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Effect of Surface Coal Mining on the Hydrology of Crooked and Turkey Creek Basins, Jefferson County, Alabama

Water-Resources Investigations Report 79-91

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Abstract

Streamflow, sediment yield, and water quality were monitored from October 1975 through May 1977 to determine the impact of surface coal mining on the hydrology of Crooked and Turkey Creek basins in Jefferson County, Alabama. The basins are in the northeast part of the Warrior coal field. Coal is and has been mined from the Blue Creek, Mary Lee, and and Newcastel coal beds in the Mary Lee group. Results show water-quality degradation, increased sediment yields, and increased low flow in most tributaries draining mined areas. The impact of mine drainage and sediment yield from mined subbasins on water in the main stem of Turkey Creek was small due to the alkalinity of the water in the creek and to dilution ratios that ranged from 1:30 to 1:300. Mine drainage has affected the quality of water in Crooked Creek. The dissolved solids concentration in water downstream from the mined areas was as much as 7 times greater than that in water in unmined parts of the basin. The sediment yield to Crooked Creek was lower in the mined area than in the unmined segment of the stream. The lower yield is due, in part, to the trapping of sediment in sediment ponds in the mines and in a swamp downstream from the mines. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effect of Surface Coal Mining on the Hydrology of Crooked and Turkey Creek Basins, Jefferson County, Alabama
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
79-91
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1979
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
vi, 39 p.