The disintegration of rocks by weathering plays an important role in the occurrence of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), which is the environmental problem caused by the exposure of sulfide minerals to water and oxygen. The weathering of rocks is, generally, classified into physical or chemical weathering. However, there are few studies that focus on the complex interaction between physical and chemical weathering of rocks and on the effects of the interaction on the occurrence of AMD. This paper elucidates the complex interrelation between physical and chemical weathering of rocks as well as the progress of AMD through leaching test and weathering test with argillaceous rocks taken in open-cast coal mine in Indonesia in addition to sample analysis before and after the wetting and drying cycle: the rock samples were exposed to oxygen and water during the cycle. The results indicated that the argillaceous rocks which consist of sulfide and/or sulfate caused chemical weathering with micro-cracks on the surface of rocks through the dissolution of soluble iron and sulfur during the occurrence of AMD. Additionally, physical weathering of rocks due to clay minerals was accelerated by chemical weathering with the development of cracks with the occurrence of AMD in the argillaceous rocks containing kaolinite and pyrite. Although weathering of rocks also accelerated AMD, it was concluded that the sulfur content, the form of sulfur and iron in rocks, and the supply of oxygen significantly contributed to the occurrence of AMD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)