Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

River sediment geochemistry and provenance following the Mount Polley mine tailings spill, Canada: the role of hydraulic sorting and sediment dilution processes in contaminant dispersal and remediation.

Bird, G, Hudson-Edwards, KA, Byrne, PA, Macklin, MG, Brewer, PA and Williams, RD (2021) River sediment geochemistry and provenance following the Mount Polley mine tailings spill, Canada: the role of hydraulic sorting and sediment dilution processes in contaminant dispersal and remediation. Applied Geochemistry. ISSN 0883-2927

[img] Text
2021 Bird et al. [accepted].pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 9 September 2022.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB)

Abstract

The failure of the Mount Polley tailings storage facility (TSF) in August 2014 was one of the largest magnitude failures on record, and released approximately 25 Mm3 of material, including c. 7.3 Mm3 of tailings into Hazeltine Creek, part of the Quesnel River watershed. This study evaluates the impact of the spill on the geochemistry of river channel and floodplain sediments and utilizes Pb isotope ratios and a multi-variate mixing model to establish sediment provenance. In comparison to sediment quality guidelines and background concentrations, Cu and V were found to be most elevated. Copper in river channel sediments ranged from 88-800 mg kg-1, with concentrations in sand-rich and clay/silt-rich sediments being statistically significantly different. Concentrations in river channel were believed to be influenced by hydraulic sorting during the rising and falling limbs of the flood wave caused by the tailings spill. Results highlight the importance of erosive processes, instigated by the failure, in incorporating soils and sediments into the sediment load transported and deposited within Hazeltine Creek. In this instance, these processes diluted tailings with relatively clean material that reduced metal concentrations away from the TSF failure. This does however, highlight environmental risks in similar catchments downstream of TSFs that contain metal-rich sediment within river channels and floodplain that have been contaminated by historical mining.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0402 Geochemistry, 0502 Environmental Science and Management
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2021 08:38
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2021 08:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2021.105086
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15475

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item