Flow and water quality relations between surface water and ground water in the Puerco River basin near Chambers, Arizona
AdvisorNeuman, Shlomo P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Puerco River is an ephemeral stream that received effluent from uranium-mine dewatering operations from the 1950's until 1962 and from 1968 until mining ceased in 1986. Flow and water-quality relations between the Puerco River and the alluvial aquifer underlying it were investigated at a site near Chambers. Data collection included installing and sampling nine monitor wells and two drive points; monitoring stage and sampling surface water; and slug testing wells. The stream recharges the alluvial aquifer during periods of flow and the streambed is a location of ground-water discharge by evapotranspiration during periods of no flow. Discharge by evapotranspiration may exceed recharge thus reducing the potential for contaminant movement away from the river by advective transport. Geochemical modeling indicates that uranium minerals are undersaturated in the range in Eh observed. A +0.84 correlation was calculated relating dissolved uranium concentration to depth in monitor wells suggesting the stream is a source of uranium to the alluvial aquifer. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)