Hydrologic information for the north-central and western coal-mining regions of Missouri is needed to define the hydrologic system in these areas of major historic and planned coal development. This report describes the physical setting, climate, coal-mining practices, general hydrologic system, and the current (1980) hydrologie data base in these two coal-mining regions. Streamflow in both mining regions is poorly sustained. Stream water quality generally varies with location and the magnitude of coal-mining activity in a watershed. Streams in non coal-mining areas generally have dissolved-solids concentrations less than 400 milligrams per liter. Acid-mine drainage has seriously affected some streams by reducing the pH to less than 4.0 and increasing the dissolved-solids concentrations to greater than 1,000 milligrams per liter. This has resulted in fish kills in some instances. Ground-water movement is impeded both laterally and vertically in both mining regions, especially in western Missouri, because of the low hydraulic conductivity of the rocks of Pennsylvanian age. The quality of ground water varies widely depending on location and depth. Ground water commonly contains high concentrations of iron and sulfate, and dissolved-solids concentrations generally are greater than 1,000 milligrams per liter.
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USGS Numbered Series
Physical environment and hydrologic characteristics of coal-mining areas in Missouri