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Opitz, J., M. Alte, M. Bauer, W. Schafer, and T. Soll.
Mine Water and the Environment [Published online 25 May 2020 prior to print]

Natural anaerobic biogeochemical acid mine drainage passive treatment processes were observed in the extensive shallow water zone of a polymictic pit lake in the former German lignite district of Upper Palatinate. Although continuously fed by acidic metalliferous groundwater, lake-pH increased from 3.5 to circumneutral over ~10 years. The acidity inflow was estimated at ≈5900 kmol from 2014-2018, which corresponds to an average inflow of ≈1190 kmol/a. Results indicated that the pit lake self-neutralized due to beneficial environmental and ecological conditions, amplified and potentially initialized by the circumneutral discharge from a chemical mine water treatment plant, driven by well-known biogeochemical mechanisms such as natural microbial sulfate reduction.

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