British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Modeling the thermal stratification of water filled mine pits Stevens, Craig; Lawrence, Gregory A.; Rogers, Christopher K.; Hamblin, P. F.


Meromixis, where a stratified body of water rarely mixes completely throughout its depth, is considered beneficial for containment of undesirable chemical species in water filled abandoned mine pits. Here we discuss a modeling effort examining the development of the thermal stratification in such a body of water. The model is a simple algorithm based on a one dimensional diffusion equation. The heat fluxes and boundary conditions are discussed as well as the mechanisms affecting turbulent diffusion and penetration of the mixed layer. This is especially important in the prediction of possible fall and spring overturns. The model is described in the context of the Brenda Mines Pit near Peachland. The temperature data does not strongly indicate meromixis, however, dissolved oxygen measurements show there might be a barrier to vertical penetration of heat and momentum.

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