Understanding the salinity issue of coal mine spoils in the context of salt cycle

Li, Xiaofang, Park, Jin Hee, Edraki, Mansour and Baumgartl, Thomas (2013) Understanding the salinity issue of coal mine spoils in the context of salt cycle. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 36 3: 453-465. doi:10.1007/s10653-013-9573-4

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Author Li, Xiaofang
Park, Jin Hee
Edraki, Mansour
Baumgartl, Thomas
Title Understanding the salinity issue of coal mine spoils in the context of salt cycle
Journal name Environmental Geochemistry and Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0269-4042
Publication date 2013-10-06
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1007/s10653-013-9573-4
Open Access Status
Volume 36
Issue 3
Start page 453
End page 465
Total pages 13
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Coal mine spoils (CMSs), the solid wastes originated from the rock formations and soil cover overlying or interbedded with coal seams, are a worldwide environmental management challenge. Previous studies have shown that salinity is of most concern among the CMSs’ environmental impacts, especially in Australia. With increasing concerns from both the governments and communities, there is a real need for the coal mining industry to understand the source, dynamics and management options of CMS salinity. We reviewed the general properties of CMSs from coal mine sites worldwide and the current understanding of the CMS salinity, which are in a limited number of available published reports. Properties (e.g., pH, electrical conductivity and hydraulic conductivity) of studied CMSs varied largely due to its complex lithological origination. A conceptual model was proposed to illustrate the origin, dispersion paths and transformations dynamics of salts in spoils, taking the scenario of a coal mine in Australia as an example. The major factors governing the salt dynamics in CMSs are summarized as mineral weatherability and salt leachability of the spoils. Management of CMS salinity is still a vague area awaiting more extensive studies. Three topics related to the management were explored in the review, which are pre-mining planning, spatial variability of spoil properties and remediation including electrokinetics and phytoremediation. Particularly, based on the geological classification of CMSs and the leachate chemistry of spoils of various sources, a clear relationship between salinity and geounits was established. This association has a potential application in pre-mining planning for the management of salinity from coal mine spoils.
Keyword Coal mine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 06 October 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Publications
Official 2014 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 12 Nov 2013, 20:54:44 EST by Xiaofang Li on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation