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What are the three effects of acid mine drainage?

Acid drainage polluted stream merges with unpolluted stream downstream from California’s Jamestown mine. Acid mine drainage is one of mining’s most serious threats to water. A mine draining acid can devastate rivers, streams, and aquatic life for hundreds, and under the “right” conditions, thousands of years.

What is acid mine drainage how does it affect the environment?

Acid mine drainage also affects the wildlife living within the affected body of water. Aquatic macroinvertebrates living in streams or parts of streams affected by acid mine drainage show fewer individuals, less diversity, and lower biomass. Many species of fish also cannot tolerate the pollution.

Is acid mine drainage point source pollution?

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generally a non-point-source water pollutant. It is the acidic water that drains out of above-ground or under-ground coal and metal mines.

How Acid mine drainage affects water quality?

Active and defunct gold and coal mines continue to pollute ecosystems through AMD and deposit of elements like radioactive material and heavy metals. First, the pollutant’s acidity leads to a decrease in pH of the recipient water, should that water body have insufficient buffering capacity.

How is acid mine drainage formed?

Acid mine drainage is the formation and movement of highly acidic water rich in heavy metals. This acidic water forms through the chemical reaction of surface water (rainwater, snowmelt, pond water) and shallow subsurface water with rocks that contain sulfur-bearing minerals, resulting in sulfuric acid.

What is meant by acid mine drainage?

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is currently the main pollutant of surface water in the mid-Atlantic region. AMD is caused when water flows over or through sulfur-bearing materials forming solutions of net acidity. AMD comes mainly from abandoned coal mines and currently active mining.