Sketching water chemistry on the Animas, hunting mushrooms in the Northwest.

Hcn.org news in brief.

 

MUSHROOM HUNTERS
A colorful and diverse collection of workers spends months scouring forest floors for money-making fungi, as seen in this gallery. Here, Dao sorts burn morels in Carmacks in the Yukon Territory. He and his wife, Aloune, fled war-torn Laos in the 1970s and now spend nine months of the year on the road picking and buying mushrooms.
-Olivier Matthon

Dao sorts burn morels in Carmacks in the Yukon Territory. He and his wife, Aloune, fled war torn Laos in the '70s and now spends 9 months of the year on the road picking and buying mushrooms.
Olivier Matthon

8-27 the percent of California’s moisture deficit attributable to warm temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change.
-Cally Carswell

CHEMISTRY 101 ON THE ANIMAS
While there are a variety of ways that mining can pollute watersheds, the most insidious and persistent is acid mine drainage, a natural phenomenon exacerbated by mining. Acid mine drainage was the root cause of the Gold King blowout, and it plagues tens of thousands of abandoned mines across the West. It’s almost impossible to fix, and it lasts forever. How it works:

Once water (H2O) meets up with oxygen (O2) and pyrite (FeS2), a chain of reactions occurs, one of the products being H2SO4, otherwise known as sulfuric acid, or runoff that tends to have a pH level between 2 (lemon juice) and 5 (black coffee).
-Jonathan Thompson 

Before mining, snowmelt and rain seep into natural cracks and fractures, eventually emerging as a freshwater spring (usually).
Jonathan Thompson

After mining, mine tunnels intercept groundwater and expose it to pyrite and oxygen, setting up a chemical reaction that produces acid mine drainage.
Jonathan Thompson
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