Surface-water hydrology of the Western New York Nuclear Service Center Cattaraugus County, New York

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4309



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Precipitation data were collected from October 1980 through September 1983 from three recording gages at the Western New York Nuclear Service Center, and surface water data were collected at three continuous-record gaging stations and one partial-record gage on streams that drain a 0.7 sq km part of the site. Seepage from springs was measured periodically during the study. The data were used to identify runoff characteristics at the waste burial ground and the reprocessing plant area, 400 meters to the north. Preliminary water budgets for April 1982 through March 1983 were calculated to aid in the development of groundwater flow models to the two areas. Nearly 80% of the measured runoff from the burial ground area was storm runoff; the remaining 20% was base flow. In contrast, only 30% of the runoff leaving the reprocessing plant area was storm runoff, and 70% was base flow. This difference is attributed to soil composition. The burial ground soil consists of clayey silty till that limits infiltration and causes most precipitation to flow to local channels as direct runoff. In contrast, the reprocessing plant area is overlain by alluvial sand and gravel that allows rapid infiltration of precipitation and subsequent steady discharge from the water table to nearby stream channels and seepage faces. Measured total annual runoff and estimated evapotranspiration from the reprocessing plant area exceeded the precipitation by 35%, which suggests that the groundwater basin is larger than the surface water basin. The additional outflow probably includes underflow from bedrock upgradient from the plant, water leakage from plant facilities, and groundwater flow from adjacent basins. (Author 's abstract)

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Surface-water hydrology of the Western New York Nuclear Service Center Cattaraugus County, New York
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 36 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.