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Geohydrology of the aquifers that may be affected by the surface mining of coal in the Fruitland Formation in the San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4251

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Abstract

A monitoring network of 50 wells was installed from 1975 to 1979 in the surface-mineable coal area. The purpose of the network was to collect hydrologic data and to establish a data base. The hydrologic data consist of water level measurements, water chemistry, and selected aquifer characteristics. The four aquifers considered in this study are: (1) The Pictured Cliffs Sandstone; (2) coal seams and interbedded lithologic units of the Fruitland Formation; (3) overburden of the Kirtland Shale and Fruitland Formation; and (4) the alluvium along the Chaco River and its eastern and northeastern tributaries. Five sites were selected for study. Four of these sites, Western Coal Company 's lease near Fruitland, Bisti West, Kimbeto, and Ojo Encino, have surface-mineable coal. The Chaco River alluvium was selected because it is downstream from anticipated mining activity. The specific conductances of the representative water samples from selected wells in the 4 aquifers in the 5 study areas ranged from 800 to 23,000 microsiemens/cm at 25 C. The dominant cation in all samples was sodium. The water is brackish in the Pictured Cliffs Sandstone and in the coal seams and interbedded lithologic units of the Fruitland Formation. It is fresh to saline in the overburden of the Fruitland Shale and Fruitland Formation, and fresh to brackish in the Chaco River alluvium. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Geohydrology of the aquifers that may be affected by the surface mining of coal in the Fruitland Formation in the San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4251
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1986
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 41 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.