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|DOI||Resolve DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2021.103862|
|Author||Search for: Ma, Liang1; Search for: Huang, Cheng1; Search for: Liu, Zhong-Sheng1; Search for: Morin, Kevin A.; Search for: Aziz, Mike; Search for: Meints, Cody|
- National Research Council of Canada. Energy, Mining and Environment
|Subject||acid rock drainage; waste rock pile; heterogeneity; probability density functions; water flow pattern; leaching process|
In waste rock piles, the leaching process involved in acid rock drainage is mainly controlled by water flow. This paper (Part 2) investigates the effects of heterogeneities on the water flow patterns by applying probability density functions to hydrogeological properties. In this study, a piecewise constant distribution is proposed to describe the permeability inside waste rock piles, which reflects the effect of both finer and coarser pores. Compared with uniform water flow obtained from traditional homogeneous modeling, various water flow patterns and their pathways inside waste rock piles can be simulated by the proposed model. In addition, the leaching process is also investigated by coupling the calculated water flow with the geochemical reaction based on the water film model proposed in part 1. For demonstration, these models are integrated and applied to the full-scale waste rock pile at Equity Silver mine in British Columbia, Canada. Because the iron loading is highly correlated to the acidity at this site, it is found that the fluctuation of annual lime consumption for neutralization at this site can be well predicted by the integrated model. In addition, the results indicate that waste rock piles with different spatial patterns of permeability distribution, but with the same probability density function, may have different water flow patterns and spatial distributions of iron concentrations inside the pile. However, the total water flow discharge rate and iron loading profiles from the pile are almost the same on the temporal scale.
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