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Simulated weathering experiments on coals and shales demonstrate that the critical factors responsible for the generation of acid mine drainage (AMD) are the amounts of total sulfur, total carbonate, and the surface area of the pyrite. Total sulfur and carbonate carbon contents differ markedly among paleoenvironments whose distribution has been mapped for the Alleghenian strata of western Pennsylvania. Freshwater (Estheria-bearing) shales have a mean total sulfur content of 0.15 percent and a mean carbonate carbon content of 0.54 percent. Brackish (Lingula-bearing) shales have a mean total sulfur content of 2.40 percent and a mean carbonate carbon...

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