Increased as load to the Uchen stream due to mine drainage and soils in the abandoned Kangwon mining district of Korea

Namin Koo, Kwon Rae Kim, Youn Jung Choi, Sang Hwan Lee, Gary Owens, Jeong Gyu Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To determine the appropriate allocation of resources for the future restoration of the abandoned mining district of Kangwon in Korea, identification of the main pollutants and the main sources discharging these pollutants is crucial. Therefore, a 2-year study was undertaken to quantify the amount of pollutants in the Uchen stream (a potential sink for contamination), which runs through the district, and to determine the potential sources of these pollutants, including mine drainage and soil. Arsenic (As) was the main pollutant in mine drainage and soils showing concentrations above the Korean regulated standard levels of 50 lg L-1 and 50 mg kg-1 for water and soil, respectively. In addition, the pollution index (PI) showed that mine drainages were polluted by As to a moderate (2 ≤ P<3) or strong (4 ≤ P<5) degree. Consequently, As load in mine drainage and soil contributed to increased amounts of As in the stream. The As loads in mine drainages (11 and 587 g month-1 for mine adit 1 and 2, respectively) accounted for only 9% of the total As load to the stream (6,378 g month-1); and the influence of mine drainages on As contents in the stream was more reliant on the total volume of mine drainage generated rather than the As concentration in the mine drainage. Approximately 91% of the As in the stream was derived from the soils within the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-697
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was financially supported by grant as ‘‘the Fundamental Investigation on Environment of the Han River’’ to J.G. Kim from the Korea Ministry of Environment and partly by a grant from Korea University.


  • Arsenic
  • As load
  • As-bearing mineral
  • Mine drainage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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