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Potential effects of surface coal mining on the hydrology of the Snider Creek area, Rosebud and Ashland coal fields, southeastern Montana

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4051

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Abstract

The Snider Creek area of the Rosebud and Ashland coal fields contains strippable reserves of Federal coal that have been identified for potential lease sale. A hydrologic study has been conducted in the potential lease area to describe the existing hydrologic systems and to assess potential impacts of surface coal mining on local water resources. Hydrogeologic data collected from stock wells, observation wells, and drill holes indicate that shallow aquifers exist within the Tullock, Lebo Shale, and tongue River Members of the Fort Union Formation (Paleocene age) and within valley alluvium (Pleistocene and Holocene age). Most of the wells in the area are completed in the basal part of the Tongue River Member or in the upper part of the Lebo Shale Member and are used for watering of livestock. Small stock reservoirs are the primary source of surface water; Snider Creek and all other streams that originate in the area are ephemeral. The Terrett coal bed, the primary coal bed of the area, is located above the water table. Mining of the Terrett coal bed would destroy one stock well and several small reservoirs. Four other wells near the coal outcrop might be destroyed by mining. Alternative ground-water supplies are available to replace those lost by mining. Degradation of the quality of ground water, caused by the leaching of soluble salts from mine spoils, is not anticipated. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Potential effects of surface coal mining on the hydrology of the Snider Creek area, Rosebud and Ashland coal fields, southeastern Montana
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
82-4051
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1982
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 32 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.