Southwest Hydro-Logic

Mining Hydrology

Hydrology of fractured rocks and mountainous terrains.
   --> Where does the water come from that enters a mine?
   --> How can we stop the water from entering the mine?
   --> Once water enters a mine, how can we keep it from picking up dissolved metals?

Natural background hydrologic and geochemical studies.
   --> What are the baseline concentrations of constituents?
   --> Geochemical prospecting using water-quality and geochemical samples.

Hydrology and geochemistry of waste rock piles.
   --> Does the waste rock pile contribute metals to the stream?
   --> Hydrological controls to prevent water from interacting with the waste rock pile.

Geologic setting and characterization of minerals in ore bodies.
   --> Hydrothermally altered geologic settings.
   --> Acid-sulfate geologic settings.
   --> Vein and disseminated ore deposits.

Chemistry of mining-affected surface water.
   --> Once in the stream, what happens to certain constituents?
         --> Zinc stays dissolved and can travel long distances in a stream.
         --> Iron, aluminum, and copper may not always travel long distances (pH dependent).

 

Above is a photo of a spring in Prospect Gulch, upper Animas River
watershed, southwestern Colorado, where naturally occurring metals
are a dominant factor in the hydrogeologic setting.