The Black Mesa monitoring program in Arizona is designed to determine long-term effects on the water resources of the area resulting from withdrawals of groundwater from the N aquifer by the strip-mining operation of Peabody Coal Company. Withdrawals by Peabody Coal Company increased from 95 acre-ft in 1968 to 4 ,090 acre-ft in 1988. The N aquifer is an important source of water in the 5,400-sq-mi Black Mesa area on the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations. Water levels in the confined area of the aquifer declined as much as 19.7 ft near Low Mountain from 1988 to 1989. Part of the decline in the measured municipal wells may be due to local pumping. During 1965-88, water levels in wells that tap the unconfined area of the aquifer have not declined significantly and have risen in many areas. Chemical analysis indicate no significant changes in the quality of water from wells that tap the N aquifer or from springs that discharge from several stratigraphic units, including the N aquifer, since pumping began at the mine. The groundwater flow model developed for the study area in 1988 was updated using pumpage data for 1985-88. The model simulated a steady decline in water levels in observations wells developed in areas of unconfined groundwater. Measured water levels in these wells did not show this trend but indicated that water levels remained the same or increased. The model accurately simulated water levels in most observation wells developed in areas of confined groundwater.
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Progress report on the ground-water, surface-water, and quality-of-water monitoring program, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona— 1988-89|
|Series title||Open-File Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Description||v, 33 p.|
|Other Geospatial||Black Mesa area|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|