--> ABSTRACT: The Recovery of Ground Water in Reclaimed Surface Coal Mines, by Christopher C. Mathewson and Kelley H. Peace; #91019 (1996)

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The Recovery of Ground Water in Reclaimed Surface Coal Mines

Christopher C. Mathewson and Kelley H. Peace

Ground water recovery in reclaimed surface mine blocks follows an exponential relationship of the form: Ew = RC log(t) + E0: where Ew is the water elevation at any time (t), E0 is the elevation of the pre-recovery water table and RC is the Recovery Coefficient. The Recovery Coefficient is a measure of the rate of recovery and is controlled by the Mine block Dimensions (MD), Hydrostratigraphic Setting (HS), Hydraulic Properties of the spoil (HP), regional Moisture Balance (MB) and the Surface Water contribution to spoil resaturation (SW). The Recovery Coefficient:

-- increases as the volume of the mine block decreases, as the thickness of the resaturated section increases, in deep and narrow mine pits and as the lag time between reclamation and the start of water table recovery decreases [MD];

-- increases as the surface infiltration increases, as lateral recharge from mine pit walls increases and as the rate of recharge from confined aquifers below the mine floor increase [HS];

-- decreases if replaced overburden has a lower hydraulic conductivity than the pre-mine condition [HP];

-- increases as the amount of excess moisture available for recharge increases [MB]; and

-- increases as the hydraulic conductivity of the reclaimed land surface increases and as leakage from surface water bodies increases [SW].

AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California