Special Research Report SR-65
Alkalinity and acidity were the two water quality parameters in- vestigated in order to evaluate the effect of acid mine drainage on the ,.,. . ground water regimen of a strip mined area of the Bituminous coal field of Pennsylvania. The alkalinity was related to the occurrence o·f cal- cium carbonate. The acid potential of a rock was related to the occurrence of pyrite by three leaching tests which were also used to evaluate the effects of rock type, iron bacteria and alkalinity on acid production. Rock and water samples were collected from an area underlain by Lower and Middle Kittanning formations (Allegheny group of the Pennsylvanian) and from a second study area underlain by Upper Kittanning and Lower Freeport formations (Allegheny group). Because ,_. the former area produced acid mine drainage and the latter did not, analyses of the rock and water samples were compared to determine the compositional variations responsible for divergent water qualities. To facilitate comparisons of various chemical components, extremely acid and alkaline water samples were collected from other mines to establish quality extremes. The hydrology of the two study areas was approximated from measurements and observations made on domestic wells in one area.
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