Evolving Chemistry of the Berkeley Pit Water

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1-24-2019


The Berkeley Pit contains nearly 50 billion gallons of water, and its depth is approaching the “critical level” that it cannot be allowed to exceed. This talk will present an unofficial history of the Berkeley Pit and its Lake, including the geology, mining, water flow, and water chemistry. Topics include water flow into the pit and formation of acid mine water, major events which influence inflow and water quality, discharge regulations, the design of treatment approaches, estimation of important thermodynamic data, and a model for the water chemistry.

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Montana Tech’s 2018 Lifetime Distinguished Researcher, Metallurgical Engineering Professor Dr. Hsin Huang, retired in May, 2018 after ~40 years on the faculty. His research interests are in process analysis and modeling, and he developed the STABCAL program in use worldwide for thermodynamics calculations useful in metallurgy, geochemistry, water chemistry, environmental engineering, and other fields where chemical processes are important. Educated in Taiwan and Ph.D. in the U.S., Huang enjoys traveling, hiking, tennis, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, and is studying piano.