Heterogeneity in waste rock piles (WRPs) determines uncertainty in acid mine drainage (ARD) predictions from these deposits. Numerical modeling based on a novel and efficient stochastic framework to evaluate influential heterogeneity-linked factors controlling such uncertainty. The analysis considers a representative WRP with a mean neutralization potential ratio NPR¯ = 2. The heterogeneity-linked factors are: (1) Scale-dependent mineralogical variability. At the “local” scale, the variability within individual rock blocks in the waste rocks (10 s of cm) is measured through the correlation coefficient (ρ) between acid producing and acid consuming minerals, here considered a geogenic property of the site. For the analyzed conditions, as ρ→ 0 WRPs tend generate a higher risk of ARD and higher variability among results, which can be explained by the increasing mineralogical mixing (blending) as ρ grows. At the “field” scale, the coefficient of variation (CV) is measured as the mineralogical variability of all rock blocks within the WRP. Since CV is an engineering design parameter of a WRP, the results suggest that building WRPs with lower CVs results in less uncertain predictions of long-term neutralization capacity of the piles. (2) Flow heterogeneity. The variance of solute travel times through a pile, here measured by σw2, can be used to characterize flow heterogeneity, where high variance means stronger preferential flow in the WRP. Simulated ARD mass loadings with strong flow heterogeneity (σw2≥1) leads to significant differences to the homogeneous case, increasing the uncertainty in the estimation of the ARD risk. (3) Pore gas concentration. In well-ventilated WRPs the effect of mineralogical heterogeneity is enhanced (WRPs generate much higher risk than WRPs with diffusion-limited gas transport modalities. Gas diffusion limits the amount of acidity produced in sulfidic-rich zones, thus attenuating the effect of mineralogical variability at the scale of the WRPs compared to well-ventilated piles.
Controls of uncertainty in acid rock drainage predictions from waste rock piles examined through Monte-Carlo multicomponent reactive transport / D. Pedretti, K.U. Mayer, R.D. Beckie. - In: STOCHASTIC ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND RISK ASSESSMENT. - ISSN 1436-3240. - 34:1(2020 Jan 01), pp. 219-233.
|Titolo:||Controls of uncertainty in acid rock drainage predictions from waste rock piles examined through Monte-Carlo multicomponent reactive transport|
PEDRETTI, DANIELE (Primo) (Corresponding)
|Parole Chiave:||Acid rock drainage; Geostatistics; Mining waste rock piles; Multicomponent reactive transport modeling; Stochastic modeling framework; Uncertainty|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore GEO/05 - Geologia Applicata|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1-gen-2020|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00477-019-01756-1|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|