Projecting future changes in element concentrations of approximately 100 untreated discharges from legacy mines in Japan by a hierarchical log-linear model

Yuichi Iwasaki, Keiichi Fukaya, Shigeshi Fuchida, Shinji Matsumoto, Daisuke Araoka, Chiharu Tokoro, Tetsuo Yasutaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding future changes in the concentrations of elements such as Cd in mine drainages, which can cause severe environmental impacts, is crucial to strategically optimize the treatment and management of such drainages. In this study, on the basis of 17-year data (2003–2019) for 99 untreated drainages from legacy mines in Japan, we developed a Bayesian hierarchical log-linear model that can capture temporal changes in the concentrations of seven elements including six metals (Cd, Pb, As, Cu, Zn, Fe, and Mn) in individual mine drainages. We also projected future changes to understand the prospective trends nationwide. The modeling results showed that, during 2003–2019, although overall decreasing trends were observed for most elements across all the drainages evaluated, decreases in the concentrations of these elements were not evident in many mine drainages (5%–28% of drainages for individual elements); in addition, any rise in the number of mine drainages with element concentrations below nationwide drainage standards over the next 100 years will likely be limited (e.g., approximately 10 drainages for Zn and Fe at median estimates). These results have significant implications for future strategies to manage mine drainages: it is probably too optimistic to assume that the element concentrations of mine drainages will always decrease, or that these drainages will satisfy drainage standards (permits) in the not so distant future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147500
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume786
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep 10

Keywords

  • Abandoned mine
  • Bayesian hierarchical modeling
  • Closed mine
  • Heavy metals
  • Trace metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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