Experimental and numerical study on heavy metal contaminant migration and retention behavior of engineered barrier in tailings pond

He, Yong ✉; Li, Bing-bing; Zhang, Ke-neng; Li, Zhen; Chen, Yong-gui; Ye, Wei-min

Angol nyelvű Tudományos Szakcikk (Folyóiratcikk)
Megjelent: ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION 0269-7491 1873-6424 252 pp. 1010-1018 2019
  • SJR Scopus - Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis: D1
    Heavy metal pollution is a serious environmental problem globally, particularly in mines and tailings ponds. In this study, based on laboratory and field tests, the migration of heavy metal contaminants in a tailings pond and the retention behavior of a compacted bentonite engineered barrier system on the heavy metal contaminants were analyzed by a numerical simulation. The results demonstrate that the hydraulic conductivity of compacted bentonite is lower than that of the tailings from the laboratory tests. The hydraulic conductivity of the tailings sand decreased with an increase in the dry density and increased with an increase in the concentration of the chemical solution, which could be attributed to the large amounts of fine-grained soil contained in the tailings, according to the grain size distribution test. The hydraulic conductivity of the tailings from the engineering geological survey was between 2.0 x 10(-6) and 9.0 x 10(-5) m/s, and followed the order: tail coarse sand > tail silty sand > tail medium sand > tail fine silt. The numerical simulation of the seepage could satisfactorily describe the actual working condition of the tailings dam. With the groundwater seepage, the migration range of the heavy metal contaminant in the researched tailings pond reached a maximum of 45 m for 5 years. The retention efficiencies of the 0.2 m engineered barrier against the heavy metal contaminant for 15 and 30 years were 45.4% and 57.2%, respectively. Moreover, the retention efficiency would exceed 87% when the engineered barrier thickness is increased to 0.5 m. The results of model validation show that the calculated results are in good agreement with the measured ones. These findings can provide effective ideas for the prevention and control of environmental pollution in mines and tailings ponds. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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    2020-08-13 05:48