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Hydrogeology of and potential mining impacts on strippable lignite areas in the Denver Aquifer, east-central Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4366

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,

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Abstract

This study describes the hydrogeology of and potential impacts of mining on strippable lignite areas in the Denver aquifer in the east-central Colorado plains. Strippable lignitic coal seams , 20 to 60 ft thick, are present in the Denver Formation. The Denver aquifer, the saturated part of the Denver Formation, is likely to be affected locally by surface mining of lignite. Transmissivity of the aquifer in the study area ranges from 145 to 1,000 mg/L to the northeast in the study area as, hydraulic head decreases from 6,600 to 5,400 ft. Distance-drawdown curves show the extent of water level drawdown near a dewatered surface mine. After reclamation of the lignite mine pit, flow through the lignite spoil pile may increase the dissolved solids concentrations in the Denver aquifer. This increase could occur, because, as water from rain and overland flow percolates through the newly-exposed rock surfaces in the spoil material, minerals from the overburden can be dissolved in the water, which then joins with water from the aquifer. This increase could locally change streams, springs, and alluvial and bedrock aquifers. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeology of and potential mining impacts on strippable lignite areas in the Denver Aquifer, east-central Colorado
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4366
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1986
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 39 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.