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GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 2020, VOL. 4, NO. 4, 269–281 INWASCON https://doi.org/10.1080/24749508.2019.1633220 RESEARCH ARTICLE Assessment of water quality of lakes used for recreational purposes in abandoned mines of Linden, Guyana a b a Marisa Sonya Williams , Temitope D. Timothy Oyedotun and Denise Adrianne Simmons Department of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Guyana, Greater Georgetown, Guyana, South America; Department of Geography, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Guyana, Greater Georgetown, Guyana, South America ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 7 December 2018 The open pit method is often the easiest and the most inexpensive form of mining. Bauxite mining, Accepted 14 June 2019 which commenced in 1916 in Linden, Guyana, has left many abandoned pits upon closure of mining activities; subsequently pit lakes have been formed. Globally, Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is KEYWORDS a common water quality problem for pit lakes. However, the pit lakes in Linden are used for Pit lake; chemical parameters; recreational activities. In this study, the water quality of three lakes in Linden (NE Kara Kara, Kara morphological parameters; Kara and LuckySpot)wereanalysedfor theirphysico-chemical characteristics. The morphological aesthetic parameters; Acid and aesthetic features were also examined. The study showed that all three lakes are acidic, with Mine Drainage mean pH values of 3.4, 3.1 and 4.7, which are not within the allowable range for recreational waters. Mean concentrations of Al (23.06 mg/l), Fe (10.56 mg/l) and Mn (2.4 mg/l) exceeded acceptable limits; nevertheless, TDS levels measured were within the acceptable limits. In terms of aesthetic quality, NE Kara Kara and Kara Kara pit lakes were free from any form of waste and debris. For the pit lakestobeconsideredsuitablefor recreational purposes, treatment of the lakes’ waters is recommended. 1. Introduction extent of the mine’s life (Fourie & Dohm, Jr, 1992). The removed overburden may be later used in the back- The environment serves as a viable source of food, ﬁlling process during mine closure rehabilitation shelter and clothing for humans. However, this depen- (Betournay, 2016). However, if the restoration and dence on natural resources by humans for survival has rehabilitation activities are not conducted on the intensiﬁed conﬂicts between the natural environment mined-out site, the excavated voids can over time and humans for decades, which has impacted geological develop into pit lakes (Boehrer, Yusta, Magin, & and biochemical processes (Blanchette & Lund, 2016; Sánchez España, 2016; Fabri, Carneiro, & Leite, 2013; Doyle & Runnells, 1997; El-Zeiny & El-Kafrawy, 2016; Savage, Bird, & Ashley, 2000). Søndergaard, Launridsen, Johansson, & Jeppesen, The development of pit lakes at abandoned mine sites 2018). Perhaps, no natural resource is more altered by is a common side eﬀect of open pit mining (Blanchette & human activities than land (Betournay, 2016), with its Lund, 2016;Chapman, 2002). Pit lakes, moreover, can over-the-years impacts on water resources as an exam- lead to Acid Mine Drainage (ADM) with resultant eﬀect ple (Mollema & Antonellini, 2016; Muellegger, in poor water quality (Castendyk, 2011; Castendyk, Weilhartner, Battin, & Hofmann, 2013). The mining Balistrieri, Gammons, & Tucci, 2015;Castendyk & operations for resources, such as bauxite, gold, coal, Webster-Brown, 2007; Koschorreck & Tittel, 2002; utilise the open pit method (Mossa & James, 2013; McCullough & Lund, 2006; McCullough, Marchant, Oggeri, Fenoglio, Godio, & Vinai, 2019). While this Unseld, Robinson, & O’Grady, 2012;Mhlongo & method is considered the most common and inexpen- Dacosta, 2014; Søndergaard et al., 2018). Nevertheless, sive method for extraction of these resources, it causes pit lakes are regularly used for recreational activities serious environmental impacts which can take decades (Doupe & Lymbery, 2005; Hinwood, Heyworth, Helen, to correct (Bangian, Ataei, Sayadi, & Gholinejad, 2012; & McCullough, 2012). González, Olías, Macías, Cánovas, & de Villaránc, 2018; Bauxite mining in Linden, Guyana commenced in Robles-Arena & Candela, 2010;Younger, Banwart, & 1916 (Joaquin, 2017). However, upon closure of these Hedin, 2002). To expose the ore for mining, it is neces- mine ﬁelds, rehabilitation and restoration works were sary to excavate large quantities of waste materials (also not considered as very important in the mine closure called overburden) to gain direct access to the ore activity. This was due to the lack of operational and (González et al., 2018; Oggeri et al., 2019); the void regulatory requirements at the time of closure. created by the excavation is left opened for the full CONTACT Denise Adrianne Simmons firstname.lastname@example.org Department of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Guyana, P. O. Box 10 1110, Turkeyen Campus, Greater Georgetown, Guyana, South America © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the International Water, Air & Soil Conservation Society(INWASCON). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 270 M. S. WILLIAMS ET AL. Therefore, there has been the abandonment of many of land (World Population Review, 2018). Linden is open pit mine sites established in the early years of the second largest town in Guyana, located in the bauxite mining which has resulted in pit lakes. Data on tenth administrative region (Upper Demerara – these pit lakes is lacking due to limited scientiﬁc research. Upper Berbice) about 101 kilometres (63 miles) This lack of data and little focus on the chemical water from the capital, Georgetown (Figure 1a). The town quality of pit lakes can result in several unidentiﬁed is divided into shores by the Demerara River – the environmental and social eﬀects (Hinwood et al., 2012). Mackenzie and Wismar shores. According to the last Importantly, this lack of data has led to uninformed conducted census in 2012, the town’s population is decisionsbythe public,asitrelatesto useofthe lakes. approximately 30,000 inhabitants (Guyana Bureau of The pit lakes in Linden, as it is common in other devel- Statistics, 2012). The residents are engaged in small- oping countries, are regularly used for recreational activ- scale farming, logging, gravel and bauxite mining ities. The aim of this study therefore is to assess the water (National Trust of Guyana, 2018). quality of three pit lakes regularly used for recreational Guyana lies south of the Caribbean and its climate purposes in Linden. The objectives in this study are: to is inﬂuenced by the northeast trade winds. The tro- assess the physico-chemical quality of the pit lakes; and pical climate is almost uniform in terms of tempera- to describe their morphological and aesthetic character- tures and humidity. However, seasonal variations in istics. This study is expected to contribute to the exiting temperature are slight and are experienced, particu- pool of knowledge of pit lakes around the world. It can larly along the coast (Merrill, 1993). The climate in also pave the way for further scientiﬁc research on pit Linden is classiﬁed as Af, which indicates a tropical lakes derived from mining activities such as sand or gold rainforest climate. The climate is generally charac- mining and can aid in decision making regarding bene- terised by two (2) wet and 2 dry seasons – ﬁcial end use(s) for pit lakes. December to February and May to July are the wet seasons, while mid-February to April and August to November are the dry seasons. Rainfall mean is 2. Material and methods 2350 mm annually. March is considered the driest month with 116 mm of rainfall. The highest amount 2.1 Study area of precipitation occurs in June, with a mean of Guyana is located on the northern coast of South 312 mm. The mean annual temperature is 26.5 °C America and is a member state of the Caribbean with the warmest month being in October (mean Community. The country is considered the third temperature 27.4 °C) and the coolest being in smallest independent nation on the continent, with January (mean temperature 25.7 °C) (Climate only 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 square miles) Data, URL). Figure 1. (a) Location of the study area (Inset: South America showing the location of Guyana and Map of Guyana showing Linden where the Lakes are located) (b) Google map of Linden and the three (3) Pit Lakes studied. 1 – North East (NE) Kara Kara mine, 2 – Kara Kara mine and 3 – Luck spot mine, showing sampling points. Data Sources: National Geographic, Esri, Garmin, HERE, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, increment P Corp. Credit: Content may not reﬂect National Geographic’s current map policy. Imagery Source: Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 271 This study targets three (3) pit lake sites in Linden. Pit three points and the mean of the three points was then Lakes 1 and 2 are located on the Mackenzie shore and Pit calculated. In cases where the entire (20 m) length of the Lake 3islocated on theWismarshore (Figure 1b). The rope was submerged, that point was considered greater siteswerechosenbasedon thelocal knowledgeofits than 20 m. Lake area, shape, type of pit lake, and prior recreational use and accessibility. Pit Lake 1 is called mining activity were also evaluated and considered. North East (NE) Kara Kara mine while Pit Lake 2 and Water samples collected from the pit lakes were ana- Pit Lake 3 are called Kara Kara mine and Lucky Spot lysed in the laboratory. The aesthetic considerations mine,respectively. Thesoiltypeforthestudy siteis discussed in this study were from the on-the-ﬁeld generally deﬁned as ﬁne to medium sand (grey, black, observation. Presence or absence of materials like bro- brown or white); and soft grey and dark brown clay ken glass or other sharp objects, large rocks, litter, (GGMC & Linmine, 1995). ﬂoating debris, medical wastes, seaweed or algae on shore line are some of the things looked out for on the sites, in addition to the consideration of access to the 2.2 Data collection and analysis sites via automobiles, boats or on foot (after Health Canada, 2012). A multi-parameter metre (HACH HQ40d) was used to Spearman’s Rank Correlation statistical test for the measure surface water quality at each of the pit lake sites results were undertaken using the Paleontological for pH, temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS) and Statistics (PAST) software (after Hammer, Harper, total dissolved oxygen (TDO). Clarity was measured & Ryan, 2001; Oyedotun, 2016), to determine the using a Secchi disk, and turbidity was measured using connection and variances between the parameters a HACH 2100P turbidimeter. Five (5) water samples and sites. were taken from each of the three sample sites at random points; spatial locations of which were marked using aGarminSeries62GPS-MAP systemduringthe ﬁeld- 3. Results work of February 2018. Samples from each of the sites were stored in 125 millilitre (ml) sterile containers for 3.1 Chemical and microbiological parameters laboratory analyses. One sample from each lake was The chemical characteristics in this study focused on collected for the testing of faecal coliform to determine the fourteen (14) determinants: pH, TDO, TDS, man- the concentration of coliform bacteria associated with the ganese, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, alumi- possible presence of disease-causing organisms. The con- nium, copper, iron, zinc, silicon, titanium, and one centrations of the elements aluminium, manganese, microbiological parameter (faecal coliform) which are chromium, iron, arsenic, lead, copper, cadmium, zinc critical for determining the water quality of the pit were determined using the Inductively Coupled Plasma lakes. Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and faecal coliform was tested using the Most Probable Number (MPN) method. The methods of data collection and 3.1.1. pH, total dissolved solids (TDS) and total analysis used in this study are well documented in litera- dissolved oxygen (TDO) ture, for example McCullough (2015), and Søndergaard The mean pH of all the samples collected was 3.7. et al. (2018). Speciﬁcally, the mean pH values for NE Kara Kara, The physical and chemical water quality results Kara Kara and Lucky Spot were 3.4, 3.1 and 4.7, respec- were compared with two recreational water quality tively (Figure 2). The results were not within the guidelines: (1) Guidelines for Canadian Recreational ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000) and Health Canada Water Quality (Health Canada, 2012); and, (2) (2012)range of 5.0–9.0. The results for TDS indicated Guidelines for recreational water quality and aes- that all the samples collected were within the acceptable thetics in Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for limit of 1,000 mg/l speciﬁed by ANZECC & Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZECC& ARMCANZ (2000). In this study, Pit Lake 2 had the ARMCANZ, 2000) in the absence of in-country highest TDS concentration (Figure 2). The mean TDS guidelines. Additionally, the former standard was values were as follows: NE Kara Kara 306.6 mg/l, Kara used to identify the parameters which were examined Kara 443.0 mg/l and Lucky Spot 5.2 mg/l. Total for the aesthetic characteristics. Similar to De Lange, Dissolved Oxygen (TDO) is considered as one of the Genthe, Hill, and Oberholster (2018), the physical best indicators of the health of any aquatic ecosystem characteristics examined in this study also considered (Muigai, Shiundu, Mwaura, & Kamau, 2010). The mean selected morphological characteristics of the pit lakes. TDO for the samples was 8.1 mg/l, which is in accor- The physical characteristics assessed in the ﬁeld were dance with the standard of > 6.5 mg/l stipulated by mean depth, sediment type, hydroperiod, surrounding ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000). NE Kara Kara had land use and presence of aquatic plants. Mean depth the highest concentration of 8.2 mg/l, followed by was measured using the 20 metre (m) length of the rope Kara Kara with a TDO of 8.1 mg/l and Lucky Spot of a Secchi disk, which was submerged into the lake at with a TDO of 8.0 mg/l. 272 M. S. WILLIAMS ET AL. Figure 2. Mean pH, TDS and TDO for the three Pit Lake sample sites. 3.1.2. Aluminium, titanium and silicon 3, on the other hand, had the lowest concentration of Aluminium, titanium and silicon were analysed aluminium and it was within the ANZECC & because of the high-quality composition of these che- ARMCANZ (2000) guideline (Figure 3). The mean micals in bauxite ore, which was the main material titanium concentration for NE Kara Kara, Kara Kara previously being mined in the study area. The extre- and Lucky Spot sample sites was 10 µg/l. Results for mely high levels of the composition of these materials silicon revealed that the mean was 4.2 mg/l. can be dangerous (Eccarius, 1998; Fabri et al., 2013), Speciﬁcally to the sites, Kara Kara had the highest therefore the need for their consideration in the ana- concentration of 7.1 mg/l, followed by NE Kara Kara lyses. The results for aluminium indicated that the with a value of 5.1 mg/l, and Lucky Spot with samples collected from Pit Lakes 1 and 2 were not a concentration of 0.4 mg/l (Figure 3). However, within the acceptable limit of 0.2 mg/l as speciﬁed by neither titanium nor silicon are included in the two ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000); the recorded values recreation water quality guidelines as elements of were 9.02 mg/l and 23.06 mg/l respectively. Pit Lake concern. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 273 Figure 3. Mean concentrations of aluminium, titanium and silicon in the lakes. 3.1.3. Chromium, manganese and arsenic 15 µg/l and Lucky Spot was 10 µg/l. Regarding the The mean concentration of chromium for Pit Lakes 1, 2 copper levels, Pit Lake 2 (Kara Kara) had the highest and 3 was 20 µg/l. All results obtained were within the concentration (Figure 5), while Pit Lakes NE Kara limit of 50 µg/l (ANZECC & ARMCANZ, 2000). The Kara and Lucky Spot had a value of 2 µg/l each. All mean concentration of manganese was 1.58 mg/l. The values obtained were below or within the recom- mean manganese concentration for NE Kara Kara was mended limit of 1000 µg/l. Additionally, the mean 2.40 mg/l, for Kara Kara it was 2.14 mg/l, and for Lucky concentration of cadmium for the three pit lakes was Spot, it was the lowest at 0.20 mg/l (Figure 4). These 2 µg/l (Figure 5), which was within the limit of 5 µg/l values exceeded the ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000) (ANZECC & ARMCANZ, 2000). acceptable limit of 0.1 mg/l. However, the mean arsenic concentration was within the acceptable limit of 50 µg/l 3.1.5 Zinc, iron and faecal coliform (ANZECC & ARMCANZ, 2000). Themeanconcentra- The mean concentration of zinc in the samples from tion of arsenic at all three sites was 30 µg/l (Figure 4). Kara Kara was 498.4 µg/l, which was the highest concentration compared to the other pit lakes. Pit 3.1.4 Lead, copper and cadmium Lakes 1 and 3 recorded zinc values of 103.4 µg/l The mean concentration of lead for all the samples and 9.75 µg/l, respectively (Table 1). However, these indicated that they were all within the limit of 50 µg/l results do not exceed the limit of 5000 µg/l recom- as speciﬁed by ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000). The mended by ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000). The mean for NE Kara Kara was 10 µg/l, Kara Kara was mean result for the iron of all the samples was 274 M. S. WILLIAMS ET AL. Figure 4. Mean concentrations of manganese, chromium and arsenic in the sampled pit lakes. 4.85 mg/l while for each individual site the mean Pit Lakes 1 and 2 were greater than 20 m; they were levels of iron were: for NE Kara Kara it was deeper than Pit Lake 3 with a mean depth of 16.5 m 3.96 mg/l, for Kara Kara it was 10.56 mg/l and for (Table 2). All the pit lakes were sandy with permanent Lucky Spot it was 0.032 mg/l. Pit Lakes 1 and 2 were waterlogged hydroperiods. All lakes were acidic with above the ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000) limit of pH values below 5 and a mean pH of 2.28 (Figure 2). 0.3 mg/l. The results for faecal coliform indicated that Bauxite mining was the prior mining activity at all all the samples collected were within the acceptable sample sites. In terms of shape, Pit Lakes 1 and 2 limit of 150 MPN/100 ml recommended by ANZECC can be considered as irregular while Pit Lake 3 is & ARMCANZ (2000). Pit Lake 1, 2 and 3 all had linear. Pit lakes 1 and 2 had aquatic plants which faecal coliform levels of 0 MPN/10 ml (Table 1). were submerged and attached to the sediments in the littoral zone while there were no aquatic plants in Pit Lake 3. Regarding possible water pollution source and 3.2 Physical characteristics the directional ﬂow of it, Pit Lake 1 was the only lake 3.2.1 Morphological characteristics with a possible pollution source (Kara Kara Creek) The surface areas of the pit lakes varied from which ﬂows west of the lake and is separated by 2 2 16,790 m to 478,293 m and the mean depths varied a dam. The Kara Kara Creek runs through the Kara from 16.3 m to > 20 m (Table 2). The mean depths in Kara community and drains into the Demerara River. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 275 Figure 5. Mean concentrations of lead, copper and cadmium in pit lakes’ waters. Table 1. Mean concentration of Zinc, Iron and Faecal 3.2.2 Clarity, turbidity and water temperature coliform. Mean water temperature for Lucky Spot was 32.0 °C Pit lake 1 (NE Pit lake 2 Pit lake 3 which was the highest when compared to the other Parameters Kara Kara) (Kara Kara) (Lucky Spot) pit lakes. Pit lakes 1 and 3 recorded mean tempera- Iron (mg/l) 3.96 10.56 0.032 Zinc (µg/l) 103.4 498.4 9.75 tures of 31.4 °C and 31.5 °C, respectively (Figure 6). Faecal coliform 00 0 The results were within the allowable limit of 33 °C (MPN/10 ml) (ANZECC & ARMCANZ, 2000). The mean turbidity of all the samples collected was 0.83 nephelometric 276 M. S. WILLIAMS ET AL. Table 2. Physical variables and the results obtained for each turbidity levels of all pit lakes were below the accep- pit lake. table limit of 50 NTU (ANZECC & ARMCANZ, Variables Pit Lake 1 Pit Lake 2 Pit Lake 3 2000). The results for clarity indicate that all the pit Hydroperiod Permanent Permanent Permanent lakes were within the limit of 1.6 m speciﬁed by Pit lake shape Irregular Irregular Linear ANZECC & ARMCANZ (2000) and 1.2 m speciﬁed Pit lake type Acidic Acidic Acidic Previous mining Bauxite Bauxite Bauxite by Health Canada (2012). Pit Lake 1 had a clarity activity reading of 5.9 m, Pit Lake 2 had a value of 4 m and Possible Pollution Creek None None source (PPS) Pit Lake 3 a reading of 2.6 m (Figure 6). Directional ﬂow of West None None PPS Conservation area No No No 3.2.3 Aesthetic considerations Surface area (m ) 478,293 318,187 16,790 Mean depth (m) > 20 > 20 16.5 Pit Lakes 1, 2 and 3 were free from any form of Sediment type Sand Sand Sand ﬂoating debris on the lake water. Additionally, Aquatic plants Submerged Submerged No aquatic (below (below plants therewerenobrokenglass or sharpobjects,nor water, roots water, roots large rocks, seaweed, algae, medical waste on the attached) attached) shoreline of any of the pit lakes. However, only Pit Lakes 1 and 2 were completely free from litter. As it relates to access to the lakes, only Pit Lake 1 turbidity units (NTU). The mean turbidity for NE could be accessed via vehicular transport and on Kara Kara and Lucky spot were both 0.7 NTU, foot (Table 3). while the turbidity in Kara Kara was 1.1 NTU. The Figure 6. Mean clarity, turbidity and temperature of water in sampled pit lakes. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 277 3.2.4 Correlations Table 4. Comparison between recreational water quality limits and results. The parameters TDO and clarity achieved the stron- ANZECC & Health Pit Pit Pit gest positive correlation with an R-value of 0.69. ARMCANZ Canada Lake Lake Lake Conversely, the strongest negative correlation was Parameter (2000) (2012) 1 2 3 between parameters TDS and pH, with a correlation Arsenic (µg/l) 50 - 30 30 30 pH 5.0–9.0 5.0–9.0 3.4 3.1 4.7 value of −0.93. Table 5 shows the correlation between Cadmium (µg/l) 5 - 2 2 2 the diﬀerent parameters tested during the ﬁeld assess- Chromium (µg/l) 50 - 20 20 20 Clarity (m) 1.6 1.2 5.9 4 2.6 ment; the analysis was done using the Spearman’s Lead (µg/l) 50 - 10 15 10 rank correlation statistic. Aluminium (mg/l) 0.2 - 9.02 23.06 0.1 Turbidity (NTU) - 50 0.7 1.1 0.7 Copper (µg/l) 1,000 - 2 9.4 2 Dissolved Oxygen 6.5 - 8.2 8.1 8 4. Discussion (mg/l) Iron (mg/l) 0.3 - 3.96 10.56 0.032 4.1 Chemical characteristics Manganese (mg/l) 0.1 - 2.4 2.14 0.2 Zinc (µg/l) 5,000 - 103.4 498.4 9.75 Analysis of the results reveals that water from the NE Total dissolved Solids 1,000 - 306.6 443.0 5.2 (mg/l) Kara Kara, Kara Kara and Lucky Spot pit lakes were Temperature (°C) 33 - 31.4 31.5 32.0 acidic with pH values which did not achieve the allow- Faecal coliform 150 - 0 0 0 (MPN/100 ml) able recreational water quality range of 5.0–9.0 units Silicon (mg/l) - - 5.1 7.1 0.4 (Figure 2, Table 4). The recorded mean pH was 3.7. It Titanium (µg/l) - - 10 10 10 has been established that pit lakes aﬀected by ADM have pH values between 2–4 units (Castendyk et al., concentrations, however, were found to be above the 2015; Castendyk & Eary, 2009;Castendyk, Eary,& acceptable limit with mean readings of 10.72 mg/l and Balistrieri, 2014; Koschorreck & Tittel, 2002; Kumar, 4.85 mg/l, respectively. Individual readings for iron and McCullough, Lund, & Larranãga, 2011). A common aluminium show that samples taken from the Lucky characteristic of low pH waters is high concentration Spot pit lake were below speciﬁed limits (Table 4). of metals which would subsequently increase TDS Reduced concentration of metals in Pit Lake 3 may be values (Mhlongo & Dacosta, 2014). Nevertheless, con- attributed to the neutralisation process which slowly centrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, cop- increases the pH level and hence metals become more per and zinc were found to be well within the limits insoluble, as similarly observed by Islam et al. (2017), speciﬁed by the two guidelines for recreational water Blanchette and Lund (2017), Elwira and Michal (2016). quality (ANZECC & ARMCANZ, 2000;Health Additionally, concentrations of manganese were found Canada, 2012)(Table 4). Aluminium, silicon, titanium to be above the allowable limit in all three of the pit and iron were major elements found in the soil at the pit lakes. TDS refer to total amount of inorganic salts and lakes, with mean concentrations ranging from 2–70% organic matter present in solution in water. As TDS (GGMC & Linmine, 1995). Although silicon and tita- increases, the pH decreases and vice versa, which nium were not elements of concern in the recreational demonstrates an inverse relationship (Islam et al., water quality standards, the mean concentrations were 2017). This rule of thumb was observed and conﬁrmed 4.2 mg/l and 10 µg/l respectively. Aluminium and iron in this study where a strong negative correlation between pH and TDS, that is, a value of −0.93 was determined (Table 5). The TDS values for the three pit Table 3. Aesthetic parameters for each pit lake. Parameters Pit Lake 1 Pit Lake 2 Pit Lake 3 lakes were within the acceptable limit. The TDO values Large rocks Absent Absent Absent for the three pit lakes were found to be adequate for the Litter on shore None None Low survival of biological life (Castendyk et al., 2014; Floating Debris None None None Broken Glass or None None None Muigai, et al., 2010;Santoﬁmia & López-Pamo, 2013) other sharp with values averaging 8.2 mg/l, 8.1 mg/l and 8.0 mg/l objects respectively. However, little to no visible aquatic life at Medical Waste None None None Seaweed or Algae None None None the lakes studied suggests that the other conditions may on the be needed for conducive biological growth (Emmrich, shoreline Access to pit lake Automobiles & on foot On foot On foot Schälicke, Hühn, Lewin, & Arlinghaus, 2014;Linton& Table 5. Correlation coeﬃcient between diﬀerent parameters measured on site. Temperature Turbidity TDS pH TDO Clarity Temperature 0.048963 −0.46,968 0.47,331 −0.55,103 −0.34,401 Turbidity 0.048963 0.57,143 −0.54,286 −0.26,727 0.052254 TDS −0.46,968 0.57,143 −0.93,571 −0.69,956 0.16,397 pH 0.47,331 −0.54,286 −0.93,571 0.07175 −0.099103 TDO −0.55,103 −0.26,727 −0.069956 0.07175 0.69,322 Clarity −0.34,401 0.052254 0.16,397 −0.099103 0.69,322 278 M. S. WILLIAMS ET AL. Goulder, 2000; Mollema & Antonellini, 2016;Williams, more linear and had a mean depth 16.5 m, which is Whitﬁeld, & Biggs, 2008). considerably lower when compared to Pit Lakes 1 and Concentrations of chemical constituents which were 2. This depth maybe as a result of continuous in-ﬁlling of above the speciﬁed limits could have harmful conse- sediments from the surrounding areas as common with quences. For example, aluminium, manganese and iron other pit lakes that have been studied elsewhere (e.g. were not within the acceptable limits. Prolonged expo- Bangian et al., 2012; Castendyk et al., 2015, 2014). The sure to such waters can cause itchy and runny eyes, surface area for the pit lakes ranged from approximately short-term skin rashes/infections, infections of the 16,700 to 480,000 m , with Pit Lake 1 having the greatest mucus membrane in the nasal cavity, and sore eyes surface area of 478,293 m . As it relates to possible (ANZECC& ARMCANZ, 2000;Hinwood et al., 2012; pollution source and its directional ﬂow, Pit Lake 1 was Schmid-Wendtner & Korting, 2006). the only lake with a possible pollution source (Kara Kara Creek) (Table 2)which ﬂows west of the lake and is separated by a dam. Physical examination of the dam 4.2 Physical characteristics suggests that the water level of the dam is signiﬁcantly higher than that of the lakes, as a result the dam overtops Historically, the creation of pit lakes has impacted the during the rainy season contaminating the creek water landscape and environment in many ways. Additionally, that ﬂows into the lake. these lakes have the potential to contaminate ground- water resources and the wider catchment area (Boehrer et al., 2016; Davis and Ashenberg, 1989; González et al., 4.3 Aesthetic characteristics 2018; Robles-Arena & Candela, 2010;Sarmiento, Nieto, Olías, & Cánovas, 2009; Savage et al., 2000; Søndergaard Waters used for recreational purposes should be free et al., 2018; Younger et al., 2002). Pit lakes have diﬀering from substances or objects that impair its aesthetic physical characteristics when compared to natural lakes. quality (ANZECC & ARMCANZ, 2000). An evalua- An assessment of the results obtained revealed that para- tion of the pit lakes studied indicated that they were meters hydroperiod, pit lake type, prior mining activity, generally free from unpleasant substances and conservation practices and sediment type were similar objects. The exception, however, was Pit Lake 3 for all the pit lakes. Hydroperiod is the period in which which had a small amount of litter on the shore asoilareaiswaterlogged, whichfor thepit lakesisin (e.g. Figure 7). This is an indication that the lake is a permanent state. This therefore means that the water in frequently visited and used for recreational and other the lakes remains for all year round. Pit Lakes 1 and 2 had purposes by the public. The lakes were, however, free aquatic plants which were submerged and attached to the from other dangerous and hazardous materials such sediments in the littoral zone (Figures 5 and 6). as broken glasses, sharp objects, medical wastes and Although, turbidity and clarity values were low and algae. The accessibility to the lakes is restricted due to well within the allowable limit for recreational use the left-over heaps of sediments which were left (Table 4), thedepthsofPit Lakes1and2(> 20m) around the lakes because of the previous mining increase the risk for recreational activities such as swim- excavation and activities. The only access to Pit ming or diving (Hinwood et al., 2012). The shape of Pit Lakes 2 and 3 is via foot, while Pit Lake 1 can be Lakes 1 and 2 are irregular (Table 3), while Pit Lake 3 was accessed both on foot and by use of automobiles. Figure 7. Example of litter observed at Pit Lake 3 (Lucky Spot lake). GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 279 5. Conclusion and recommendation ORCID This study investigated the water quality, morpholo- Temitope D. Timothy Oyedotun http://orcid.org/0000- 0002-3926-0358 gical and aesthetic characteristics of three pit lakes located in abandoned mine areas in Linden, Guyana. Pit Lakes 1 and 2 (NE Kara Kara and Kara Kara) were References found to have the highest levels of contaminants present. Pit Lakes 1 and 2 both had mean pH values ANZECC & ARMCANZ. (2000). Australian and New Zealand below 4 units and TDS levels ranging from 306.6 mg/ guidelines for fresh and marine water quality,Volume 1. L – 443 mg/L indicating a positive correlation with Australian Water Association. Retrieved from https://www. waterquality.gov.au/sites/default/ﬁles/documents/anzecc- the high concentrations of metals, including Al armcanz-2000-guidelines-vol1.pdf (9.02 mg/l and 23.06 mg/l) and Fe (3.96 mg/l and Bangian, A. H., Ataei, M., Sayadi, A., & Gholinejad, A. 10.56 mg/l), both of which exceeded the speciﬁed (2012). Optimizing post-mining land use for pit area in limits for recreational use. Of the sixteen (16) chemi- open-pit mining using fuzzy decision-making method. cal, microbiological and physical parameters ana- International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 9, 613–628. lysed, a total of twelve (12) parameters for each of Betournay, M. C. (2016). Environmental risks of mining: the Pit Lakes 1 and 2 was within the acceptable limits underground mining and its surface eﬀects. Massachusetts and four (4) parameters were not. These parameters Institute of Technology. Massachusetts [Online]. Retrieved are pH, Al, Fe and Mn. For Pit Lake 3, only two (2) of from http://web.mit.edu/12.000/www/m2016/ﬁnalweb the sixteen water quality parameters did not achieve site/problems/mining.html the allowable limits, they are pH and Mn. Therefore, Blanchette, M. L., & Lund, M. A. (2016). Pit lakes are a global legacy of mining: An integrated approach to the results point to the need to consider treatment of achieving sustainable ecosystems and value for commu- the pit lakes’ water before the lakes are used for nities. Environmental Sustainability, 24(1), 28–35. intensive recreational activities; the treatment would Blanchette, M. L., & Lund, M. A. (2017). Turning neutralise the water and remove aluminium, manga- Hazelwood’s empty coal mine into a lake could help nese and iron. Alternatively, rehabilitation of the pit heal mining towns [Online]. Retrieved from The Conservation United States INC: https://theconserva lakes for other uses could be considered. tion.com/Turning-Hazelwoods-empty-coal-mine-into This study also revealed that the three pit lakes had -a-lake-could-help-heal-mining-towns-74258 similar morphological features, namely the sediment Boehrer, B., Yusta, I., Magin, K., & Sánchez España, J. (2016). type, hydro-period, shape and type although there Quantifying, assessing and removing the extreme gas load were diﬀerences in the surface areas, depths and pre- from meromictic Guadiana pit lake, Southwest Spain. The sence of aquatic plants. Notwithstanding the fact that Science of the Total Environment, 563–564,468–477. Canada, H. (2012). Guidelines for Canadian Recreational aesthetic quality is diﬃcult to measure due to indivi- water quality, 3rd ed. Ottawa, Ontario: Water, Air and dual preferences, it can be concluded from this study Climate Change Bureau, Healthy Environments and that the lakes were aesthetically pleasing, attributed Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada [Online]. primarily to the absence of ﬂoating debris, seaweed Retrieved from www.healthcanada.gc.ca and other hazardous materials. Castendyk, D. N., & Eary, L. E. (2009). The nature and global distribution of pit lakes. In D. N. Castendyk & L. The results presented in this study highlight the E. Eary (Eds.), Mine pit lakes: Characteristics, predictive need for further studies, including conducting modeling and sustainability (Vol. 3, pp. 1–11). Littleton, a human health risk assessment for the heavy metals CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, that exceed the recreational guidelines and under- Inc. (SME). taking a correlation study between the quality of the Castendyk, D. N. (2011). Lessons learned from pit lake plan- sediment/surrounding soil and water quality. ning and development. In C. D. McCullought (Ed.), Mine Pit Lakes: Closure and Management (pp. 15–28). Perth, Further investigations along these suggested lines Australia: Australian Centre for Geomechanics, University of research are hereby recommended prior to the of Western Australia. lakes being promoted for use for recreational Castendyk,D.N.,Balistrieri, L. S., Gammons,C.,&Tucci,N. activities. (2015). Modeling and management of pit lake water chem- istry 2 - case studies. 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Geology Ecology and Landscapes – Taylor & Francis
Published: Oct 1, 2020
Keywords: Pit lake; chemical parameters; morphological parameters; aesthetic parameters; Acid Mine Drainage
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