Mine closure geochemistry Mine wastes often have negative impacts on water quality in post-mining landscapes. This research examines the biogeochemical co-evolution of mine wastes and associated waters at active, reclaimed and abandoned mines. Relationships between hydrogeological conditions and and biogeochemical processes 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.
Redox biogeochemistry Biogeochemical redox process can influence trace element speciation and associated mineral stability. This research focuses on the impact of redox processes on trace element speciation and mineral transformations. With a focus on oxyanion-forming trace elements (e.g., V, Mo, Se) and iron (hydr)oxides, we are studying how transitions from oxic to anoxic conditions, and oscillations between these redox conditions, impact trace element mobility. Results are providing new insight into controls on trace element mobility within groundwater, soils, and sediments.
Groundwater remediation 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 and metalloid remediation mechanisms and on assessing the long-term stability of reaction products in passive remediation systems that utilized industrial by-products as treatment media.