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Discharge and water quality of springs in Roan and Parachute Creek basins, northwestern Colorado, 1981-83

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4078

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Abstract

This report is a compilation and interpretation of discharge, water-quality, and radiochemical data collected at springs in the oil-shale regions of Roan and Parachute Creek basins, Colorado, from 1981 to 1983. Springs located on upland plateaus and ridges are mixed-cation bicarbonate water types with 216 to 713 milligrams per liter dissolved solids. Calcite and dolomite dissolution are dominant chemical reactions in upland springs. Springs located in the canyons contain greater concentrations of sodium and sulfate and have 388 to 3,970 milligrams per liter dissolved solids. Gypsum dissolution is an important chemical reaction in canyon spring water. The only trace constituents with mean concentration greater than 10 micrograms per liter in the study area were barium, boron, lithium and strontium. None of the canyon springs investigated represent discharge from the lower aquifer in the Green River Formation. Analysis of chemical and discharge data for streams in the Roan Creek drainage showed evidence of lower-aquifer discharge into the canyons. Springs located near an oil-shale mine or processing plant could be used for monitoring groundwater quality and quantity. Bicarbonate, fluoride, arsenic, boron, lithium, mercury, ammonia, and organic carbon may be chemical indicators of mine or process-water contamination of shallow aquifers near an oil-shale plant or mine. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Discharge and water quality of springs in Roan and Parachute Creek basins, northwestern Colorado, 1981-83
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4078
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 145 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.