Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tomography and ground penetrating radar used to characterise mud from metal mining

26.11.2007
Electrical resistivity tomography is a technique based on the study of the response of the ground to electric pulses, while ground penetrating radar does the same but using electromagnetic pulses; this makes them ideal tools to determine the composition and structure of mud ponds of metallic tailings.

Added to other techniques in the arsenal of Geochemistry and mineralogy like chemical analysis and X-rays, and with the added advantage of them being cheap, fast and non-destructive methods, a great precision is achieved.

This statement has been described in the research work titled “Aplicación conjunta de técnicas geofísicas, mineralógicas y geoquímicas para la caracterización geoambiental de balsas de lodos mineros” (Combined application of geophysic, mineralogical, and geochemical techniques for the geoambiental characterisation of mining mud ponds) and is directed by the geology professor Tomás Martín Crespo from the Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC).

The south of Spain alone has over 80 metal mines, some still active and some already inactive. The abandoned storage ponds are made up of grain sized materials, ranging from medium to fine, that contain sulphides of low economical importance and a small proportion of waste metal that failed to be extracted. They represent an environmental issue, being a source of acidic mine drainage and heavy metals. It is crucial that all the storage ponds are evaluated and characterised prior to the natural restoration work of the mining fields.

The researchers at the URJC have focused on two particular mining fields (Monte Romero and Río Tinto) both in the Spanish province of Huelva, where the new geophysical techniques have provided excellent results. The electrical resistivity tomography worked particularly well, not only determining the precise geometry of the storage pool thanks to the high electrical resistivity contrast among the tailings and the bottom of the pool but also determining the different deposited layers and their heterogeneity. It even succeeded in differentiating the flows of groundwater inside the pool by the low resistivity of water.

The ground penetrating radar is very helpful in determining the characteristics and geometry of the sides and surface of the pool, detecting changes in humidity, but being more limited than the tomography because of the high attenuation effect that the tailings and the water in the pool have.

Gabinete de prensa | alfa
Further information:
http://www.urjc.es

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht WSU researchers document one of planet's largest volcanic eruptions
12.10.2017 | Washington State University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>