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Book Chapter

Field Methods for Sampling and Analysis of Environmental Samples for Unstable and Selected Stable Constituents

By
W.H. Ficklin
W.H. Ficklin
1
Deceased
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E.L. Mosier
E.L. Mosier
2
Retired
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Published:
January 01, 1997

Abstract

Water is an important agent in the chemical weathering of mineral deposits, mine tailings, waste rock, settling ponds and landfills, and in the dispersion of contaminants from these sources into the aquatic environment. The vast numbers of possible mineral assemblages and the complex chemical reactions that accompany mineral-water interactions result in a limitless variety of fluid compositions. For example, the variability in compositions of mine-drainage waters from a variety of active and inactive metal mines with diverse geologic characteristics are listed in Table 12.1.

In assessing water-quality characteristics, considerable care must be administered during the collection, preservation, and analysis of water samples. Analytical results from an improperly collected sample are at best questionable and at worst worthless. An excellent manual that documents field data collection and analysis procedures used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for water and fluvial sediments has been published by Fishman and Friedman (1989). Other equally authoritative manuals on water analysis are available (American Society for Testing and Materials, 1992; American Public Health Association et al., 1992; United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1983). The purpose of this chapter is to describe a number of field sampling and analysis techniques that are commonly used in acid-mine drainage and related mining-environmental water studies. Many of the techniques described here are for on-site measurements; others are for analysis of selected constituents that can be determined in the field, but that are more practically determined in the laboratory. For each method given, the general points covered are application, principle of the method, apparatus and reagents required, and a detailed description of the method including interferences, sample collection and preservation protocol, and reporting units and significant figures.

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Contents

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The Environmental Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits: Part A: Processes, Techniques, and Health Issues Part B: Case Studies and Research Topics

G.S. Plumlee
G.S. Plumlee
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M.J. Logsdon
M.J. Logsdon
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L.F. Filipek
L.F. Filipek
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
6
ISBN electronic:
9781629490137
Publication date:
January 01, 1997

GeoRef

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