The main objective of this research line is to design treatments for mining drainage waters (laboratory and field scale), including minimization and revalorization of mining residues.


Selected publications



Marazuela, M.A.; Vázquez-Suñé, E.; Ayora, C.; García-Gil, A. (2020) Towards more sustainable brine extraction in salt flats: Learning from the Salar de Atacama. Science of the Total Environment, 703, 135605. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135605

Wolkersdorfer, C.; Nordstrom, D.K.; Beckie, R.D.; Cicerone, D.S.; Elliot, T.; Edraki, M.; Valente, T.; França, S.C.A.; Kumar, P.; Oyarzún, R.A.; Soler, A. (2020). Guidance for the Integrated Use of Hydrological, Geochemical, and Isotopic Tools in Mining Operations. Mine Water and the Environment, 1-25. DOI: 10.1007/s10230-020-00666-x


Basallote, M.D.; Canovas, C.R.; Olias, M.; Perez-Lopez, R.; Macias, F.; Carrero, S.; Ayora, C.; Nieto, J.M. (2019) Mineralogically-induced metal partitioning during the evaporative precipitation of efflorescent sulfate salts from acid mine drainage. Chemical Geology, 530, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.119339

Cama, J.; Soler, J.M.; Ayora, C. (2019) Acid Water–Rock–Cement Interaction and Multicomponent Reactive Transport Modeling. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 85, 459-498. DOI: 10.2138/rmg.2018.85.15

Caraballo, M.A.; Wanty, R.B.; Verplanck, P.L.; Navarro-Valdivia, L.; Ayora, C.; Hochella, M.F. (2019) Aluminum mobility in mildly acidic mine drainage: Interactions between hydrobasaluminite, silica and trace metals from the nano to the meso-scale. Chemical Geology, 519, 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.04.013

Gimenez-Gomez, P.; Baldi, A.; Ayora, C.; Fernandez-Sanchez, C. (2019) Automated Determination of As(III) in Waters with an Electrochemical Sensor Integrated into a Modular Microfluidic System. ACS sensors, 4, 3156-3165. DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.9b01286

Lozano, A.; Ayora, C.; Fernández-Martínez, A. (2019) Sorption of rare earth elements onto basaluminite: The role of sulfate and pH. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 258, 50-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2019.05.016

Lozano, A.; Fernandez-Martinez, A.; Ayora, C.; Di Tommaso, D.; Poulain, A.; Rovezzi, M.; Marini, C. (2019) Solid and aqueous speciation of titrium in passive remediation systems of acid mine drainage. Environmental Science & Technology, 53(19), 11153-11161. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01795

Marazuela, M.A.; Vazquez-Sune, E.; Ayora, C.; García-Gil, A.; Palma, T. (2019) Hydrodynamics of salt flat basins: The Salar de Atacama example. Science of the Total Environment, 651, 668-683. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.190

Marazuela, M.A.; Vázquez-Suñé, E.; Ayora, C.; García-Gil, A.; Palma, T. (2019) The effect of brine pumping on the natural hydrodynamics of the Salar de Atacama: The damping capacity of salt flats. Science of the Total Environment, 654, 1118-1131. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.196


Lopez, J.; Reig, M.; Gibert, O.; Torres, E.; Ayora C.; Cortina, J.L.(2018) Application of nanofiltration for acidic waters containing rare earth elements: Influence of transition elements, acidity and membrane stability. Desalination, 430, 33-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2017.12.033

Lozano, A.; Fernández-Martínez, A.; Ayora, C.; Poulain A. (2018) Local structure and ageing of basaluminite at different pH values and sulphate concentrations. Chemical Geology Volum, 496, 25-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.08.002

Marazuela, M. A.; Vazquez-Sune, E.; Custodio, E.; Palma, T. García-Gil, A; Ayora, C. (2018) 3D mapping, hydrodynamics and modelling of the freshwater-brine mixing zone in salt flats similar to the Salar de Atacama (Chile). Journal of Hydrology, 561, 223-235. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.04.010

Pujades, E.; Jurado, A; Orban, P.; Ayora, C.; Poulain, A.; Goderniaux, P: Brouyere, S.; Dassargues A. (2018) Hydrochemical changes induced by underground pumped storage hydropower and their associated impacts. Journal of Hydrology, 563, 927-941. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.06.041

Scheiber, L., Ayora, C., Vázquez-Suñé, E. (2018) Quantification of proportions of different water sources in a mining operation. Science of the Total Environment, 619, 587-599. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.172

Torres, E.; Lozano, A.; Macías, F.; Gomez-Arias, A.; Castillo, J.; Ayora, C. (2018) Passive elimination of sulfate and metals from acid mine drainage using combined limestone and barium carbonate systems. Journal Of Cleaner Production, 182, 114-123. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.224


Fernandez-Rojo L; Héry M.; Le Pape P.; Braungardt C.; Desoeuvre A.; Torres E.; Tardy V.; Resongles E.; Laroche E.; Delpoux ; Joulian C.; Battaglia-Brunet F.; Boisson J.; Grapin G.; Morin G.; Gassiot C. (2017) Biological attenuation of arsenic and iron in a continuous flow bioreactor treating Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). Water Research, 123, 594 - 606. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.06.059

Jofre-Melendez, R.; Torres, E.; Ramos-Arroyo, Y.R.; Galván, L.; Ruiz-Cánovas, C.; Ayora, C. (2017) Reconstruction of an Acid Water Spill in a Mountain Reservoir. Water, 9, 613. DOI: 10.3390/w9090613

Macias, F.; Perez-Lopez, R.; Caraballo, M.A.; Sarmiento, A.M.; Canovas, C.R.; Nieto, J.M.; Olias, M.; Ayora, C. (2017) A geochemical approach to the restoration plans for the Odiel River basin (SW Spain), a watershed deeply polluted by acid mine drainage. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24, 4506-4516. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-8169-9


Ayora, C.; Macías, F.; Torres, E.; Lozano, A.; Carrero, S.; Nieto, J.M.; Perez-Lopez, R.; Fernandez-Martínez, A.; Castillo-Michel H. (2016) Recovery of Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium from Passive-Remediation Systems of Acid Mine Drainage. Environmental Science & Technology, 50, 8255 - 8262. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02084

Canovas, C.R.; Olias, M.; Macias, F.; Torres, E.; San Miguel, E.G.; Galvan, L.; Ayora, C.; Nieto, J.M. (2016) Water acidification trends in a reservoir of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain). Science of the Total Environment, 541, 400 - 411. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.070

Caraballo, M,A.; Macias, F., Nieto, J,M., Ayora (2016) Long term fluctuations of groundwater mine pollution in a sulfide mining district with dry Mediterranean climate: Implications for water resources management and remediation. Science of the Total Environment, 539, 427 - 435. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.156

Dietrich, S.; Bea, S.; Weinzettel, P.; Torres, E.; Ayora C. (2016) Occurrence and distribution of arsenic in the sediments of a carbonate-rich unsaturated zone. Environmental Earth Sciences, 75, 90. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-015-4892-7

Torres, E; Galvan, L.; Canovas, CR; Soria-Piriz, S.; Arbat-Bofill, M; Nardi, A.; Papaspyrou, S; Ayora, C. (2016) Oxycline formation induced by Fe(II) oxidation in a water reservoir affected by acid mine drainage modeled using a 2D hydrodynamic and water quality model - CE-QUAL-W2. Science of the Total Environment, 562, 1 - 12. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.209


Carrero, S.; Perez-Lopez, R.; Fernandez-Martinez, A. Cruz-Hernandez P.; Ayora, C.; Poulain, A. (2015) The potential role of aluminium hydroxysulphates in the removal of contaminants in acid mine drainage. Chemical geology, 417, 414 - 423. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2015.10.020

De Pourcq, K.; Ayora, C.; Garcia-Gutierrez, M.; Missana, T.; Carrera, J. (2015) A clay permeable reactive barrier to remove Cs-137 from groundwater: Column experiments. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 149, 36 - 42. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.06.029

De Soto, I. S.; Ayora, C.; Cuevas, J. (2014) Geochemical processes in compacted clay in contact with an acid landfill leachate: laboratory experiments and modelling results. Clay Minerals, 49, 443 - 455. DOI: 10.1180/claymin.2014.049.3.07

Offeddu, F.G.; Cama, J.; Soler, J.M.; Davila, G.; McDowell, A.; Craciunescu, T.; Tiseanu, I. (2015) Processes affecting the efficiency of limestone in passive treatments for AMD: Column experiments. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 3, 304 - 316. DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2014.10.013

Yi, S.; Samper, J.; Naves, A; Soler, J.M. (2015) A single-site reactive transport model of Cs+ for the in situ diffusion and retention (DR) experiment. Environmental Earth Sciences, 74, 3589 - 3601. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-015-4419-2


Missana, T.; Garcí-Gutiérrez, M.; Benedicto, A.; Ayora, C.; de Pourcq, K (2014) Modelling of Cs sorption in natural mixed-clays and the effects of ion competition. Applied Geochemistry, 49, 95 - 102. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2014.06.011

Molinari, A.; Ayora, C.; Marcaccio, M.; Guadagnini, L.; Sanchez-Vila, X.; Guadagnini, A. (2014) Geochemical modeling of arsenic release from a deep natural solid matrix under alternated redox conditions. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21, 1628 - 1637. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-2054-6

Offeddu, F.G.; Cama, J.; Soler, J.M.; Putnis, C.V. (2014) Direct nanoscale observations of the coupled dissolution of calcite and dolomite and the precipitation of gypsum. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 5, 1245 - 1253. DOI: 10.3762/bjnano.5.138

Torres, E.; Ayora, C.; Jimenez-Arias, J.L.; García-Robledo, E.; Papaspyrou, S.; Corzo, A. (2014) Benthic metal fluxes and sediment diagenesis in a water reservoir affected by acid mine drainage: A laboratory experiment and reactive transport modeling. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 139, 344 - 361. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.04.013


Asta, M.P.; Perez-Lopez, R.; Roman-Ross, G.; Illera, V.; Cama J.; Cotte, M.; Tucoulou, R. (2013) Analysis of the iron coatings formed during sulphide oxidation at neutral-basic conditions. Geologica Acta, 11, 465-481. DOI: 10.1344/105.000002062

Atanassova, R.; Cama, J.; Soler, J. M.; Offeddu, F. G.; Queralt, I.; Casanova, I. (2013) Calcite interaction with acidic sulphate solutions: a vertical scanning interferometry and energy-dispersive XRF study. European Journal of Mineralogy, 25, 331 - 351. DOI: 10.1127/0935-1221/2013/0025-2279

Ayora, C; Caraballo, M.A.; Macías, F.; Rötting, T.S.; Carrera, J.; Nieto, J.M. (2013). Acid mine drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt: 2. Lessons learned from recent passive remediation experiences. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20, 7837 - 7853. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-1479-2

Cappelli, C.; Van Driessche, A.; Cama, J.; Huertas, F.J. (2013). In situ observation of biotite dissolution at pH 1 using advanced optical microscopy. Crystal Growth and Design, 13, 2880 - 2886. DOI: 10.1021/cg400285a

Cordoba, P.; Ayora, C.; Moreno, N.; Font O.; Izquierdo, M.; Querol, X. (2013) Influence of an aluminium additive in aqueous and solid speciation of elements in flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system. Energy, 50, 438-444. DOI: 10.1016/

Gibert, O.; Cortina, J.L.; de Pablo, J.; Ayora C. (2013) Performance of a field-scale permeable reactive barrier based on organic substrate and zero-valent iron for in situ remediation of acid mine drainage. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20, 7854 - 7862. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-1507-2

Nieto, J.M.; Sarmiento, A.M.; Cánovas, C.R.; Olías, M.; Ayora, C. (2013). Acid mine drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt: 1. Hydrochemical characteristics and pollutant load of the Tinto and Odiel rivers. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20, 7509 - 7519. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-1634-9

Quispe, D.; Perez-Lopez, R.; Acero, P.; Ayora, C.; Nieto, J.M. (2013) Formation of a hardpan in the co-disposal of fly ash and sulfide mine tailings and its influence on the generation of acid mine drainage. Chemical Geology, 355, 45 - 55. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.07.005

Quispe, D.; Perez-Lopez, R.; Acero, P.; Ayora, C.; Nieto, J.M. (2013) The role of mineralogy on element mobility in two sulfide mine tailings from the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain). Chemical Geology, 345, 119 – 129. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.03.002

Torres, E.; Ayora, C.; Canovas, C.R.; García-Robledo, E.; Galvan, L.; Sarmiento, A.M. (2013) Metal cycling during sediment early diagenesis in a water reservoir affected by acid mine drainage. Science of Total Environment, 461-462, 416 - 429. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.014