The influence of slope collapse on water exchange between a pit lake and a heterogeneous aquifer

  • Bo Zhang
  • Xilai Zheng
  • Tianyuan ZhengEmail author
  • Jia Xin
  • Shuai Sui
  • Di Zhang
Research Article


Due to the increase in open pit mining, pit lakes have become common surface water features, posing a potential risk to subsurface aquifer. In this study, a pit lake–groundwater interaction model is built based on the general program MODFLOW with the LAK3 package. For the first time, the effects of lake-slope collapse and aquifer heterogeneity on pit lake–groundwater interactions are analyzed by dividing the lake into six water exchange zones based on the aquifer lithology and groundwater level. Our investigation and simulations reveal a total water exchange from groundwater to the lake of 349000 m3/a without collapse of the pit lake slope, while the total net water exchange under slope collapse conditions is 248000 m3/a (i.e., a reduction of 1.40-fold). The monthly net water exchange per unit width from groundwater to the lake reaches the largest in April, shifting to negative values in zone IV from June to August and in zone Vin June and July. Moreover, the monthly net water exchange per unit width decreases from north to south, and the direction and magnitude of water exchange are found to depend on the hydraulic gradients between the lake and groundwater and the hydraulic conductivity of the slope collapse.


Pit lake Slope collapse Groundwater–surface water interactions Numerical simulation 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFC0402810) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41731280).


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xilai Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tianyuan Zheng
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  • Jia Xin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuai Sui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Di Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Geological EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science and Ecology (Ministry of Education), College of Environmental Science and EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Department of Environmental InformaticsHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Surficial Geochemistry, Ministry of Education, Department of Hydrosciences, School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  5. 5.College of EngineeringOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina

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