Technique for predicting ground-water discharge to surface coal mines and resulting changes in head

Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4156

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Changes in seepage flux and head (groundwater level) from groundwater drainage into a surface coal mine can be predicted by a technique that considers drainage from the unsaturated zone. The user applies site-specific data to precalculated head and seepage-flux profiles. Groundwater flow through hypothetical aquifer cross sections was simulated using the U.S. Geological Survey finite-difference model, VS2D, which considers variably saturated two-dimensional flow. Conceptual models considered were (1) drainage to a first cut, and (2) drainage to multiple cuts, which includes drainage effects of an area surface mine. Dimensionless head and seepage flux profiles from 246 simulations are presented. Step-by-step instructions and examples are presented. Users are required to know aquifer characteristics and to estimate size and timing of the mine operation at a proposed site. Calculated groundwater drainage to the mine is from one excavated face only. First cut considers confined and unconfined aquifers of a wide range of permeabilities; multiple cuts considers unconfined aquifers of higher permeabilities only. The technique, developed for Illinois coal-mining regions that use area surface mining and evaluated with an actual field example, will be useful in assessing potential hydrologic impacts of mining. Application is limited to hydrogeologic settings and mine operations similar to those considered. Fracture flow, recharge, and leakage are nor considered. (USGS)

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Technique for predicting ground-water discharge to surface coal mines and resulting changes in head
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
217 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.