Tools such as landform evolution models (LEMs) provide a means of predicting how a landform may evolve over extended periods of time. Here, we utilise the CAESAR-Lisflood LEM to assess a proposed rehabilitated landform of the Ranger Uranium Mine in the Northern Territory of Australia (Figure 1). The environmental requirements for the closure of the mine state that the final landform must be able to physically isolate tailings material from the environment for a period of at least 10,000 years (Australian Government, 1999). However, uncertainty exists as to the reliability of model predictions representing thousands of years.
In this study, we use model predictions from an undisturbed pre-mine landform to calibrate the parameters used in model simulations of a post-mining rehabilitated landform over a simulated period of 1,000 years. Specifically, we vary environmental conditions such as rainfall, presence/absence of vegetation and surface particle size characteristics in a series of model simulations to determine their impact on the respective landforms, to revise model input parameters as required. A simulated period of 1,000 years was used as it represents a period in which long term landform evolution patterns and trends may be established and identified.
Lowry, J B C, Narayan, M, Evans, K G, Saynor, M J and Hancock, G R, 2018. Using an undisturbed landform to calibrate long-term predictions of the evolution of a rehabilitated landform, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2018, pp 133–137 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).