Hydrochemical characterisation of a coal mine plume detected by an airborne geophysical survey

Beamish, David. 2006 Hydrochemical characterisation of a coal mine plume detected by an airborne geophysical survey. Geofluids, 6. 82-92.

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A trial airborne electromagnetic (AEM) geophysical survey was carried out across a 13 × 9 km area of the northern Nottinghamshire (UK) coalfield. One of the objectives was to examine the influence of coal mines (collieries) and associated spoil heaps situated above the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone aquifer. The conductivity models obtained from the AEM survey revealed extensive zones of enhanced subsurface conductivity in the vicinity of all the collieries in the survey area. The present study provides information regarding subsequent investigations (ground geophysics and borehole) to confirm the AEM results and to investigate the geochemical nature of the conductive zone identified in the vicinity of one of the collieries.Following ground geophysical confirmation of the airborne results, three boreholes were drilled into one of the conductive zones to the east of a working colliery. Geophysical logs and analysis of pore fluid geochemistry demonstrate that there is a very strong correlation between the borehole induction logs (formation conductivity), total dissolved solids (TDS) and chloride in the pore waters. The three cored boreholes have confirmed that there is a groundwater plume with high concentrations of TDS, compared with background, moving east from the Thoresby Colliery on a hydraulic gradient of 0.023. Porewater geochemistry obtained from core has been compared with that of local aquifer waters and with samples obtained from the colliery. The results indicate that the plume chemistry could result from the mixing of a typical Sherwood Sandstone composition with colliery spoil leachate. The AEM conductivity models have been successfully correlated with ground geophysical models, borehole induction logs, TDS and chloride in the pore waters. By implication, the geophysical results obtained over a larger area indicate the wider extent of such impacts in relation to both former and current mining activities

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
Additional Keywords: Airborne geophysical survey, hydrochemistry, electrical conductivity, coal mine, aquifer
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 06 May 2015 11:49 +0 (UTC)

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