The release and distribution of metals as well as acid from a mine tailings deposit into a stream have been studied, particularly the distribution and neutralization of acids, the distribution and chemical speciation of metals and metal adsorption and precipitation phenomena. The Bersbo mine, some 250 km SSW of Stockholm, was selected for the study. An over-view is given of the local geology, hydrology and hydrochemistry as well as the research program (field measurements, sampling, analytical procedures and modelling). The databases (chemical and hydrological) generated within the project are outlined. The paper serves as an introduction to a series of three papers based on field data from the same area.

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