Environmental Geology

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 286–299 | Cite as

Pollution of Osheepcheon Creek by abandoned coal mine drainage in Dogyae area, eastern part of Samcheok coal field, Kangwon-Do, Korea

  • J. -Y. Yu


Osheepcheon Creek running through the Dogyae area is being polluted by the influx of the abandoned coal mine drainage. Generally, the more polluted water has lower pH and Eh and higher conductivity values. The concentrations of Mg, Ca, Fe, SO4, and some trace elements, such as Cd, Co, Cr, Mo, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sr, U and Zn, are tens to hundreds of times more concentrated in the abandoned coal mine drainage than in the unpolluted streamwater. However, most immobile toxic pollutants from the mine drainage are quickly removed from the streamwater by the precipitation of amorphous Fe hydroxide and sorption on the precipitated Fe hydroxide. The fast removal of the pollutants from the streamwater maintains the water quality of the creek as acceptable at most places along the stream path, except where the abandoned coal mine drainage flows in. However, the creek has the potential of deteriorating quickly if the mine drainage is allowed to be continuously combined with the streams. A function of pH, Eh, and conductivity has been developed with discriminant function analysis for the purpose of easy, fast, and inexpensive measurement of the degrees of pollution of the streams. The estimated pollution of the streams with the discriminant function are consistent with what the chemical compositions of the water samples indicate. The pollution map of the study area was constructed from the calculated scores with the discriminant function. The pollution map suggests that the pollutants mainly come from the west side of Osheepcheon Creek. Thus, the abandoned coal mine drainage from the west side has to be appropriately treated as soon as possible to prevent Osheepcheon Creek from being further polluted. Considering the topography, climate, and the amount of the mine drainage, an active treatment method is recommended.

Key words

Abandoned coal mine drainage Stream pollution Water quality 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. -Y. Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyKangwon National UniversityChuncheon, Kangwon-DoThe Republic of Korea

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