Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, Center for Ecological Restoration
American Society of Limnology & Oceanography 2004
Oscar Flite, SNSA, email@example.com
Gene Eidson, Ph.D., SNSA firstname.lastname@example.org
James E. Schindler, Clemson University, email@example.com
Open pit mining usually results in a void that, over time, fills with water and becomes a pit lake. The goal for pit lakes is to create sustainable systems that positively contribute to local and regional watersheds. However, development of these manmande systems is driven by maximization of safe resource extraction, physical reclamation, and cost minimization, not future pit lake sustainability. One long standing hypothesis for attaining the goal of sustainability has been to create and maintain meromictic systems. It is believed that meromixis minimizes atmospheric oxygen exposure to pit walls and concomitant acid generation and minimizes reentrainment of metals to the upper waters during seasonal mixes. This seems to be a reasonable goal but few lakes achieve and maintain meromixis so it is not clear whether this should be the goal for all pit lakes.
A study of two filling pit lakes at the Kennecott Ridgeway Gold mine in South Carolina was conducted from April 2000 through April 2004. Physical, chemical, and biological differences among these developing lakes were used to form a comprehensive limnological perspective. This presentation discusses the key features that influence the formation of stable meromicitc lakes in reclaimed mining pits.
Category: Future Directions
Topic: Innovative technologies
Oral presentation preferred