801
Available from: 2018-10-10 Created: 2018-10-10 Last updated: 2018-10-10Bibliographically approved

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