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SYNOPTIC SAMPLING AND PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS ANALYSIS TO IDENTIFY SOURCES OF WATER AND METALS TO AN ACID MINE DRAINAGE STREAM
Byrne, P., R.L. Runkel, and K. Walton-Day.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24(20):17220-17240(2017)

A field-scale study was conducted in which synoptic sampling and principal components analysis (PCA) were employed in a mineralized watershed (Lion Creek, Colorado) under low-flow conditions to (a) quantify the impacts of mining activity on stream water quality; (b) quantify the spatial pattern of constituent loading; and (c) identify inflow sources most responsible for observed changes in stream chemistry and constituent loading. Several of the investigated constituents (Al, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) failed to meet chronic aquatic life standards along most of the study reach. The spatial pattern of constituent loading suggested four primary sources of contamination under low-flow conditions. Study data pointed to the complexity of contaminant mobilization processes and constituent loading in mining-affected watersheds, but the combined synoptic sampling and PCA approach enabled the development of a conceptual model of contaminant dynamics to inform remediation. This paper is Open Access at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-9038-x.



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