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Hydrologic characteristics and possible effects of surface mining in the northwestern part of West Branch Antelope Creek basin, Mercer County, North Dakota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 81-79

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Abstract

Lignite beds and abundant discontinuous sandstone beds of the Paleocene Sentinel Butte Member of the Fort Union Formation and sand and gravel beds in the Quarternary glaciofluvial deposits (Antelope Creek aquifer) are the most important aquifers for domestic and livestock water supplies in the West Branch Antelope Creek basin. In the Beulah-Zap lignite, ground water moves from highland area in the west toward the Antelope Creek aquifer. Water levels in the basal Sentinel Butte sandstone appear to be controlled by the level of Lake Sakakawea. In the glaciofluvial deposits of the Antelope Creek aquifer water moves from a ground-water divide northwestward to Lake Sakakawea and southeastward toward the Knife River. Large water-level declines in wells completed in the lignite and shallower aquifers could be expected with mining. The effects probably would be limited to within 1 to 2 miles of an active mine. Surface-runoff duration could be altered by increased infiltration and retention in the reclaimed are and possible temporal extension of base flow could occur. Shallow ground water beneath mine sites would be expected to increase in dissolved solids and locally to contain large sodium and sulfate concentrations. In some locations movement of poor quality water toward the Antelope Creek aquifer would be expected. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrologic characteristics and possible effects of surface mining in the northwestern part of West Branch Antelope Creek basin, Mercer County, North Dakota
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
81-79
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1981
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
viii, 73 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.