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Mine water outbreak and stability risks : examples and challenges from England and Wales

Mayes, Will; Jarvis, A P


A P Jarvis


Abstract Although their frequency of occurrence is rare, the sudden outbreak of mine water from abandoned mines, or collapse of waste rock stores can be environmentally significant and represent significant postclosure legacies. This paper reports on a national survey of abandoned non-coal mine sites where concerns over mine water outbreak or stability are apparent across England and Wales. A range of respondents across environmental regulators and local authorities were consulted to populate a geodatabase. Outbreak risk was highlighted as a documented or suspected concern at 19 mine sites. Typical issues were related to adit blockages and associated perched mine water alongside issues of sudden ingress of surface waters into mines under high flow conditions. The majority of the responses concerning stability issues (72 sites in total) were related to fluvial erosion of riparian waste rock heaps. While successful management of such issues is highlighted in some cases, these are generally isolated examples. In both cases, the fact that stability or outbreak issues are often caused or exacerbated by extreme rainfall events highlights a potential future management issue with the predicted effects of climate change in north west Europe.

Journal IMWA 2016 - Mining meets water - Conflicts and solutions
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
ISBN 9783860125335
APA6 Citation Mayes, W., & Jarvis, A. P. Mine water outbreak and stability risks : examples and challenges from England and Wales
Keywords Mine water, Outbreak, Hazards, Hydrology, Climate change
Publisher URL The table of contents and full text for the proceedings is available at


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