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Where There is no pH Meter: Estimating the Acidity of Mine Waters by Visual Inspection

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul Younger


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Most experienced mine water specialists are highly adept at judging the approximate pH of a given mine water from its appearance: usually a combination of the appearance of the water itself and of accompanying precipitates (typically ochre of various hues) and / or biofilms. For all this is a well-established art, it would appear that there has been no systematic attempt to document the thought processes which lie behind the estimation of acidity on the basis of visual inspection. Drawing on a wide range of real-world examples of mine water discharges, a classification scheme is proposed which adds a degree of formality to this practice. Using colours selected from-the well-known Munsell charts for soil colour identification, a simple two-step procedure is proposed which both substantiates the estimates made by experienced practitioners and will help newcomers to the field to quickly "get their eye in" as their experience with real mine water discharges grows.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Younger PL

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: IMWA Mine Water & Innovative Thinking

Year of Conference: 2010

Pages: 407-410

Publisher: International Mine Water Association

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Mine Water & Innovative Thinking

ISBN: 9781897009475