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Using airborne hyperspectral data to characterize the surface pH andmineralogy of pyrite mine tailings

Zabcic, Nathalie and Rivard, Benoit and Ong, Cindy and Müller, Andreas (2014) Using airborne hyperspectral data to characterize the surface pH andmineralogy of pyrite mine tailings. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation (32), pp. 152-162. Elsevier. DOI: DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2014.04.008 ISSN 0303-2434

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0303243414000920

Abstract

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a key concern of the mining industry due to its impact on the quality of water and soils surrounding mine waste deposits. Acid mine drainage derives from the oxidation of metal sulphides, e.g. pyrite (FeS2), exposed to oxygen and water. The leachate acidity is capable of releasing heavy metals contained in the mining waste rock, which can affect water quality and lead to metal enrichment in sediments and potentially resulting in ecosystem degradation. Predicting tailings leachate pH is key to the management of sulfide-bearing mine wastes and is an emerging remote sensing application with limited studies having been realized. Such a capability would supplement traditional methods (i.e. ground surveys) that are challenging to implement due to the extent and large volume of mine waste. This study reports regional scale tailings mineral maps generated from airborne hyperspectral information of the Sotiel-Migollas complex in Spain and pinpoints sources of AMD. The extraction of spectral endmembers from imagery revealed twenty six endmembers for tailings material that represent mostly mineral mixtures. From these, eleven spectral groups were defined, each encompassing minor variations in mineral mixtures. The mineral maps resulting from the use of these endmembers for the detailed investigation of four tailings serve as indicators of the metal, sulphate, and pH levels of the AMD solution at the time of mineral precipitation. Predicted mineralogy was assessed using spectra from samples collected in the field and associated X-ray diffraction measurements. We also discuss the relative merits of the minerals maps of this study and soil leachate pH maps that we previously reported for the same locality using the same airborne data. The pH maps tend to provide predictions consistent with the mineralogy predicted from the mineral maps and the field and laboratory evidence. The pH maps offer information on the pH conditions of the tailings thus giving an insight on the different types of oxidation reactions that may occur.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/89970/
Document Type:Article
Title:Using airborne hyperspectral data to characterize the surface pH andmineralogy of pyrite mine tailings
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Zabcic, NathalieDepartment of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of AlbertaUNSPECIFIED
Rivard, Benoitbenoit.rivard (at) ualberta.caUNSPECIFIED
Ong, CindyCSIRO Earth Science and Resource EngineeringUNSPECIFIED
Müller, Andreasandreas.mueller (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:2014
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2014.04.008
Page Range:pp. 152-162
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0303-2434
Status:Published
Keywords:Mine tailings; Hyperspectral; Mineral maps; pH; Sulfates; Oxides
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Fernerkundung der Landoberfläche (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface
Deposited By: Müller, Andreas
Deposited On:28 Jul 2014 08:31
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:16

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