Conceptual Modelling of Pit Lake Processes and Ecological Risk

Clint McCullough (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER)

Conceptual modelling to better understand ecological risks posed by pit lakes

To ensure greatest scientific robustness of conceptual models we held a site visit and workshop in Collie with an expert panel of scientific researchers and managers from universities and State regulatory staff to best understand how these processes are likely working in different pit lakes. This workshop identified conceptual model needs e.g., a carbon cycling model and an acidity budget model. The intent is to then present the conceptual models as diagrammatic representations highlighting the nature of relationships between parameters and processes. These models will also be used to develop cohorts of similar pit lakes for later empirical modelling.

Photo: How does acidity enter Collie pit lakes? (Lake Kepwari)

Figure: Example conceptual modelling of pit lake chemistry

Funding: Department of Water (Western Australia)


McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2010). Mine Voids Management Strategy (IV): Conceptual Models of Collie Basin Pit Lakes. Department of Water Project Report MiWER/Centre for Ecosystem Management Report 2010-12, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. 95pp. Unpublished report to Department of Water. link

McCullough, C. D. & Van Etten, E. J. B. (2011). Ecological engineering of a novel lake district: new approaches for new landscapes. Mine Water and the Environment. 30: