Nadine M Piatak

Biography

I am a Research Geologist with an emphasis in environmental geochemistry. My research focuses on understanding the processes that determine the fate of chemical elements associated with mineral deposits and mines. The weathering of ore deposits and mining-impacted sites results in unique geochemical signatures. Identifying these geochemical signatures and understanding the geochemical processes occurring at the near-surface can be used to assess the impact mined and unmined mineral deposits have on the environment including aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and human health. This subject has been my research focus for over 15 years. I received my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Geology from The Ohio State University in 1998 and 2000, respectively.  After which I enjoyed working briefly for the U.S. National Forest Service at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument before joining the U.S. Geological Survey's Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center in 2001.

Research Areas

Mineralogical and geochemical studies on the weathering behavior of ore, mine waste, tailings, and slag from base and precious metal deposits and mines and smelters of copper, iron, steel, lead, and zinc.

Determine source, forms, extractability, and leachablity of metals from smelter wastes, with a focus on chemical and mineralogical characterization, identifying amounts and modes of occurrence of residual elements, quantifying the deportment of metals during smelting and refining, and assessing their environmental signature.

Investigate effectiveness of legacy and modern iron and steelmaking slag for phosphorus removal and acid neutralization as reuse scenarios to aid in the restoration of coastal landscapes of the Great Lakes.

Baseline geochemical characterization and potential toxicity of surface waters and stream sediments in unmined mineralized watersheds of the Duluth Complex in northern Minnesota and sediment-hosted copper deposits in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Mineralogical investigation of hosts of trace elements, and determination of acid-generating potentials and the leaching characteristics of mineralized rock and mine waste to understand the potential environmental issues associated with mineral extraction of Cu-Ni-PGE deposits in the Duluth Complex of Minnesota.

Characterize ore and overburden of unmined iron deposit in Wisconsin (Gogebic Range) to determine the distribution, morphology, and chemistry of accessory amphibole minerals that may be present in fibrous forms.

Publications
Piatak, Nadine M., Parsons, M.B., and Seal, R.R. II, 2015, Characteristics and environmental aspects of slag: A review: Applied Geochemistry, v. 57, pp. 236-266. [Link]

Piatak, Nadine, Seal, Robert;, Jones, Perry, and Woodruff, Laurel, 2015, Copper Toxicity and Organic Matter: Resiliency of Watersheds in the Duluth Complex, Minnesota, USA, in Agreeing on solutions for more sustainable mine water management – Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage & International Mine Water Association, Santiago, Chile, 10 p. [Link]

Seal, Robert, Lapakko, Kim, Piatak, Nadine, and Woodruff, Laurel, 2015, Reaction Modeling of Drainage Quality in the Duluth Complex, Northern Minnesota, USA, in Agreeing on solutions for more sustainable mine water management – Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage & International Mine Water Association, Santiago, Chile, 10 p. [Link]

Hayes, T.S., Cox, D.P., Piatak, N.M., and Seal, R.R., II, 2015, Sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposit model: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–M, 147 p. [Link]

Piatak, Nadine M., Dulong, Frank T., Jackson, John C., and Folger, Helen W., 2014, Powder X-ray diffraction laboratory, Reston, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2014-3063, 2 p.[Link]

Piatak, N.M., and Seal, R.R., II, 2014, Challenges of quantifying the partitioning of metals within solid phases: An example of zinc in slag from the Hegeler Zinc smelter, Illinois -Appendix 5: in McLemore, V.T, Smith, K.S., and Russell, C.C., eds., Sampling and Monitoring for the Mine Life Cycle, Englewood, CO, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 815 p. [Link]

Schulz, K.J., Woodruff, L.G., Nicholson, S.W., Seal, R.R., II, Piatak, N.M., Chandler, V.W., and Mars, J.L. 2014, Occurrence model for magmatic sulfide-rich nickel-copper-(platinum-group element) deposits related to mafic and ultramafic dike-sill complexes: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–I, 80 p. [Link]

Piatak, Nadine M., Argue, Denise M., Seal, Robert R., II, Kiah, Richard G., Besser, John M., Coles, James F., Hammarstrom, Jane M., Levitan, Denise M., Deacon, Jeffrey R., and Ingersoll, Christopher G., 2013, Aquatic assessment of the Pike Hill Copper Mine Superfund site, Corinth, Vermont: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5288, 109 p. plus 14 appendices. [Link]

Foley, Nora K., Hofstra, Albert H., Lindsey, David A., Seal, Robert R., II, Jaskula, Brian, and Piatak, Nadine M., 2012, Occurrence model for volcanogenic beryllium deposits: Chapter F inMineral deposit models for resource assessment, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5070-F, 43 p. [Link]

Schulte, Ruth F., Taylor, Ryan D., Piatak, Nadine M., and Seal, Robert R., II, 2012, Stratiform chromite deposit model, chap. E of Mineral deposit models for resource assessment: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–E, 131 p. [Link]

Piatak, N. M., and Seal, R. R., 2012, Mineralogy and environmental geochemistry of historical iron slag, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Pennsylvania, USA: Applied Geochemistry, v. 27, pp. 623-643. [Link]

Taylor, Ryan D., Hammarstrom, Jane M., Piatak, Nadine M., and Seal, Robert R., II, 2012, Arc-related porphyry molybdenum deposit model, chap. D of Mineral deposit models for resource assessment: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070–D, 64 p. [Link]

Seal, R.R., II, and Piatak, N.M., 2012, Geoenvironmental features in volcanogenic massive sulfide occurrence model, Chapter 20 of Shanks, W.C. Pat, III, and Thurston, Roland, eds., 2012, Volcanogenic massive sulfide occurrence model: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5070—C, 18 p. [Link]

Seal, R.R., II, Hunt, A.G., Plummer, L.N., Casile, G.C., Piatak, N.M., and Hathaway, E., 2012, Estimation of Groundwater Residence Time in Tailings from the Elizabeth Copper Mine Superfund Site, Vermont, USA, in W.A. Price, C. Hogan, and G. Tremblay, eds., Proceedings from the 9th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD), Ottawa, Canada, May 20-26, 2012, 12 p.

Piatak, N.M., and Seal, R.R. II, 2012, The use of leaching tests to understand ferrous and nonferrous slag drainage chemistry, in W.A. Price, C. Hogan, and G. Tremblay, eds., Proceedings from the 9th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD), Ottawa, Canada, May 20-26, 2012, 12 p.

Diehl, S. F., Hageman, P. L., Seal, II, R. R., Piatak, N. M., and Lowers, H. , 2011, Mineralogic sources of metals in leachates from the weathering of sedex, massive sulfide, and vein deposit mining wastes: Proceedings from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration Annual Meeting and Colorado Mining Association 113th National Western Mining Conference, Denver, Colorado, February 28 to March 2, 2011, pp. 792-796.

Schulte, Ruth F., Taylor, Ryan D., Piatak, Nadine M., and Seal, Robert R. II, 2010, Stratiform chromite deposit model: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1232, 7 p. [Link]

Schulz, Klaus J., Chandler, Val W., Nicholson, Suzanne W., Piatak, Nadine; Seal, II, Robert R., Woodruff, Laurel G., and Zientek, Michael L., 2010, Magmatic sulfide-rich nickel-copper deposits related to picrite and (or) tholeiitic basalt dike-sill complexes-A preliminary deposit model. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1179, 25 p. [Link]

Foley, Nora K., Seal, II, Robert R., Piatak, Nadine M., and Hetland, Brianna, 2010, An occurrence model for the national assessment of volcanogenic beryllium deposits. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1195, 4 p. [Link]

Seal, R.R., II, Kiah, R.G., Piatak, N.M., Besser, J.M., Coles, J.F., Hammarstrom, J.M., Argue, D.M., Levitan, D.M., Deacon, J.R., and Ingersoll, C.G., 2010, Aquatic Assessment of the Ely Copper Mine Superfund Site, Vershire, Vermont: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5084, 131 p. [Link]

Piatak, N.M., and Seal, R.R., II, 2010, Mineralogy and the release of trace elements from slag from the Hegeler Zinc smelter, Illinois (USA): Applied Geochemistry, v. 25, pp. 302-320.

Ludington, Steve, Hammarstrom, Jane, and Piatak, Nadine, 2009, Low-fluorine Stockwork Molybdenite Deposits. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1211, 9 p. [Link]

Shanks, W. C. Pat, III, Dusel-Bacon, Cynthia, Koski, Randolph, Morgan, Lisa A., Mosier, Dan, Piatak, Nadine M., Ridley, Ian, Seal, Robert R., II, Schulz, Klaus J., Slack, John F., and Thurston, Roland, 2009, A New Occurrence Model for National Assessment of Undiscovered Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Deposits: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1235, 27 p. [Link]

Seal, R.R., II, Piatak, N.M., Levitan, D.M., Hageman, P.L., and Hammarstrom, J.M., 2009,Comparison of geochemical characteristics of modern-style mine wastes from a variety of mineral deposit types for insights into environmental challenges associated with future mining:Proceedings from the 8th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage, Skellefteä, Sweden, June 23-26, 2009, 10 p. [Link]

Piatak, N.M., Seal, R.R., II, Levitan, D.M., and Hammarstrom, J.M., 2009, Geochemistry of mine waste, mine drainage, and stream sediments from the Vermont Asbestos Group Mine, northern Vermont, USA: Proceedings from the 8th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage, Skellefteä, Sweden, June 23-26, 2009, 10 p. [Link]

Levitan, D.M., Hammarstrom, J.M., Gunter, M.E., Seal, R.R., II, Chou, I-M., and Piatak, N.M., 2009, Mineralogy of mine waste at the Vermont Asbestos Group mine, Belvidere Mountain, Vermont: American Mineralogist, v. 94, pp. 1063-1066.

Argue, Denise M., Kiah, Richard G., Piatak, Nadine M., Seal, Robert R., II, Hammarstrom, Jane M., Hathaway, Edward, and Coles, James F., 2008, Selected Water- and Sediment-Quality, Aquatic Biology, and Mine-Waste Data from the Ely Copper Mine Superfund Site, Vershire, VT, 1998-2007: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 378. [Link]

Seal, R.R., II, Hammarstrom, J.M., Johnson, A.N., Piatak, N.M., and Wandless, G.A., 2008, Environmental geochemistry of a Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit at the abandoned Valzinco mine, Virginia, USA: Applied Geochemistry, v. 23, no. 2, pp. 320-342.

Kiah, Richard G., Deacon, Jeffrey R., Piatak, Nadine M., Seal, Robert R., II, Coles, James F., and Hammarstrom, Jane M., 2007, Surface-Water Hydrology and Quality at the Pike Hill Superfund Site, Corinth, Vermont, October 2004 to December 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5003, 62 p. [Link]

Piatak, N. M., Seal, R. R., II, Sanzolone, R. F., Lamothe, P. J., Brown, Z. A., and Adams, M., 2007, Sequential Extraction Results and Mineralogy of Mine Waste and Stream Sediments Associated With Metal Mines in Vermont, Maine, and New Zealand: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1063, 34 p. [Link]

Swezey, C.S., Piatak, N.M., Grady, F.V., and Hackley, P.C., 2007, Some notes on the geology of Haynes Cave, Monroe County, West Virginia: The West Virginia Caver, v. 25, no. 3, pp. 12-15.

Balistrieri, L.S., Seal, R.R., II, Piatak, N.M., and Paul, B., 2007, Assessing the concentrations, speciation, and toxicity of dissolved metals during mixing of acid-mine drainage and ambient river water downstream of the Elizabeth Copper Mine, Vermont, USA: Applied Geochemistry, v. 22, pp. 930-952.

Piatak, Nadine M., Seal, Robert R., II, Hammarstrom, Jane M., Kiah, Richard G., Deacon, Jeffrey R., Adams, Monique, Anthony, Michael W., Briggs, Paul H., and Jackson, John C, 2006, Geochemical Characterization of Mine Waste, Mine Drainage, and Stream Sediments at the Pike Hill Copper Mine Superfund Site, Orange County, Vermont. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5303, 120 p. [Link]

Hammarstrom, Jane M., Johnson, Adam N., Seal, Robert R., II, Meier, Allen L., Briggs, Paul L., and Piatak, Nadine M., 2006, Geochemical and mineralogical characterization of the abandoned Valzinco (lead-zinc) and Mitchell (gold) mine sites prior to reclamation, Spotsylvania County, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5085, 27 p. [Link]

Piatak, N. M., Seal, R. R., II, Sanzolone, R. F., Lamothe, P. J., and Brown, Z. A., 2006, Preliminary results of sequential extraction experiments for selenium on mine waste and stream sediments from Vermont, Maine, and New Zealand: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1184, 21 p. [Link]

Crowley, J. K., Williams, D. E., Hammarstrom1, J. M., Piatak, N., Mars, J. C., and Chou, I-Ming, 2006, Spectral reflectance properties (0.4-2.5 um) of secondary Fe-oxide, Fe-hydroxide, and Fe-sulfate-hydrate minerals associated with sulfide-bearing mine waste: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2003-196. [Link]

Piatak, N.M., Seal, R.R., II, Sanzolone, R.F., Lamothe, P.J., and Brown, Z.A., 2006, Preliminary results of sequential extraction experiments for selenium on mine waste and stream sediments from Vermont, Maine, and New Zealand: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1184, 21 p. [Link]

Piatak, Nadine M., Hammarstrom, Jane M., Seal, Robert R., II, Briggs, Paul H., Meier, Allen L., Muzik, Timothy L., and Jackson, John C., 2004, Geochemical Characterization of Mine Waste at the Ely Copper Mine Superfund Site, Orange County, Vermont. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1248, 56 p. [Link]

Swezey, C.S., Hadden, R.L., and Piatak, N.M., 2004, Nitrate concentrations of soils in “saltpeter caves” in West Virginia: NSS News [National Speleological Society], v. 62, no. 12, pp. 342-345.

Piatak, N.M., Seal, R.R., II, and Hammarstrom, J.M., 2004, Mineralogical and geochemical controls on the release of trace elements from slag produced by base- and precious-metal smelting at abandoned mine sites: Applied Geochemistry, v. 19, pp. 1039-1064.

Piatak, Nadine M., Seal, Robert R., II, Hammarstrom, Jane M., Meier, Allen L., and Briggs, Paul H., 2003, Geochemical characterization of slags, other mines wastes, and their leachates from the Elizabeth and Ely mines (Vermont), the Ducktown mining district (Tennessee), and the Clayton smelter site (Idaho): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2003-260, 53 p. [Link]

Hammarstrom, Jane M., Piatak, Nadine M., Seal, Robert R. II, Briggs, Paul H., Meier, Allen L., Muzik, Timothy L., 2003, Geochemical Characteristics of TP3 Mine Wastes at the Elizabeth Copper Mine Superfund Site, Orange County, Vermont. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2003-431, 40 p. plus appendices. [Link]

Crowley, J.K., Williams, D.E., Hammarstrom, J.M., Piatak, N.M., Chou, I-M., and Mars, J.C., 2003, Spectral reflectance properties (0.4-2.5 mm) of secondary Fe-oxide, Fe-hydroxide, and Fe-sulfate-hydrate minerals associated with sulfide-bearing mine wastes: Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, v. 3, pp. 219-228.

Holmes, J.V., Bigl, S.R., Lawson, D.E., Seal, R.R., II, and Piatak, N.M., 2002, Spring runoff characterization Ely mine, Vershire, Vermont, Spring 2002: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ERDC/CRREL [Engineering Research and Development Center/Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory] Laboratory Report LR-02-65, 49 p.