Water 2011, 3(1), 291-322; doi:10.3390/w3010291
Article

Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part I: Hydrogeological Setting and U Fluxes

1 North-West University, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa 2 Geotechnical Environmental Specialists, 108 Wenning Street, Groenkloof, Pretoria, 0181, South Africa
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2011; Accepted: 10 March 2011 / Published: 15 March 2011
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Abstract: Located downstream of goldfields of the Witwatersrand basin, the Gerhard Minnebron (GMB) Eye—as major water source for downstream community of some 300,000 people—may be impacted on by mining-related water pollution especially with uranium (U). Containing up to 5 m-thick deposits of peat that is frequently reported to act as a filter for U and other heavy metals, this paper is the first part of a series that aims to quantify the ability of the GMB peatland to act as buffer against current and future U pollution. In a first step, this paper outlines the geohydrological conditions and discusses how deep–level gold mining impacted on the dolomitic aquifers. Subsequently, the potential influx of U into the wetland is estimated and associated sources and pathways analyzed. Finally, a model is proposed explaining the significant differences in degree and dynamics of U observed within a single groundwater compartment.
Keywords: peat; uranium; gold mining; dolomite; karst; compartments; Gerhard Minnebron; South Africa

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MDPI and ACS Style

Winde, F.; Erasmus, E. Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part I: Hydrogeological Setting and U Fluxes. Water 2011, 3, 291-322.

AMA Style

Winde F, Erasmus E. Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part I: Hydrogeological Setting and U Fluxes. Water. 2011; 3(1):291-322.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Winde, Frank; Erasmus, Ewald. 2011. "Peatlands as Filters for Polluted Mine Water?—A Case Study from an Uranium-Contaminated Karst System in South Africa—Part I: Hydrogeological Setting and U Fluxes." Water 3, no. 1: 291-322.

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