> I am not a geochemist, and I am aware that I would not be able to apply phreeqc without one on the project. At the moment, I am only interested in whether the model is appropriate for the application I have in mind: I want to identify a geochemical "signature" from a mining operation on a river, whereby I can monitor water chemistry downstream, and say whether the releases from such-and-such a mine continue to be measureable at increasing distances from the mine itself. Part of the concern is that the mines are in Mongolia, and the stream runs into Russia, but also that the impact of the mines my be far-reaching geographically. > The area we want to work in is a watershed with many mines located right on the streams. Most of the mines are placer mines, not cyanide mines, so there may be no major chemical transformations to look for, just the chemistry of the mined soils as they are suspended by the stream. If you think quantification of downstream extent of mining impact on water quality is an appropriate application of the model, let me know. If its not and there is another tool, please help steer me in the right direction. If there's no way to do what I want, please just set me straight. I am trying to develop a budget for the project, so I will also soon be interested in what kind of data set is needed to apply the model (if it is appropriate), and possible co-investigators who could lead this element of the work. > From your description, I don't think PHREEQC is a tool that would help determine fingerprints of mining downstream. PHREEQC is designed to identify major reactions or predict water chemistry given a set of chemical reactions. If the effects on the water chemistry are small ("no major chemical transformations"), I think you need to look elsewhere. It sounds like you want a chemical signature that is unique to the mines and that could be trace element concentrations or ratios of element concentrations in the sediments or possibly an isotopic signature in Sr or maybe other isotopes. David David Parkhurst (dlpark@xxxxxxxx) U.S. Geological Survey Box 25046, MS 413 Denver Federal Center Denver, CO 80225
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