Effects of solution mining on groundwater quality in the Kazan trona field, Ankara-Turkey: model predictions

Yazıcıgil H., Er C., Ates J. S., Çamur M. Z.

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY, vol.57, pp.157-172, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 57
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00254-008-1291-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.157-172
  • Keywords: Flow modeling, Solute transport, Solution mining of trona
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Three aquifer systems as deep, middle, and shallow were identified in the Kazan trona ore deposit area. The flow conditions and the interaction between various layers were conceptualized into a site hydrogeological model. Each aquifer system was hydraulically and chemically characterized and represented in a numerical groundwater model. The resulting model has been calibrated under steady-state and transient conditions using available data. The flow model was used in conjunction with a three-dimensional solute transport model to assess the impacts of the pilot well solution mining of the trona deposit on groundwater resources during operation and post-operation periods. The results of operation period indicate that, even under the worse conditions (50 times increase in vertical hydraulic conductivity due to subsidence), ion contribution from the mine area with 118,000 mg/l maximum concentration would be about 58 mg/l into the deep aquifer system. This contribution is about 1.45% of the existing concentration (4,000 mg/l) in the deep aquifer. After 1,000 years of post-operation period, ion contribution from the mine area with maximum 119,000 mg/l concentration would be about 205 mg/l into the deep aquifer under extremely worse conditions. This contribution is about 5-20% of present concentrations in the deep aquifer. Retardation factors, which were not considered during model simulations would decrease the predicted concentrations. It is concluded that pilot well solution mining of the trona deposit would not have significant impact on the quality of groundwater resources in the overlying aquifers.