Reclamation of Orphaned Mine Sites and Their Effect on the Water Quality of the Lynx Creek Watershed
AffiliationSchool of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson
USDA, Forest Service, Prescott National Forest
KeywordsHydrology -- Arizona.
Water resources development -- Arizona.
Hydrology -- Southwestern states.
Water resources development -- Southwestern states.
Water pollution sources
Lynx Creek watershed (Ariz)
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RightsCopyright ©, where appropriate, is held by the author.
Collection InformationThis article is part of the Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest collections. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science and the University of Arizona Libraries. For more information about items in this collection, contact email@example.com.
PublisherArizona-Nevada Academy of Science
AbstractLynx Creek Watershed is located eight miles southeast of Prescott, Arizona, on the Prescott National Forest. The watershed consists of 13,600 acres, which are National Forest Lands. Approximately 600 acres in the watershed are patented mining claims. Gold was discovered in Lynx Creek in 1863 and the watershed was extensively mined for gold, silver and copper. The aftermath of the mining has resulted in numerous mine shafts, waste dumps and mill tailing ponds that were abandoned after the ore was played out. Drainage from the orphaned mine sites contribute a certain extent of toxic mineral and sediment pollution into Lynx Creek and eventually into Lynx Lake. Lynx Creek carries runoff which is slightly acidic in nature and has high concentrations of copper, manganese, iron, zinc and sulfates. The mineral pollutants have reduced the recreational and fisheries potential of the Lake. The Sheldon Mine complex consisting of a waste dump and the mill tailing dump were considered the major sources of pollutants into the Lake. The Sheldon Tailings pond was rehabilitated during the summer of 1975 and the waste dump during the summer of 1976 as part of a reclamation study that is being sponsored by SEAM (Surface Environment and Mining). The study is being conducted cooperatively by the School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, and the Prescott National Forest. Both sites were culturally treated and dressed with lime and topsoil. Studies are currently being conducted to measure the beneficial effects of the reclamation projects.
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Flow and water quality relations between surface water and ground water in the Puerco River basin near Chambers, ArizonaNeuman, Shlomo P.; Van Metre, Peter Chapman, 1956- (The University of Arizona., 1990)The 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.)
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