Acid sulfate waters are produced mostly by the oxidation of common sulfide minerals such as pyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, and marcasite in rocks, soils, sediments, and industrial wastes. This spontaneous process of mineral weathering plays a fundamental role in the supergene alteration of ore deposits, the formation of acid sulfate soils, and the mobilization and release of acidity and metals to surface and ground waters. The purely natural process of “acid rock drainage” is often intensified by human activities related to mining, mineral processing, construction, soil drainage, and dredging. Geochemical reaction rates are accelerated because physical disturbance gives greater exposure of...

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