Groundwater Quality in Abandoned Underground Coal Mine Aquifers Across West Virginia
Abandoned underground coal mine aquifers cover a large part of West Virginia and could supply substantial quantities of water for agricultural, industrial, residential, and public use. Several Federal, State, and academic institutions have studied the availability and quality of water stored in abandoned underground coal mine aquifers for a variety of applications, such as economic development, geothermal energy, aquaculture, and wastewater disposal. However, the spatial and stratigraphic controls on water quality produced from abandoned underground coal mine aquifers are still poorly constrained on a state-wide basis. In response to these knowledge gaps, the U.S. Geological Survey initiated a study, in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, to understand the applicability of using existing secondary source data for understanding water quality in abandoned underground coal mine aquifers across the State.
Results from the calculation of net alkalinity indicated that Upper Pennsylvanian coal beds primarily produce net acidic waters and Lower Pennsylvanian coal beds primarily produce net alkaline waters. Multivariate statistical analysis of elemental data supports the conclusion that abandoned underground coal mine aquifers in the northern part of the State generally produce poor water quality and abandoned underground coal mine aquifers in southern West Virginia primarily produce good water quality. These results substantiate the potential benefits of leveraging abandoned underground coal mine aquifers as a multifaceted resource in West Virginia and can be used as a reconnaissance tool for water managers to characterize abandoned underground coal mine aquifers on a local scale.
McAdoo, M.A., Connock, G.T., and Kozar, M.D., 2023, Groundwater quality in abandoned underground coal mine aquifers across West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2023–5091, 31 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20235091.
ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)
Table of Contents
- Methods of Analysis
- Groundwater Quality in Abandoned Underground Coal Mine Aquifers
- Discussion and Limitations
- References Cited
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Groundwater quality in abandoned underground coal mine aquifers across West Virginia|
|Series title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Virginia and West Virginia Water Science Center|
|Description||Report: vii, 28 p.; Data Release|
|Online Only (Y/N)||Y|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|