Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-7-2021


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Biological Sciences


Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

Nancy Trun

Committee Member

John Stolz

Committee Member

David Kahler

Committee Member

Kyle Selcer


Abandoned Mine Drainage, Bioremediation, Passive Remediation, Passive remediation system, AMD, PRS, circumneutral


The Wingfield Pines remediation system is a ~20-acre circumneutral, gravity-fed system constructed in 2009 to passively remediate Fe from an ~2000 gallon/minute effluent. In 2017, a fracture to the system’s underground cavern caused the AMD effluent to bypass the system, flowing directly into Chartiers Creek and leaving the system decommissioned between 2017-2019. Soil slurry and water samples were collected in the weeks prior to the system’s reinstalment in September 2019 through January 2020 in order to determine the effect of the repair on remediation efficiency and microbial community composition. This study acted as the first to describe the temporary decommissioning of a previously functioning passive remediation system. Additionally, this study adds to the growing body of data compiled for contaminant levels and microbial communities throughout the Wingfield Pines PRS. The partitioning of Fe, Mn and Sulfate throughout the Wingfield Pines system were described, showing significant reductions of all Fe and Mn and an increase in the remediation efficiency of Fe as compared to 2017. 16s rRNA sequencing identified a high abundance of the order Chloroplast, particularly in the wetlands. After the system’s reinstalment an increase in the abundance and diversity of Chloroplast and bacterial orders such as Candidatus sp., Caulobacterales, and Anaerolineales was identified. Overall, the system’s reinstalment was characterized by a short calibration period followed by the immediate and efficient remediation of Fe (avg = 97.03%). Mn took slightly longer than Fe to reach peak remediation efficiency and showed variable remediation (avg = 69.58%). Sulfate was not remediated in the system (ponds 1-5) but showed a small decrease in concentration in the wetlands.



Available for download on Saturday, May 07, 2022