Ellerbroek, D.A., Jones, D.R., Townley, L.R., and Eames, J.C. (1997), Hydrology and geochemistry of coal spoil and final voids, In: Subsurface hydrological responses to land cover and land use changes, M. Taniguchi (Ed.), Proceedings of AGU Western Pacific Geophysics meeting, Brisbane, 27 July 1996, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell Massachusetts, 87-104.

Final voids are the mine pits remaining after mineral resources have been extracted by open-cut mining operations such as coal mining. In order to determine the most appropriate post-mining use for final voids, a number of issues need to be resolved concerning their long term stability and how they will interact with the surrounding environment. In this context, final void hydrology and water quality are critical issues that require consideration. Predictions of the quantity and quality of water in voids are required for post -mining land use planning. Potential post -mining uses for final voids include waste disposal, water storage, wildlife habitat, stock watering, and recreation.

The hydraulic and geochemical properties of spoil upgradient of the final void will have a large impact on the hydrology and water quality of the void. This paper reviews previous studies of the hydrology and geochemistry of coal spoil and discusses these studies in the context of predicting the quantity and quality of water in final voids created from coal mining. An example from coal mines in Queensland, Australia, is used to illustrate the nature of some of the important processes affecting water and solute movement in the final void environment.


Copyright © 2015 by Lloyd Townley
Last revised: 14 July 2015