In San Juan County, Colo., the effects of historical mining continue to contribute metals to ground water and surface water. Previous research by the U.S. Geological Survey identified ground-water discharge as a significant pathway for the loading of metals to surface water in the upper Animas River watershed from both acid-mine drainage and acid-rock drainage. In support of this ground-water research effort, Prospect Gulch was selected for further study and the geochemistry of surface and ground water in the area was analyzed as part of four sampling plans: (1) ten streamflow and geochemistry measurements at five stream locations (four locations along Cement Creek plus the mouth of Prospect Gulch from July 2004 through August 2005), (2) detailed stream tracer dilution studies in Prospect Gulch and in Cement Creek from Gladstone to Georgia Gulch in early October 2004, (3) geochemistry of ground water through sampling of monitoring wells, piezometers, mine shafts, and springs, and (4) samples for noble gases and tritium/helium for recharge temperatures (recharge elevation) and ground-water age dating. This report summarizes all of the surface and ground-water data that was collected and includes: (1) all sample collection locations, (2) streamflow and geochemistry, (3) ground-water geochemistry, and (4) noble gas and tritium/helium data.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Geochemistry of Surface and Ground Water in Cement Creek from Gladstone to Georgia Gulch and in Prospect Gulch, San Juan County, Colorado