Nevada Pit Lakes

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Created: Mar 16, 2021 at 8:57 p.m.
Last updated: Mar 26, 2021 at 10:08 p.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.14741342323941de8012c1add7d98bd6
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Sharing Status: Published
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Residual pit lakes from mining are often dangerous to sample for water quality. Thus, pit lakes may be rarely (or never) sampled. This study developed new technology in which water-sampling devices mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were used to sample five pit lakes in Nevada, USA during one week in 2017. Three of these pit lakes are located on public lands and two are located on private land owned by mining entities. Water-quality datasets from two of the three pit lakes on public lands, Dexter and Clipper are presented here. The current conditions of the Dexter pit lake were assessed by examining cation and anion concentration trends over a 17-year time period since the pit lake was last sampled in 2000. We compared our sampling data to prior water-quality data from the Dexter pit lake received from the authors of Balistrieri et al. (2006). This comparison for the Dexter pit lake showed the effect of evapoconcentration in increasing cation and anion concentrations. This approach can potentially incorporate the use of additional multi-parameter probes: pH, oxygen concentration, turbidity and chlorophyll. Some limitations of this UAV water sampling methodology are battery duration, weather conditions and payload capacity.

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Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
['Decimal degrees']
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Related Resources

This resource is referenced by Straight, B. J., Castendyk, D. N., McKnight, D. M., Filiatreault, P., & Pino, A. (2021). Using an unmanned aerial vehicle water sampler to gather data in a pit lake mining environment to assess closure and renew monitoring. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
Hatch Ltd.
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
University of Colorado Boulder

How to Cite

Straight, B. (2021). Nevada Pit Lakes, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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