Publications

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    Christian Wolkersdorfer, Christiane Neumann, Andrea Hasche-Berger
    01/2008;
  • Christian Wolkersdorfer
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    ABSTRACT: Mining usually causes severe anthropogenic changes by which the ground- or surface water might be significantly polluted. One of the main problems in the mining industry are acid mine drainage, the drainage of heavy metals, and the prediction of mine water rebound after mine closure. Consequently, the knowledge about the hydraulic behaviour of the mine water within a flooded mine might significantly reduce the costs of mine closure and remediation. In the literature, the difficulties in evaluating the hydrodynamics of flooded mines are well described, although only few tracer tests in flooded mines have been published so far. Most tracer tests linked to mine water problems were related to either pollution of the aquifer or radioactive waste disposal and not the mine water itself. Applying the results of the test provides possibilities for optimising the outcome of the source-path-target methodology and therefore diminishes the costs of remediation strategies. Consequently, prior to planning of remediation strategies or numerical simulations, relatively cheap and reliable results for decision making can be obtained by the use of tracer tests.
    01/2006: pages 817-822;
  • F. Werner, B. Graupner, B. Merkel, C. Wolkersdorfer
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    ABSTRACT: Carbon dioxide and calcium oxides may be used to neutralize acidic lakes. In lignite producing areas combustion power plants producing CO2 are often close to pit lakes. If fly ashes from these power plants could be used as calcium oxide source, carbonate precipitation in lakes could as also as a mineral trap to dispose of CO2. In a preliminary step the feasibility of this treatment scheme is investigated and includes a model based assessment of expected effects on the surface water, the reactivity of the chemical components, and the technical prerequisites. A pit lake in the Lausitz (Lusatia) post mining area in Germany was chosen as a test site, where fly ash has been deposited for more than 25 years. The feasibility of re-suspending these deposits to neutralize the lake was demonstrated in the years 2000 and 2003, and additional CO2 is proposed to increase the buffering capacity of the lake water, to precipitate, and store carbonates in the lake sediments.
    7th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage 2006, ICARD - Also Serves as the 23rd Annual Meetings of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation7th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage 2006, ICARD - Also Serves as the 23rd Annual Meetings of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation; 01/2006
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    Christian Wolkersdorfer, Rob Bowell
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    ABSTRACT: Europe was once the most important mining region in the world and nearly every European country has remnants of historic and even pre-historic mining sites. Though the importance of mining activities in most European countries declines, the abandoned sites are still there and can cause environmental dangers as well as technological challenges. On the basis of selected European countries and case studies, these dangers and challenges are described and potential solutions are illustrated.
    Mine Water and the Environment 01/2005; 24(2):58-76. · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Christian Wolkersdorfer, Rob Bowell
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    ABSTRACT: Europe once was the most important mining region in the world and nearly every European country has remnants of historic and even pre-historic mining sites. Though the importance of mining activities in most European countries declines, the abandoned sites are still there and can cause environmental dangers as well as technological challenges. On the bases of selected European countries and case studies, these dangers and challenges are described and potential solutions are illustrated.
    Mine Water and the Environment 01/2005; 24(1):2-37. · 0.98 Impact Factor
  • Bob Kleinmann, Christian Wolkersdorfer
    Mine Water and the Environment 01/2005; 24(3):162-165. · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Christian Wolkersdorfer, Rob Bowell
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    ABSTRACT: Europe once was the most important mining region in the world and nearly every European country has remnants of historic and even pre-historic mining sites. Though the importance of mining activities in most European countries declines, the abandoned sites are still there and can cause environmental dangers as well as technological challenges. On the bases of selected European countries and case studies, these dangers and challenges are described and potential solutions are illustrated.
    Mine Water and the Environment 11/2004; 23(4):162-182. · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Christian Wolkersdorfer
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    ABSTRACT: Scientists in most countries are assessed by the number of papers published in journals that are cited in the Science Citation index. This article reviews the mine water related entries in the Science Citation Index Expanded and discusses the results. Mine water relevant literature is spread over more than 900 journals, with 13 of them accounting for 25% of all relevant papers. No journal focused on mine water relevant issues can be found in the Index.
    Mine Water and the Environment 07/2004; 23(2):96-99. · 0.98 Impact Factor
  • Paul L. Younger, Christian Wolkersdorfer, ERMITE-Consortium
    Mine Water and the Environment 01/2004; 23:s2-s80. · 0.98 Impact Factor
  • Christian Wolkersdorfer, Rob Bowell
    Mine Water and the Environment 01/2004; 23(4):161-161. · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Andrea Hasche, Christian Wolkersdorfer
    01/2004;
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    ABSTRACT: A review of existing legislation in the light of recent major dam failures (Aznalcllar, Spain, 1998; Baia Mare, 2000, Romania) highlights the need to develop appropriate regulations at the regional, national, and European Union (EU) levels. Although mining incidents as a result of dam failures are very conspicuous, chronic problems related to waters from mining voids and tailings are also very significant. In that sense, though mine waters are an integral part of the water cycle, they are rarely regulated as such. Ongoing discussions with Member States and stakeholders are focusing on mining wastes rather than mine water. Regulating only mine waste handling facilities and ignoring the mine voids would in many cases miss the main long-term pollutant source. Planned changes in EU environmental legislation with regard to mining cannot be properly understood outside of worldwide developments in this area. Adequate management of applied scientific research initiatives and policy formulation is crucial to satisfactory outcomes at EU and global levels. At the EU level, this interface is exemplified by the nature and anticipated outcomes of two EU-funded research projects (ERMITE and PIRAMID). Ways in which policy-focused deliverables are being developed by these projects, which interface science, engineering, and policy, are highlighted. This review of EU legislation not only highlights the difficulty of clearly assigning liability for mining contamination, but also the dilemma between the promotion of sustainable development (through the EU environmental legislation) and the irreversible nature of the exploitation of mineral deposits.
    11/2002;
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    Adeline Kroll, Jaime M. Amézaga, Paul L. Younger, Christian Wolkersdorfer
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    ABSTRACT: A review of existing legislation in the light of recent major dam failures (Aznalcóllar, Spain, 1998; Baia Mare, 2000, Romania) highlights the need to develop appropriate regulations at the regional, national and European Union (EU) levels. Although mining incidents as a result of dam failures are very conspicuous, chronic problems related to waters from mining voids and tailings are also very significant. In that sense, though mine waters are an integral part of the water cycle, they are rarely regulated as such. Ongoing discussions with Member States and stakeholders are focusing on mining wastes rather than mine water. Regulating only mine waste handling facilities and ignoring the mine voids would in many cases miss the main long-term pollutant source. Planned changes in EU environmental legislation with regard to mining cannot be properly understood outside of worldwide developments in this area. Adequate management of applied scientific research initiatives and policy formulation is crucial to satisfactory outcomes at EU and global levels. At the EU level, this interface is exemplified by the nature and anticipated outcomes of two EU-funded research projects (ERMITE and PIRAMID). Ways in which policy-focused deliverables are being developed by these projects, which interface science, engineering, and policy, are highlighted. This review of EU legislation not only highlights the difficulty of clearly assigning liability for mining contamination, but also the dilemma between the promotion of sustainable development (through the EU environmental legislation) and the irreversible nature of the exploitation of mineral deposits.
    Mine Water and the Environment 10/2002; 21(4):193-200. · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Christian Wolkersdorfer, Paul L. Younger
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    ABSTRACT: Um kontaminiertes Grubenwasser langfristig kostengünstig reinigen zu können, sind Methoden mit geringstmöglichen Investitions- und Unterhaltungskosten nötig. Dazu wurden in Großbritannien und Deutschland in den zurückliegenden Jahren unterschiedliche passive Reinigungssysteme in Betrieb genommen (z. B. anoxische Karbonatkanäle, konstruierte Feuchtgebiete, reaktive Barrieren, Großoberflächenfilter). Solche Systeme reinigen teilweise schon seit mehr als acht Jahren erfolgreich kontaminiertes Grubenwasser, wobei Flächen von bis zu 6 ha in Anspruch genommen wurden. In den Fällen, in denen das Grubenwasser zu stark mit Schwermetallen verunreinigt ist, muss eine Kombination von aktiven und passiven Techniken eingesetzt werden. Dies gewährleistet stets eine Reinigung des Grubenwassers auf das behördlicherseits geforderte Niveau. Da derzeit nicht alle Prozesse, die in passiven Reinigungssystemen ablaufen, bis ins letzte Detail verstanden sind, sollen aktuelle Forschungsprojekte (z. B. das EU-Projekt PIRAMID) dazu beitragen, offene Fragen zu klären. For the treatment of contaminated mine waters reliable treatment methods with low investment and operational costs are essential. Therefore, passive treatment systems recently have been installed in Great Britain and in Germany (e. g. anoxic limestone drains, constructed wetlands, reactive barriers, roughing filters) and during the last eight years such systems successfully treated mine waters, using up to 6 ha of space. In some cases with highly contaminated mine water, a combination of active and passive systems should be applied, as in any case the water quality has to reach the limits. Because not all the processes of passive treatment systems are understood in detail, current research projects (e. g. EU-project PIRAMID) were established to clarify open questions.
    Grundwasser 05/2002; 7(2):67-77. · 0.94 Impact Factor
  • Andrea Hasche-Berger, Christian Wolkersdorfer
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents experimental studies and first results of a pilot scale RAPS-treatment system to reduce the high iron content of an iron rich mine water. In 1985, economic reasons caused the closure of the fluorspar mine “Hohe Warte” near Gernrode in the German Harz Mountains. Though remediation works were conducted in the preceding years, mine water is currently flowing out freely of the dewatering adit and is impacting the environment and the receiving brook. The mine water is characterised by low pH-values, high conductivities and contains considerable amounts of iron, manganese, and arsenic. Annually, the mine discharges 0.7 Mio m3 of mine water with 7.8 tons of iron, 3.8 kg of manganese, 13 kg of arsenic, and 2,5 kg of uranium. Therefore, the discharging mine water has a great potential to affect the quality of the receiving streams and resulted in a decrease of biological diversity. Based on hydrogeological and hydrochemical investigations, a passive treatment system would be able to treat the mine water. In February 2003 a pilot system was installed near the dewatering adit consisting of a settlement pond, a RAPS system (reducing and alkalinity producing system) and a constructed wetland. It could be shown that this passive system was able to treat an aliquot of the mine water down to ecologically acceptable standards.
    01/1970: pages 317-328;
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    Christian Wolkersdorfer
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    ABSTRACT: In order to verify why the design criteria of the Neville Street well field of the 1 B mine pool passive treatment plant were not being met, four mine water tracer tests with uranine (Na-fluorescein) and rhodamine B were conducted in the system’s settling pond. Both tracers were injected at the pond’s aeration cascade during three separate tracer tests with varying flow conditions (54–158Ls−1). In addition, oxygen saturation and iron concentrations were measured during the first two tests. The aeration cascade works properly; O2 saturation reaches 81% after less than a second. However, the mean residence time in the settling pond was determined to be only 10–18h. The plant operator installed five baffle sheets to increase the mean residence time in the settling pond. Tracer tests with uranine after the baffle sheets were installed revealed a new mean residence time of 35h. KeywordsCape Breton Island–Tracer test–Mine water–Settling pond–Water treatment–Rhodamine B–Sodium fluorescein–Uranine
    Mine Water and the Environment 30(2):105-112. · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Mine Water and the Environment 31(3). · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is sometimes necessary to quantify the different sources of water entering a mine, based on the hydrochemical nature of the waters from individual aquifers that contribute to the mine water mixture. In order to solve the general mixing equation, a software tool, KYBL-7, was developed; its computational methodology is generally based on the balance of selected components of mine waters in steady state conditions, without considering chemical reactions. This approach was applied in the Sokolov Coal Basin, which is situated in the immediate vicinity of Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary), a worldwide renowned spa in the northern part of the Czech Republic. The technology and coal mining methods used in the Sokolov Coal Basin are limited due to its proximity to the Carlsbad thermal springs. Because of their social and economic significance, these springs are protected. Calculations proved that the Carlsbad waters contribute approximately 3 % to the mine water. The imbalance in the mine water mixture using known source waters was quantified by including an ‘unknown source’ in the mixture simulation. Geochemical modelling demonstrated that the water quality is a result of geochemical reactions of waters in contact with the atmosphere and the reverse dissolution of the accumulated precipitates in the open pit areas. Those results have been used to assess future technical measures that can be taken to protect the Carlsbad thermal waters.
    Mine Water and the Environment 31(4). · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Mine Water and the Environment 31(3). · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    Christian Wolkersdorfer, Andrea Hasche, Jana Göbel, Paul L. Younger

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