Chemical Modeling of Acid Waters
Reactive-transport modeling, Summitville Mine, CO
The abandoned Summitville gold Mine in south-central Colorado, declared an EPA Superfund site in 1992, contributes trace metals to the Alamosa River. The planning stages of efforts by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to restore the Alamosa River between its confluence with Wightman Fork and Terrace Reservoir to a fishery are scheduled for completion in mid-2001. Project research has been focused on critical issues in support of remediation decisions. Investigations have been supported by reactive transport modeling using USGS modeling codes OTIS and OTEQ. The reactive transport model was calibrated at low flow and high flow using results from two tracer injection experiments conducted in October, 1998 and June, 1999. To simulate remediation scenarios, varying upstream boundary condition data are used as input to OTEQ model simulations. Many variations in remediation scenarios can be compared and optimized remediation approaches and be designed using results from OTEQ model simulations.
Ball, J.W., Runkel, R.L., and Nordstrom, D.K., 2004, Evaluating remedial alternatives for the Alamosa River and Wightman Fork, near the Summitville Mine, Colorado-- Application of a reactive-transport model to low- and high-flow simulations, in Zanetti, P., ed., Environmental sciences and environmental computing: The EnviroComp Institute. v. II, Chap. 3, p. 1-54.
Ortiz, R.F. and Ball, J.W., 2003, Summary of synoptic sampling and tracer-injection tests in the Alamosa River Basin during high-flow conditions, June 1999: A sampling analysis report for modeling reactive transport of metals for the Summitville Mine, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-467, 54 p.
Ortiz, R.F. and Ball, J.W., 2003, Summary of synoptic sampling and tracer-injection tests in the Alamosa River Basin during low-flow conditions, October 1998: A sampling analysis report for modeling reactive transport of metals for the Summitville Mine, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-466, 48 p.
Ball, J.W., Runkel, R.L., and Nordstrom, D.K., 1999, Transport modeling of
reactive constituents from Summitville, CO; Preliminary results from the
application of OTIS/OTEQ to the Wightman Fork/Alamosa River system, in
Morganwalp, D.W. and Buxton, H.T., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances
Hydrology Program-Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Charleston, South
Carolina, March 8-12, 1999: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources
Investigations Report 99-4018, p. 305-311. (on-line
abstract and to download report in pdf format) Air
photo of the Summitville Mine (from King, 1995)
Air photo of the Summitville Mine (from King, 1995)
Participants: James Ball, Kirk Nordstrom, Blaine McCleskey (NRP), Rob Runkel (Colorado District Office)