February 18 – 12:30 PM CST

Predicting TDS Release from Appalachian Coal Mine Spoils and Valley Fills

Over the past twenty years, water quality compliance criteria for active Appalachian coal surface mines shifted dramatically from limiting acid-mine drainage (AMD) impacts to concerns related to total dissolved solids (TDS) release. This seminar focuses on a collaborative multi-state (KY, VA, and WV) study to predict and limit regional TDS impacts, particularly from valley fills. Assuming acid-forming material are avoided, relative TDS risk is strongly related to pre-mine weathering extent and rock type, but can be reliably predicted with simple lab pH and SC tests. Our combined results indicate that TDS emissions from most properly constructed valley fills should drop to relatively low levels (< 350 mg/L) with time, but that may take decades following closure.

W. Lee Daniels, Ph.D. is the Thomas B. Hutcheson Professor of Environmental Soil Science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He received his Ph.D. in Agronomy/Soil Science from Virginia Tech in 1985. Lee’s areas of specialization include stabilization and restoration of disturbed lands including areas disturbed by mining, road building, waste disposal, urbanization, and erosion. Lee is also an original member of ASMR/ASRS. Full publications and details available at: https://landrehab.org/.