Multivariate Statistical Analysis of Vadose and Saturated Zone Pore Waters of Sulfidic Mine Waste Tailings
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1992
U.S. Bureau of Mines researchers conducted field studies at an abandoned copper-gold mine tailings impoundment. Pore water quality was analyzed in the vadose and saturated zones. Three statistical procedures were employed to summarize the variability within and between the two zones. The results indicated that linear combinations of those variables reflecting sulfide oxidation and aluminum-silicate weathering best summarized the variability in each zone, and that the zones were most different on the basis of sulfide oxidation variables. The geochemical computer code WATEQ4F was used to assess the solubility status (saturation index) of minerals. Saturation indices of sulfide oxidation and aluminum-silicate weathering minerals were different in the two zones. It was demonstrated that the statistical analyses produced similar and complementary results to the geochemical code.