Data Requirements

Williams, Roy E. ; Winter, Gerry V. ; Bloomsburg, George L. ; Ralston, Dale R.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
GENERAL STATEMENT The primary objectives of any field data gath¬ering effort should be to (1) identify and gather the data necessary for the project and (2) obtain the data in a state-of-the-art manner. All too often the initial field data are collected both areally and tem¬porally in an illogical manner without the guidance of a conceptual model of the ground water flow systems involved or even a review of existing geo¬logic literature on the area of interest. The initial data collected frequently are of limited value while necessary basic reconnaissance information is miss¬ing. Initial field data should be collected with the intent of developing a hydrologic overview of the potential mine site and surrounding area. Ob¬viously, one of the initial objectives is to define the area requiring a hydrologic investigation. The data requirements should be identified by the time frame in which collection should be made and by the corresponding increase in sophistication of the data requirements with development and operation of the mine. The data requirements are summarized in Table 1. INITIAL LEVEL SITE INVESTIGATION Area Determination The initial task of any hydrogeologic investi¬gation is to determine the boundaries of the area requiring study. Obviously, the site of the proposed mine is included in the study area. The areal extent beyond the site may be determined from an eval¬uation of existing geologic and topographic maps. Those formations that overlie the ore body, the formations containing the ore body, and the formation(s) that lies immediately beneath the ore body are of direct concern for proper site recon¬naissance. Additional formations below the ore body may require study depending upon their thick¬ness, hydraulic conductivity, and degree of inter¬connection with the mine workings. This initial viewpoint identifies hydrostratigraphic units based strictly on geologic concepts such as mineralogy and structure. Formation outcrops, synclines, an¬ticlines, faults, and fracture and joint patterns are used to delineate the area of the site reconnaissance. The simplistic hydrogeologic environment (il¬lustrated in Fig. 3, chapter 2) requires that field data be collected via test wells and/or geophysical techniques. This approach is necessitated by the lack of surface features such as formation outcrops, streams, and springs. Fig. 5 (chapter 2) illustrates a slightly more complex hydrogeologic regime. The potential mine sites at locations A, B, C, D, and E each intercept a different ground water flow sys¬tem or combination of flow systems. Therefore, each mine location requires that a different area and size of area be investigated. A more complex geologic setting as illustrated in Figs. 6 and 7 (chapter 2) may be approached differently. The area included for the site recon¬naissance should encompass sufficient surrounding area to include the outcrops of those formations suspected of being influenced by the future mine. Even adjacent areas not suspected of being influ¬enced may be investigated if the formations of in¬terest crop out in those areas. Such an extension of the area of investigation would provide a greater regional understanding of the hydrogeologic properties of the formations (hydrostratigraphic units) of interest. Geologic Investigation The initial step before conducting the site re¬connaissance is to review all existing literature on the geology of the area. Existing information should be augmented with new exploration data on the dip, strike, thickness, and lateral extent of the for¬mations in the area. Exploration hole logs should be reviewed for indications of lost circulation, rub¬ble zones, and water producing zones. Existing aer¬ial photos such as those available from the US Department of the Interior, EROS Data Center,
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