The effects of mountaintop removal coal mining and the valley fills created by this mining method in southern West Virginia were investigated by comparing data collected at valley-fill, mined, and unmined sites. Bed material downstream of valley-fill sites had a greater number of particles less than 2 millimeters and a smaller median particle size than the mined and unmined sites. At the 84th percentile of sampled data, however, bed material at each site type had about the same size particles.
Bankfull cross-sectional areas at a riffle section were approximately equal at valley-fill and unmined sites, but not enough time has passed and insufficient streamflows since the land was disturbed may have prevented the stream channel at valley-fill sites from reaching equilibrium. The 90-percent flow durations at valley-fill sites generally were 6-7 times greater than at unmined sites. Some valley-fill sites, however, exhibited streamflows similar to unmined sites, and some unmined sites exhibited streamflows similar to valley-fill sites. Daily streamflows from valley-fill sites generally are greater than daily streamflows from unmined sites during periods of low streamflow. Valley-fill sites have a greater percentage of base-flow and a lower percentage of flow from storm runoff than unmined sites. Water temperatures from a valley-fill site exhibited lower daily fluctuations and seasonal variations than water temperatures from an unmined site.
Description of study area
Low streamflow measurements
Continuous streamflow and stream temperature
Low streamflow characteristics
For addtional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
11 Dunbar Street
Charleston, WV 25301
or visit our site on the World Wide Web at:
Copies of this report can be purchased from:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Branch of Information Services
Box 25286, Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0286
If you have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, you may view and/or print the PDF version of this report. If you do not have Reader, you may download it here.
|AccessibilityFOIAPrivacyPolicies and Notices|
|U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL: http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/wri014092
Page Contact Information: GS Pubs Web Contact
Last modified: Thursday, July 28 2011, 06:44:17 PM