On the common occurrence of sulphate with elevated δ34S in European mine waters: sulphides, evaporites or seawater?

Banks, D. , Boyce, A. J. , Burnside, N. M. , Janson, E. and Roqueñi Gutierrez, N. (2020) On the common occurrence of sulphate with elevated δ34S in European mine waters: sulphides, evaporites or seawater? International Journal of Coal Geology, 232, 103619. (doi: 10.1016/j.coal.2020.103619)

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Abstract

The stable isotopic (δ34S, δ18O, δ2H) composition of mine waters has been examined from coal and metal mines, of varying depth, in Spain (Asturias), the UK (north Derbyshire / Yorkshire) and Poland (Bytom, Upper Silesia). δ18O and δ2H data confirm a meteoric origin for all waters. The mine waters have elevated sulphate concentrations relative to recent meteorically-derived groundwaters and have elevated SO42-/Cl- ratios relative to marine water. In the shallower mines and Markham No. 3, the dissolved sulphate δ34S is low, suggesting the sulphate is derived from the oxidation of sulphide minerals. In most of the deeper mines, the dissolved sulphate δ34S is too high (>15‰), to be derived from simple pyrite oxidation. In the deep Polish and Spanish mine waters, the source of sulphate may be evaporite mineral dissolution, but such a mechanism is problematic in the case of the Caphouse (UK) mine. Fractionation associated with sulphate reduction may have contributed to elevated dissolved sulphate δ34S. Elevated sulphate in deep coal mine waters may not always be simply derived from pyrite oxidation. The consistent observation of elevated dissolved sulphate δ34S in deep coal mines suggests a distinct genetic pathway, the origin of which as yet remains equivocal.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This work was supported by the Low-Carbon After-Life (LoCAL) project under the European Commission Research Fund for Coal and Steel [Grant RFCR-CT-2014-00001]. AJB was funded by SUERC and the NERC NEIF Facility at SUERC. Isotopic analyses were carried out at the ICSF at SUERC [Grant: NERC Facility contract F14/G6/11/01]. NMB was funded by the University of Glasgow's Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellowship.
Keywords:Mine water, sulphate, sulphide, stable isotopes, evaporite, galena, seawater.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banks, Mr David and Boyce, Professor Adrian and Burnside, Dr Neil
Authors: Banks, D., Boyce, A. J., Burnside, N. M., Janson, E., and Roqueñi Gutierrez, N.
Subjects:Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:International Journal of Coal Geology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0166-5162
ISSN (Online):1872-7840
Published Online:14 October 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in International Journal of Coal Geology 232: 103619
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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