Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5116
The Green Valley reclaimed coal refuse site, near Terre Haute, Ind., was mined for coal from 1948 to 1963. Subsurface coal was cleaned and sorted at land surface, and waste material was deposited over the native glacial till. Approximately 2.7 million cubic yards of waste was deposited over 159 acres (92.3 hectares) in tailings ponds and gob piles. During 1993, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reclamation, improved the site by grading gob piles, filling tailings ponds, and covering the refuse with a layer of glacial drift. During 2008, the Division of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey initiated a cooperative investigation to characterize the hydrogeology of the site and construct a calibrated groundwater flow model that could be used to simulate the results of future remedial actions. In support of the modeling, a data-collection network was installed at the Green Valley site to measure weather components, geophysical properties, groundwater levels, and stream and seep flow.
Results of the investigation indicate that (1) there is negligible overland flow from the site, (2) the prevailing groundwater-flow direction is from northeast to southwest, with a much smaller drainage to the northeast, (3) there is not a direct hydraulic connection between the refuse and West Little Sugar Creek, (4) about 24 percent of the groundwater recharge emerges through seeps, and water from the seeps evaporates or eventually flows to West Little Sugar Creek and the Green Valley Mine Pond, and (5) about 72 percent of groundwater recharge moves vertically downward from the coal refuse into the till and follows long, slow flow paths to eventual dischage points.
Posted September 19, 2011
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Bayless, E.R., Arihood, L.D., and Fowler, K.K., 2011, Hydrogeology and simulation of groundwater flow at the Green Valley reclaimed coal refuse site near Terre Haute, Indiana: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5116, 70 p., available only at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5116/.
Purpose and Scope
Methods of Investigation
Hydrogeology of the Green Valley Reclaimed Coal Refuse Site
Simulated Groundwater Flow
Selection and Sensitivity Analysis of Model Parameters
Observations and Observation Weights
Changes in the Design of the Model During Calibration
Calibrated Parameter Values
Analysis of the Residuals
Simulated Water Levels
Simulated Flow Paths
Model Limitations and Qualifications
Summary and Conclusions