The Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site near Redding, California, is a massive sulfide ore deposit that was mined for iron, silver, gold, copper, zinc, and pyrite intermittently for nearly 100 years. As a result, both water and air reached the sulfide deposits deep within the mountain, producing acid mine drainage consisting of sulfuric acid and heavy metals from the ore. Particularly, the drainage water from the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain is among the most acidic waters naturally found on Earth. The mineralogy at Iron Mountain can serve as a proxy for understanding sulfate formation on Mars. Selected sulfate efflorescent salts from Iron Mountain, formed from extremely acidic waters via drainage from sulfide mining, have been characterized by means of Raman spectroscopy. Gypsum, ferricopiapite, copiapite, melanterite, coquimbite, and voltaite are found within the samples. This work has implications for Mars mineralogical and geochemical investigations as well as for terrestrial environmental investigations related to acid mine drainage contamination.
|Title||Raman spectroscopy of efflorescent sulfate salts from Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site, California|
|Authors||Pablo Sobron, Charles N. Alpers|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||California Water Science Center|