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Acid Sulphate Soil Monitoring & Assessment

What are Acid Sulphate Soils?

Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS) are naturally occurring soils and sediments containing iron sulfides, primarily pyrite (FeS2).  In an undisturbed and reduced (i.e. waterlogged) condition they are relatively harmless and pose little to no risk to the environment. However, when disturbed and exposed to air, either directly (e.g. excavated) or indirectly (e.g. in response to groundwater dewatering), they can oxidise to produce a variety of iron compounds and sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The release of the H2SO4 causes the pH of the soil, and associated soil solution and/or groundwater, to decrease to levels that may result in the release and subsequent mobilisation of salts and metals and metalloids, resulting in the generation of metalliferous drainage.

Acid sulphate soils typically occur in recent (Holocene; last 10,000 years) estuarine sediments along the current coastline. However, as significant marine regression and transgression events have occurred since the Eocene period (56 – 34 million years ago), which have shaped the Australian coastline, ancient marine shorelines can occur inland up to an elevation of 330m AHD, resulting in a more widespread distribution of acid sulphate soil within Australia.  In addition, there is a growing realisation that acid sulphate soils occur extensively within inland regions, associated with wetlands, current river systems, paleo-drainage channels and other more permanent surface water bodies.

 

Benefits

Assisting with the integration of your environmental, planning and engineering requirements, Greencap provides expert advice and regulatory compliance for the identification, assessment and management of acid sulphate soil in all phases of land development projects (planning, construction and operational stages).

 

Management of Acid Sulphate Soil

With the increase in development across Australia, requirements for the assessment and management of acid sulphate soil are commonly included as part of the planning and approval process.

Assisting with the integration of your environmental, planning and engineering requirements, Greencap provides expert advice and regulatory compliance for the identification, assessment and management of acid sulphate soil in all phases of land development projects (planning, construction and operational stages).

 

Greencap Services

  • Desktop assessment of an area and to establish an accurate Conceptual Site Model (CSM) that will facilitate in the development of a cost-effective and targeted acid sulphate soil investigation
  • Site investigation and reporting in accordance with guidelines
  • Assessments of the site-specific risks associated with acid sulphate soil and the potential liabilities for a proposed development
  • Acid sulphate soil investigation reports and management plans based on project and regulatory requirements.
  • Dewatering management plans
  • Close out monitoring programs and reporting
  • Stakeholder engagement and liaison with regulatory agencies

 

Contact Our Experts

Brent Ridgard

National Practice Lead - Environment

Nick Waniarcha

National Operations Manager - Environmental Management

Celine Mangan

Manager - Mine Rehabilitation

Chris Gamble

Manager - Contaminated Land