Abandoned mine lands remediation

Partnering to solve abandoned mine land issues

A Cooperative Partnership Between Bureau of Land Management and the University of Nevada, Reno for Environmental Characterization and Remediation of the abandoned mine lands of Perry Canyon, Washoe County, Nevada PI - Ronald Breitmeyer, Ph.D. Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering Graduate Student, Rachel Thomas, Hydrogeology Perry Canyon is an abandoned mine land (AML) site located in Washoe County, NV approximately 35 miles north of Reno, NV.

Perry Canyon was mined in underground tunnels resulting in the exposure of sulfur rich minerals to oxygen and meteoric water. The combination of water, sulfide mineralization and oxygen has led to the production of acid mine drainage or AMD. AMD has the potential to mobilize heavy metals such as arsenic or lead potentially impacting area groundwater and surface water resources. The University of Nevada, Reno is partnering with the Bureau of Land Management through the Great Basin Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit (GB-CESU) Program to characterize the environmental risks in Perry Canyon and to begin to formulate solutions for any required corrective activities.

Researchers will utilize new approaches to site characterization and mapping of AML features such as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography and photogrammetry, geophysical surveys, and field-scale hydrologic analysis. Research and development conducted at Perry Canyon will be exported to other sites and have a broad impact on the evaluation and remediation of AML sites. In addition to solving a real-world environmental risk problem associated with a legacy mining site, graduate students in the Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences and Geological Engineering Program at the University of Nevada, Reno have are utilizing Perry Canyon as a field laboratory to practice skills in geophysics, hydrogeology and engineering design. Perry Canyon is intended to serve as an example of how partnerships between federal and state agencies and the University of Nevada can be used to solve the extensive problem of AML sites in Nevada and beyond. Funded and in Partnership with Bureau of Land Management

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