Influence of Acid Mine Drainage on Surface Water Quality

  • M. BálintováEmail author
  • E. Singovszká
  • M. Holub
  • Š. Demčák
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 69)


Acid mine drainage (AMD) has been a detrimental by-product of sulphidic ores mining for many years. In most cases, this acid comes primarily from oxidation of iron sulphide, which is often found in conjunction with valuable metals. AMD is a worldwide problem, leading to ecological destruction in watersheds and the contamination of human water sources by sulfuric acid and heavy metals, including arsenic, copper and lead.

The Slovak Republic belongs to the countries with long mining tradition, especially in connection with the mining of iron, copper, gold, silver and another polymetallic ores. The abandoned mine Smolnik is one of these mines where AMD is produced.

Acid mine drainage from an abandoned sulphide mine in Smolnik, with the flow rates of 5–10 L s−1 and a pH of 3.7–4.1, flows into Smolnik creek and adversely affects the stream’s water quality and ecology. High rainfall events increase the flow of Smolnik Creek, which ranges from 0.3 to 2.0 m3 s−1 (monitored 2006–2016). Increased flow is associated also with a pH increase and precipitation of metals (Fe, Al, Cu and Zn) and their accumulation in sediment. The dependence of pH on flow in Smolnik Creek was evaluated using regression analysis.

The study also deals with the metal distribution between water and sediment in the Smolnik creek depending on pH and the metal concentrations.


Acid mine drainage Heavy metals pH Surface water 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bálintová
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Singovszká
    • 1
  • M. Holub
    • 1
  • Š. Demčák
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Civil EngineeringInstitute of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of KošiceKošiceSlovakia

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