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A strategy for modeling ground water rebound in abandoned deep mine systems

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Russell Adams, Professor Paul Younger


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Discharges of polluted water from abandoned mines are a major cause of degradation of water resources worldwide. Pollution arises after abandoned workings flood up to surface level, by the process termed ground water rebound. As flow in large, open mine voids is often turbulent, standard techniques for modeling ground water flow (which assume laminar flow) are inappropriate for predicting ground water rebound. More physically realistic models are therefore desirable, yet these are often expensive to apply to all but the smallest of systems. An overall strategy for ground water rebound modeling is proposed, with models of decreasing complexity applied as the temporal and spatial scales of the systems under analysis increase. For relatively modest systems (area < 200 km2), a physically based modeling approach has been developed, in which 3-D pipe networks (representing major mine roadways, etc.) are routed through a variably saturated, 3-D porous medium (representing the country, rock). For systems extending more than 100 to 3000 km2, a semidistributed model (GRAM) has been developed, which conceptualizes extensively interconnected volumes of workings as ponds, which are connected to other ponds only at discrete overflow points, such as major inter-mine roadways, through which flow can be efficiently modeled using the Prandtl-Nikuradse pipe-flow formulation. At the very largest scales, simple water-balance calculations are probably as useful as any other approach, and a variety of proprietary codes may be used for the purpose.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Adams R, Younger PL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ground Water

Year: 2001

Volume: 39

Issue: 2

Pages: 249-261

ISSN (print): 0017-467X

ISSN (electronic): 1745-6584

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2001.tb02306.x

PubMed id: 11286072


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