Tarutis, W., T. Walski, & K. Klemow. 1994. ESTIMATION OF ACID MINE DRAINAGE IMPACT ON STREAMS USING CONDUCTANCE MEASUREMENTS. Contributed paper: Pennsylvania Academy of Science meeting. Abstract: Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 67:200.
Acid mine drainage (AMD) is characterized by high metal (particularly iron and manganese) and sulfate concentrations, high conductance, and low pH. In an effort to estimate AMD impact on streams in greater Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the empirical relationship between specific conductance and sulfate concentration was examined on AMD samples as well as synthetic preparations consisting of sulfate and seven different metal cations. AMD impacts were also interpreted in terms of the more conventional approach of plotting water quality data on cation-anion trilinear diagrams. The results demonstrate that conductance measurements can be a useful screening tool for evaluating AMD impact on streams, provided that the predominant anion is sulfate and dilution from runoff and contamination from other ions, such as from road salt, are minimal.