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Potential effects of surface coal mining on the hydrology of the Corral Creek area, Hanging Woman Creek coal field, southeastern Montana

Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4260

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Abstract

The Corral Creek area of the Hanging Woman Creek coal field, 9 miles east of the Decker coal mines near the Tongue River, contains large reserves of Federal coal that have been identified for potential lease sale. A hydrologic study was conducted in the area to describe existing hydrologic systems and to study assess potential impacts of surface coal mining on local water resources. Hydrogeologic data collected indicate that aquifers are coal and sandstone beds within the Tongue River Member of the Fort Union Formation (Paleocene age) and sand and gravel in valley alluvium (Pleistocene and Holocene age). Surface-water resources are limited to a few spring-fed stock ponds in the higher parts of the area and the intermittent flow of Corral Creek near the mouth. Most of the stock ponds in the area become dry by midsummer. Mining of the Anderson coal bed would remove three stock wells and would lower the potentiometric surface within the coal and sandstone aquifers. The alluvial aquifer beneath Corral Creek and South Fork would be removed. Although mining would alter the existing hydrologic systems and remove several shallow wells, alternative ground-water supplies are available that could be developed to replace those lost by mining. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Potential effects of surface coal mining on the hydrology of the Corral Creek area, Hanging Woman Creek coal field, southeastern Montana
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
83-4260
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1984
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 53 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.