Techniques of Data Collection

Williams, Roy E. ; Winter, Gerry V. ; Bloomsburg, George L. ; Ralston, Dale R.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 46
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
GENERAL STATEMENT Data frequently can be collected by several dif¬ferent methods. The method required for the nec¬essary precision for inflow prediction to mines should be selected and other methods avoided. Pre¬cision monitoring or measuring techniques fre¬quently require more time, expertise, and expense in their implementation that may not be justifiable. The temporal distribution of the data needs also may dictate the method used for data collection. Continuous recording devices may be required for time sensitive data whereas point measurements of other parameters may be adequate. Data needs will vary as the hydrologic investigation proceeds. In¬itial data needs may require only a qualitative col¬lection of data such as the areal distribution of precipitation. Subsequent data needs may require the measurement of ground water levels to the near¬est hundredth of a foot. Data requirements can be difficult to fulfill for ground water systems. This is particularly true for anisotropic, heterogeneous hydrostratigraphic units since the hydrogeologic parameters vary both ver¬tically and areally. Techniques exist for determining the storage characteristics of both unconfined and confined hydrostratigraphic units but these pro¬cedures require the installation of multiple wells in the same unit which may be impractical. Specific tests are discussed subsequently that permit the determination of vertical hydraulic conductivity. Data collected from field procedures or tests are generally preferred to laboratory derived data. This is especially true for hydrogeologic parameters such as hydraulic conductivity. SURFACE WATER SYSTEMS Precipitation Precipitation data can be collected from sources that maintain a historical record. The US Depart¬ment of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmos¬pheric Administration (NOAA), maintains weather observation stations across the country. Such a sta¬tion frequently can be found near a proposed mine site but the type of weather data collected varies from station to station. Fortunately, precipitation data are collected ubiquitously. The data collected by NOAA can be purchased for the area of interest in the form of monthly and annual tabulations. Private weather stations constitute a second source of precipitation data. Existing data usually are analyzed by one of three methods. The station average method merely sums the depth of precipitation at each station and divides the sum by the number of stations as fol¬lows: [ ] where Pavg is the average precipitation (L), P, is the depth of precipitation at station i (L), and N is the total number of stations. This method is applicable where there are a relatively large number of stations uniformly distributed across the area (Hjelnfelt and Cassidy, 1975, pp. 71-72). The second method, called the Thiessen poly¬gon method, weights the precipitation at each sta¬tion in direct proportion to the area it represents without consideration of topography. The stations are plotted on a map and perpendicular bisectors are drawn on the lines connecting the stations. The polygons formed by these bisectors constitute the area that the precipitation for that station repre¬sents. The overall precipitation can be calculated with the following equation:
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