Riverine breach and subsequent decant of an acidic pit lake: evaluating the effects of riverine flow-through on lake stratification and chemistry

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Mccullough, Clinton; Radhakrishnan, Naresh; Lund, Mark; Newport, Michelle; Ballot, Elmien; Short, Digby
International Mine Water Association
breach; river; flow-through; fishery; pit lake; AMD; Earth Sciences
conference paper description
Breach and subsequent decant of an acidic brackish pit lake in the Collie Coal region in south-western Australia occurred during flooding of a pre-mining diverted eutrophic river. Inflowing fresher river water with high alkalinity and nutrient concentrations settled over more saline and acidic pit lake water. This created a halocline with better mixoliminion water quality and monimolimnion water quality typical of the pre-breach lake. Flow-through may represent the best long-term mine closure option for this and other pit lakes in the state and internationally where pit lake water quality degrades over time when excised from regional water systems.