Open-File Report 2010-1008
The Standard Mine Superfund Site is a source of mine drainage and associated heavy metal contamination of surface and groundwaters. The site contains Tertiary polymetallic quartz veins and fault zones that host precious and base metal sulfide mineralization common in Colorado. To assist the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its effort to remediate mine-related contamination, we characterized geologic structures, host rocks, and their potential hydraulic properties to better understand the sources of contaminants and the local hydrogeology. Real time kinematic and handheld global positioning systems were used to locate and map precisely the geometry of the surface traces of structures and mine-related features, such as portals. New reconnaissance geologic mapping, field and x-ray diffraction mineralogy, rock sample collection, thin-section analysis, and elemental geochemical analysis were completed to characterize hydrothermal alteration, mineralization, and subsequent leaching of metallic phases. Surface and subsurface observations, fault vein and fracture network characterization, borehole geophysical logging, and mercury injection capillary entry pressure data were used to document potential controls on the hydrologic system.
First posted March 5, 2010
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Caine, J.S., Manning, A.H., Berger, B.R., Kremer, Y., Guzman, M.A., Eberl. D.D., and Schuller, K., 2010, Characterization of geologic structures and host rock properties relevant to the hydrogeology of the Standard Mine in Elk Basin, Gunnison County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1008, 56 p.
Definitions of Brittle Structures
Location, Ecosystem, and Climate
Geological and Hydrological Overview
Reconnaissance Geologic Mapping
Fault Zone Characterization
Borehole Geophysical Logging
Drill Core Logging
Estimates of Intergranular Porosity and Permeability by MICP
55-Element ICP–AES–MS Rock Geochemistry
Mineralogy by X-Ray Diffraction
Observations and Data
Map to Sample Scale Features
Stratigraphy, Bedforms, Lithologic Contacts, and Geomorphology
Spot Mineralogy, Petrography, and Alteration
Ground Surface Elevation Gradients as a Proxy for Surface and Groundwater Flow
Joints and Televiewer Log Data
Faults, Fault Veins, and Fault-Related Fluid Flow
Summary of Key Observations and Hypotheses