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GIS data and scripts for Colorado Legacy Mine Lands Watershed Delineation and Scoring tool (WaDeS)

November 1, 2023

This data release includes GIS datasets supporting the Colorado Legacy Mine Lands Watershed Delineation and Scoring tool (WaDeS), a web mapping application available at Water chemistry data were compiled from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STORET database, and the USGS Central Colorado Assessment Project (CCAP) (Church and others, 2009). The CCAP study area was used for this application. Samples were summarized at each monitoring station and hardness-dependent chronic and acute toxicity thresholds for aquatic life protections under Colorado Regulation No. 31 (CDPHE, 5 CCR 1002-31) for cadmium, copper, lead, and/or zinc were calculated. Samples were scored according to how metal concentrations compared with acute and chronic toxicity thresholds. The results were used in combination with remote sensing derived hydrothermal alteration (Rockwell and Bonham, 2017) and mine-related features (Horton and San Juan, 2016) to identify potential mine remediation sites within the headwaters of the central Colorado mineral belt. Headwaters were defined by watersheds delineated from a 10-meter digital elevation dataset (DEM), ranging in 5-35 square kilometers in size. Python and R scripts used to derive these products are included with this data release as documentation of the processing steps and to enable users to adapt the methods for their own applications.


Church, S.E., Fey, D. L., Klein, T.L., Schmidt, T.S., Wanty, R.B., deWitt, E.H., Rockwell, B.W., and San Juan, C.A., 2009, Environmental effects of hydrothermal alteration and historical mining on water and sediment quality in Central Colorado in Planning for an uncertain future - Monitoring, integration, and adaptation: U.S Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5049, 

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Water Quality Control Commission 5 CCR 1002-31. Regulation No. 31 The Basic Standards and Methodologies for Surface Water. Effective 12/31/2021, accessed on July 28, 2023 at

Horton, J.D., and San Juan, C.A., 2022, Prospect- and mine-related features from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5- and 15-minute topographic quadrangle maps of the United States (ver. 8.0, September 2022): U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Rockwell, B.W. and Bonham, L.C., 2017, Digital maps of hydrothermal alteration type, key mineral groups, and green vegetation of the western United States derived from automated analysis of ASTER satellite data: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Publication Year 2023
Title GIS data and scripts for Colorado Legacy Mine Lands Watershed Delineation and Scoring tool (WaDeS)
DOI 10.5066/P9EU26J1
Authors Margaret A Goldman, Ben N Mcgee, Andrew H Manning, Katie Walton-Day, M. Alisa Mast, Carma A San Juan, Richard B Wanty
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center