Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Use of lidar point cloud data to support estimation of residual trace metals stored in mine chat piles in the Old Lead Belt of southeastern, Missouri

1 U.S. Geological Survey, Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science, Rolla, MO, USA;
2 Missouri University of Science & Technology, Department of Geologic Sciences and Engineering, Rolla, MO, USA;
3 Mississippi State University, Department of Geosciences, Starkville, MS, USA

Special Issues: Metal Contamination in the Environment

Historic lead and zinc (Pb-Zn) mining in southeast Missouri’s “Old Lead Belt” has left large chat piles dominating the landscape where prior to 1972 mining was the major industry of the region. As a result of variable beneficiation methods over the history of mining activity, these piles remain with large quantities of unrecovered Pb and Zn and to a lesser extent cadmium (Cd). Quantifying the residual content of trace metals in chat piles is problematic because of the extensive field effort that must go into collecting elevation points for volumetric analysis. This investigation demonstrates that publicly available lidar point data from the U.S. Geological Survey 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) can be used to effectively calculate chat pile volumes as a method of more accurately estimating the total residual trace metal content in these mining wastes. Five chat piles located in St. Francois County, Missouri, were quantified for residual trace metal content. Utilizing lidar point cloud data collected in 2011 and existing trace metal concentration data obtained during remedial investigations, residual content of these chat piles ranged from 9247 to 88,579 metric tons Pb, 1925 to 52,306 metric tons Zn, and 51 to 1107 metric tons Cd. Development of new beneficiation methods for recovering these constituents from chat piles would need to achieve current Federal soil screening standards. To achieve this for the five chat piles investigated, 42 to 72% of residual Pb would require mitigation to the 1200 mg/kg Federal non-playground standard, 88 to 98% of residual Zn would require mitigation to the Ecological Soil Screening level (ESSL) for plant life, and 70% to 98% of Cd would require mitigation to achieve the ESSL. Achieving these goals through an existing or future beneficiation method(s) would remediate chat to a trace metal concentration level that would support its use as a safe agricultural soil amendment.
  Article Metrics


1. Yabe J, Nakayama SMM, Ikenaka Y, et al. (2015) Lead poisoning in children from townships in the vicinity of a lead-zinc mine in Kabwe, Zmabia. Chemosphere 119: 941-947.    

2. Bello O, Naidu R, Rahman MM, et al. (2016) Lead concentration in the blood of the general population living near a lead-zinc mine site, Nigeria: Exposure pathways. Sci Total Environ 542: 908-914.

3. Lanphear BP, Hoenung R, Khoury J, et al. (2005) Low-level environmental lead exposure and children’s intellectual function: An international pooled analysis. Environ Health Perspect 113: 894-899.

4. Needleman HL, Riess JA, Tobin M, et al. (1996) Bone lead levels and delinquent behavior: J Am Med Assoc 275: 363-369.

5. Beyer WN, Franson JC, French JB, et al. (2013) Toxic exposure of songbirds to lead in the southeast Missouri lead mining district. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 65: 598-610.    

6. Johnson AW, Gutiérrez M, Gouzie D, et al. (2016) State of remediation and metal toxicity in the Tri-State Mining District, USA. Chemosphere 144: 1132-1141.    

7. Lukas V, Eldridge DF, Jason AL, et al. Status report for the 3D Elevation Program, 2013–2014. US Geological Survey, 2015, 17.

8. Wharton HM (1975) Introduction to the Southeast Missouri Lead District. Guidebook to the geology and ore deposits of selected mines in the Viburnum Trend, Missouri: Rolla, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, Report of Investigations, 2-14.

9. Sugarbaker LJ, Constance EW, Heidemann HK, et al. (2014) The 3D Elevation Program initiative—A call for action. USGS Circular 1399: 35.

10. Snyder GI, The 3D Elevation Program—Summary of the Program Direction. USGS Fact Sheet, 2012.

11. Heidemann HK (2014) Lidar base specification (ver. 1.2, November 2014). U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, B4: 67.

12. Witt III EC (2015) Geospatial Resources for the Geology Community: The USGS National Map. J Geol 123: 283-294.    

13. Newfields (2006) Hydrogeology and groundwater quality of mill waste piles: St. Francois County, Missouri. Report submitted on November 30, 2006 as an addendum to the March 2006―Focused Remedial Investigation of Mined Areas in St. Francois County, Missouri by Newfields, 730 17th Street, Suite 925, Denver, CO 80202.

14. Mosby DE, Weber JS, Klahr F, Final phase I damage assessment plan for southeast Missouri lead mining district: Big River Mine Tailings superfund site, St. Francois County and Viburnum Trend sites, Reynolds, Crawford, Washington, and Iron counties: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 2009. Available from: https://www.fws.gov/Midwest/es/ec/nrda/SEMONRDA/documents/finalapsemomdphase11-7-09.pdf

15. Wronkiewicz DJ, Adams CD, Mendosa C (2006) Transport processes of mining related metals in the Black River of Missouri’s New lead belt: in Center for the Study of Metal in the Environment, Final Report, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., ed. Iris Goodman, 142-175.

16. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Soil Mechanics Design Manual 7.01Naval Facilities Engineering Command 200 Stovall Street Alexandria, Virginia 22322-2300, 1986. Available from: http://www.geotechnicalinfo.com/navfac_soil_mechanics.pdf .

17. Smith SJ, Estimation of volume and mass and of changes in volume and mass of selected chat piles in the Picher mining district, Ottawa County, Oklahoma, 2005–10. USGS Sci Invest Rep 2013, 20.

18. Siebert S, Teizer J (2014) Mobile 3D mapping for surveying earthwork projects using and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system. Automat Constr 41: 1-14.    

19. Bunyak D (2000) To Float or Sink: A brief history of flotation milling. Min Hist J 7: 35-44.

20. St. Joseph Mining Company, Lead Processing Recovery in 1934, 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6KKZvJ8IsU.

21. Benn FW, Cornell WL (1993) Removal of heavy metals from Missouri lead mill tailings by froth flotation. Sep Sci Technol 28: 733-746.    

22. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1994) Technical Resource Document, Extraction and Beneficiation of Ores and Minerals, Volume 1 Lead-Zinc: Office of Solid Waste, Special Waste Branch 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 201460, EPA 530-R-94-011, NTIS PB94-170248

23. Center for Disease Control, Health Consultation, Elvins Mine Tailings, Elvins, St. Francois County, Missouri, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2010. Available from: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/pha.asp?docid=854&pg=1

24. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2005) Ecological Soil Screening Levels for Lead Interim Final: Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Washington DC, OSWER Directive 9285.7-70.

25. World Health Organization, Environmental Health Criteria 221:Zinc, Chapter 10- Evaluation of human health risks and effects on the environment, 2004. Available from: http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/ehc/221_Zinc_Part_3.pdf.

26. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment table 1. soil-and soil-gas-screening numbers (mg/kg soil) for nonvolatile chemicals based on total exposure to contaminated soil: inhalation, ingestion and dermal absorption, 2016. Available from: http://oehha.ca.gov/risk/chhsltable.html

27. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2007) Ecological Soil Screening Levels for Zinc Interim Final: Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Washington DC, OSWER Directive 9285.7-73.

28. Nordberg GF, Nogawa K, Nordberg M (2014) Cadmium, book chapter: Handbook on the Toxicology of Metals: Fourth Edition 1: 667-716.

29. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2005) Ecological Soil Screening Levels for Cadmium Interim Final: Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Washington DC, OSWER Directive 9285.7-65.

Copyright Info: © 2016, Emitt C. Witt III, licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved