Environmental consequences of the Retsof Salt Mine roof collapse

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Organization: 

Publication Year: 

2013

Abstract: 

In 1994, the largest salt mine in North America, which had been in operation for more than 100 years, catastrophically flooded when the mine ceiling collapsed. In addition to causing the loss of the mine and the mineral resources it provided, this event formed sinkholes, caused widespread subsidence to land, caused structures to crack and subside, and changed stream flow and erosion patterns. Subsequent flooding of the mine drained overlying aquifers, changed the groundwater salinity distribution (rendering domestic wells unusable), and allowed locally present natural gas to enter dwellings through water wells. Investigations including exploratory drilling, hydrologic and water-quality monitoring, geologic and geophysical studies, and numerical simulation of groundwater flow, salinity, and subsidence have been effective tools in understanding the environmental consequences of the mine collapse and informing decisions about management of those consequences for the future.

Document Type: 

  • Report

Tags: 

  • critical issues, database publication, mining, new york