Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Interaction of acid mine drainage with waters and sediments of West Squaw Creek in the West Shasta Mining District, California

January 1, 1987

Acid mine drainage has acidified large volumes of water and added high concentrations of dissolved heavy metals to West Squaw Creek, a California stream draining igneous rocks of low acid-neutralizing capacity. During mixing of the acid sulfate stream waters in the South Fork of West Squaw Creek with an almost equal volume of dilute uncontaminated water, Cu, Zn, Mn, and Al remained in solution rather than precipitating or adsorbing on solid phases. Changes in the concentration of these generally conservative metals could be used to determine relative flow volumes of acid tributaries and the main stream. An amorphous orange precipitate (probably ferric hydroxides or a mixture of ferric hydroxides and jarosite) was ubiquitous in the acid stream beds and was intimately associated with algae at the most acid sites. Relative sorption of cations decreased with decreasing water pH. However, arsenic was almost completely scavenged from solution within a short distance from the sulfide sources.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1987
Title Interaction of acid mine drainage with waters and sediments of West Squaw Creek in the West Shasta Mining District, California
DOI 10.1021/es00158a009
Authors L.H. Filipek, D. Kirk Nordstrom, W. H. Ficklin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Science & Technology
Series Number
Index ID 70014870
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center

Related Content