Estimating natural background groundwater chemistry, Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico
Published:January 01, 2010
Philip L. Verplanck, D. Kirk Nordstrom, Geoffrey S. Plumlee, Bruce M. Walker, 2010. "Estimating natural background groundwater chemistry, Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico", Through the Generations, Lisa A. Morgan, Steven L. Quane
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This 2½ day field trip will present an overview of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project whose objective was to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry at the Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico. Because of intense debate among stakeholders regarding pre-mining groundwater chemistry standards, the New Mexico Environment Department and Chevron Mining Inc. (formerly Molycorp) agreed that the USGS should determine pre-mining groundwater quality at the site. In 2001, the USGS began a 5-year, multidisciplinary investigation to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry utilizing a detailed assessment of a proximal natural analog site and applied an inter-disciplinary approach to infer pre-mining conditions. The trip will include a surface tour of the Questa mine and key locations in the erosion scar areas and along the Red River. The trip will provide participants with a detailed understanding of geochemical processes that influence pre-mining environmental baselines in mineralized areas and estimation techniques for determining pre-mining baseline conditions.
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Through the Generations
The tradition of Rocky Mountain geology remains strong at all scales, spatially and temporally. This volume fosters that tradition with its collection of peer-reviewed papers associated with the 2010 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Spatially, this volume discusses theories of continental mountain building events in tandem with microscopic observations and parts per billion trace element concentrations. Temporally, the volume covers geologic history from the Precambrian to modern issues of climate change and energy, groundwater contamination, geologic hazards, and landscape evolution. Many of the trips propose new interpretations of famous geologic ideas and environs such as Laramide deformation, the Colorado Mineral Belt, the Lewis and Clark Line, the Chalk Cliffs, and Garden of the Gods.