A finite element analysis of dissolved oxygen drawdown and sulfate production in strip mine spoil dams due to pyritic chemical reaction
Amend, Joseph Henry
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The problem of dissolved oxygen drawdown and sulfate production in strip mine spoil dams due to chemical reaction between an excess of pyrite, water, and dissolved oxygen is investigated. A finite element analysis is used to solve the diffusion-convection equation assuming steady state conditions and no internal oxygen sources. Oxygen recharge along the free surface is permitted. The analysis is performed in three steps. Step one calculates the nodal piezometric heads and elemental bulk fluid velocities. Steps two and three determine the nodal dissolved oxygen and sulfate concentrations. Solutions are presented for a wide range of soil permeabilities and dissolved oxygen reaction coefficients. It is found that as the dissolved oxygen reaction coefficients. decreased, the dissolved oxygen deficit decreased and the sulfate concentration increased. From these results it was found that the maximum dissolved oxygen deficit occurs at an internal point in the dam and the maximum sulfate concentration occurs on the downstream face of the dam. The computer program used in the analysis is written in FORTRMi IV computer language and requires a minimum of programming knowledge to implement.
- Doctoral Dissertations