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
--> 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.