Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 90, Issue 1–2, pp 195–204 | Cite as

Reactive solute transport in acidic streams

  • Robert E. Broshears


Spatial and temporal profiles of pH and concentrations of toxic metals in streams affected by acid mine drainage are the result of the interplay of physical and biogeochemical processes. This paper describes a reactive solute transport model that provides a physically and thermodynamically quantitative interpretation of these profiles. The model combines a transport module that includes advection-dispersion and transient storage with a geochemical speciation module based on MINTEQA2. input to the model includes stream hydrologic properties derived from tracer-dilution experiments, headwater and lateral inflow concentrations analyzed in field samples, and a thermodynamic database. Simulations reproduced the general features of steady-state patterns of observed pli and concentrations of aluminum and sulfate in St. Kevin Gulch, an acid mine drainage stream near Leadville, Colorado. These patterns were altered temporarily by injection of sodium carbonate into the stream. A transient simulation reproduced the observed effects of the base injection.

Key words

Reactive solute transport modeling acid mine drainage geochernical modeling 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allison, J.D., D.S. Brown, and K.J. Novo-Gradac, 1991, MINTEOA2/PRODEFA2, A geochernical assessment model for environmental systerns. Version 3.0 User's Manual, Rep. EPA/600/3-91/021, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  2. Bencala, K.E. and R.A. Walters, 1983, Water Resour. Res.19, 718–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kimball, B.A., R.E. Broshears, D.M. McKnight, and K.E. Bencala, 1994a, Effects of instream pH modification on transport of sulfide-oxidation products, in Environrnental Geochemistry of Sulfide Oxiclation, C.N. Alpers and D.W. Blowes, eds., ACS Symposiuun Series 550, American Chemical Society, Washington D.C., p. 224–243.Google Scholar
  4. Kimball, B.A., R.E. Broshears, K.E. Bencala, and D.M. McKnight, 1994b, Environ. Sci. Technol.28, 2065–2073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nordstrom, D.K., 1982, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta46, 681–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Nordstrom, D.K., L.N. Plummer, D. Langmuir, E. Busenberg, H.M. May, B.F. Jones, and D.L. Parkhurst, 1990, Revised chemical equilibrium data for major water-anineral reactions and their limitations, in Chemical Modeling of Aqueous Systems II, D.C. Melchior and R.L. Bassett, eds., American Chemical Society, Washington D.C., p. 398–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Runkel, R.L., 1993,Development and application of an equilibrium-based simulation model, for reactive transport in small streams, Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 202 p.Google Scholar
  8. Runkel, R.L. and R.E. Broshears, 1991,One dimensional transport with inflow and storage (OTIS): A solute transport model for small streams, Technical Report 91-01, Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems, University of Colorado, Boulder, 85 p.Google Scholar
  9. Smith, K.S., 1991,Factors influencing metal sorption onto iron-rich sediment in acidmine drainage, Ph.D. clissertation, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, 239 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Broshears
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological Survey, MS 415Denver Federal CenterDenver

Personalised recommendations