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Minerals 2016, 6(1), 18;

Identifying the Presence of AMD-Derived Soil CO2 in Field Investigations Using Isotope Ratios

Mining & Nuclear Engineering Department, Missouri University of Science & Technology, 226 McNutt Hall, Rolla, MO 65409, USA
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Botswana, Private Mail Bag 0061 Gaborone, Botswana
ECHELON Applied Geosciences Consulting, 1229 Twelve Oaks Ct., Murrysville, PA 15668, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Mostafa Fayek
Received: 8 December 2015 / Revised: 2 February 2016 / Accepted: 26 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers of Surface Mining Research)
PDF [956 KB, uploaded 3 March 2016]


Recent incidents of hazardous accumulations of CO2 in homes on or adjacent to reclaimed mine land have been shown to be linked to neutralization reactions between acidic mine drainage and carbonate material. An efficient and economic method is necessary to identify the presence of acid mine drainage- (AMD-) derived CO2 on reclaimed mine land, prior to construction. One approach to identify the presence of AMD-derived CO2 is to characterize stable carbon isotope ratios of soil CO2. To do so, a viable method is necessary to acquire soil gas samples for isotope ratio analysis. This paper presents preliminary investigations of the effectiveness of two methods of acquiring gas samples (sampling during soil flux measurements and using slam bar) for isotope analysis. The results indicate that direct soil gas sampling is cheaper and provides better results. Neither method is adequate without accounting for temporal effects due to changing gas transport mechanisms. These results have significant implications for safe post-mining land uses and future investigations of leakages from geologic carbon sequestration sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon dioxide; isotope ratio; delta-13; soil gas sampling carbon dioxide; isotope ratio; delta-13; soil gas sampling

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Awuah-Offei, K.; Mathiba, M.; Baldassare, F.J. Identifying the Presence of AMD-Derived Soil CO2 in Field Investigations Using Isotope Ratios. Minerals 2016, 6, 18.

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