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The Significance of Groundwater Flow Modeling Study for Simulation of Opencast Mine Dewatering, Flooding, and the Environmental Impact

Poltegor-Institute, Institute of Opencast Mining, 51-616 Wrocław, Poland
Water 2019, 11(4), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040848
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Thinking and Urban Water Cycle Management)
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Abstract

Simulations of open pit mines dewatering, their flooding, and environmental impact assessment are performed using groundwater flow models. They must take into consideration both regional groundwater conditions and the specificity of mine dewatering operations. This method has been used to a great extent in Polish opencast mines since the 1970s. However, the use of numerical models in mining hydrogeology has certain limitations resulting from existing uncertainties as to the assumed hydrogeological parameters and boundary conditions. They include shortcomings in the identification of hydrogeological conditions, cyclic changes of precipitation and evaporation, changes resulting from land management due to mining activity, changes in mining work schedules, and post-mining void flooding. Even though groundwater flow models used in mining hydrogeology have numerous limitations, they still provide the most comprehensive information concerning the mine dewatering and flooding processes and their influence on the environment. However, they will always require periodical verification based on new information on the actual response of the aquifer system to the mine drainage and the actual climate conditions, as well as up-to-date schedules of deposit extraction and mine closure. View Full-Text
Keywords: open pit; dewatering; flooding; groundwater modeling; Poland open pit; dewatering; flooding; groundwater modeling; Poland
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Szczepiński, J. The Significance of Groundwater Flow Modeling Study for Simulation of Opencast Mine Dewatering, Flooding, and the Environmental Impact. Water 2019, 11, 848.

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