Geochemical processes in mining landscapes Mine wastes often have negative impacts on water quality in post-mining landscapes. This research examines the biogeochemical evolution of mine wastes and associated waters at active, reclaimed and abandoned mines. Relationships between hydrogeological conditions and and biogeochemical processes within are being examined to improve understanding of long-term controls on water quality. Results support development of mine closure strategies aimed at reducing long-term contaminant fluxes within closure landscapes at both oil sands and metal mines.
Dynamics of metal-mineral interactions Interactions with minerals have important impacts on metal mobility in aqueous environments. This research examines how changing biogeochemical conditions impact metal-mineral associations and, therefore, metal mobility. Impacts of mineral transformations on metal-mineral associations are being examined. Currently projects are focused on understanding how redox transitions impact the mobility of V and Mo associated to Fe(III) (hydr)oxides phases. Results are providing new insight into biogeochemical controls on metal mobility.
Passive treatment of contaminated waters Inorganic contaminants derived from mining and other industrial activities often pose a risk to water quality. Passive remediation methods for these contaminated waters have significantly advanced over the past two decades. However, much of this research has been focused on remediation efficiency and our understanding of attenuation mechanisms and reaction product stability remains incomplete. This research is focused on constraining metal(loid) remediation mechanisms and on assessing the long-term stability of reaction products in passive remediation systems that utilize industrial by-products as treatment media.