Modeling of Acid Mine Drainage: Implementation for Design and Decision Making



Numerical modeling is used worldwide among scientists and technicians who work on environmental issues.

The management of water resources and the characterization and restoration of contaminated sites and mining operations most frequently require advanced modeling techniques.

These modeling techniques allow us to combine site-specific data and laboratory data which are used to define the physico-chemical processes which occur in soil, landfills, aquifers and surface waters. Advanced numerical models are also important tools for decision-making and the management and restoration of areas potentially contaminated by mining operations.

During this course, participants will learn to identify the main chemico-physical processes that are responsible Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) generation and to mitigate the resulting impact. Participants will be able to:

  1. Define the conceptual models that describe the main processes in a practical example of AMD which will be facilitated by the course instructors
  2. Build numerical models to simulate AMD generation

Use numerical models for the quantitative assessment of AMD and mitigation options


This course is designed for engineers, scientists and technical staff who work in environmental management and metallic mining and who want to improve their knowledge of advanced numerical modeling in AMD.  


By the end of the course, participants should be familiar with the following:

  • The geochemical and hydrological processes which generate acid mine drainage
  • The methodology for building numerical models that link site-specific data with laboratory data
  • PHREEQC (Parkhurst y Appello, 1999)
  • The use of models to simulate AMD generation and the options to mitigate the impact.


Below are the main objectives for each course activity:




Understand the processes involved in AMD generation and ways to mitigate its impact.

Theoretical & practical examples

Understand methodology for building numerical modeling for AMD simulation, i) use of site-specific data and laboratory data, ii) definition of conceptual model; iii) identification of data necessary for building numerical model.

Exercise with PHREEQC v.2 (Parkhurst y Appelo, 1999)


Familiarization with PHREEQC. Input: Solution; Equilibrium in atmospheric composition; reaction kinetics.

Output: Aqueous speciation; saturation index; partial pressure of gases; generating output files.

Theoretical & practical example

Analysis of output data model. Evaluation of AMD impact mitigation options.



Modeling of Acid Mine Drainage (DAM): Implementation for Design and Decision Making

Day 1

07:30 – 08:30



09:00 – 09:30

Introduction to environmental hydrogeochemistry models


09:30 – 10:30

Introduction to PHREEQC


10:30 -11:00

Coffee break


11:00 – 11:30

Practical exercises


11:30 – 12:30

Description of Acid Mine Drainage (Part I – Geochemistry)






Description of Acid Mine Drainage (Part II – Hydrogeology)



Coffee break



Scaled data and processes: from the laboratory to site

Presentation of acid mine drainage case study and exercises


Day 2


Modeling of AMD: Prediction of water drainage quality


10:30 -11:00

Coffee break



Reaction kinetics and equilibrium in atmospheric composition for AMD simulation






Reactive transport modelling using PHREEQC



Coffee break



Analysis of the results in PHREEQC

AMD mitigation options



  • David Arcos

    David Arcos has a doctorate in Geology from the University of Barcelona (1996). In 1997, he joined Amphos 21 Consulting, a scientific and strategic environmental consulting company, as Senior Consultant. He is currently Director of Mining Geochemistry at Amphos 21. H ...
  • Jorge Molinero

    Dr. Molinero has 19 years of experience in groundwater hydrology and hydrochemistry . He is currently Director of ...
Register Here Download Program December 1-2, 2015
Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología - UTEC


David Arcos and Jorge Molinero
Language EspañolSpanish


Early Bird Registration
USD 690/ PEN 2.140
Early Bird Registration: October 2, 2015
USD 860/ PEN 2.670