Field trip to acid mine drainage sites

November 21, 2018
Geochemistry class poses at Lake Hope boat dock

Professor Liz Griffith took her Earth Science 5621 Introduction to Geochemistry course on a field trip to Southeastern Ohio to see first-hand the impacts and remediation of abandoned mine drainage on water in the region. The class visited and collected data (pH, redox potential, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, total Fe, hardness) from four field sites characterized by both acid mine drainage that is not chemically remediated at Monday Creek and chemically remediated (addition of CaO) near Carbondale, as well as a dammed lake affected by acid mine drainage at Lake Hope State Park. They also stopped at the Hope Furnace, a charcoal iron blast furnace operated from 1854-1874 – and found slag from the production of high-grade iron, smelting iron ore there. Students measured waters discharging into the watersheds ranging from pH 2 to 10! They were simply amazed at the colors of the waters.