Appalachian Stream Polluted by Acid Mine Drainage From Coal Mining

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Muddy Creek, close to its confluence with the Cheat River, is heavily polluted by acid mine drainage (AMD)  from coal mines in the area abandoned decades ago. The orange sludge staining rocks in Muddy Creek, commonly known as "yellow boy", is caused by oxidation of sulfide minerals closely associated with coal seams, particularly pyrite, which produces sulfuric acid that in turn precipitates iron into the water. The increased acidity and dissolved metals effectively result in a stream devoid of living things. The Cheat River watershed, West Virginia, USA.
Muddy Creek, close to its confluence with the Cheat River, is heavily polluted by acid mine drainage (AMD) from coal mines in the area abandoned decades ago. The orange sludge staining rocks in Muddy Creek, commonly known as "yellow boy", is caused by oxidation of sulfide minerals closely associated with coal seams, particularly pyrite, which produces sulfuric acid that in turn precipitates iron into the water. The increased acidity and dissolved metals effectively result in a...
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