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Hydrologic reconnaissance to identify areas of emergent groundwater, Mineral Creek, near Silverton, Colorado, June 2020

November 13, 2020

Hydrologic reconnaissance of Mineral Creek near Silverton, Colo., was conducted from June 25-27, 2020. Both banks of Mineral Creek and the adjacent hillsides were walked, starting near the ghost town of Chattanooga and proceeding downstream to the confluence of Mineral Creek with the Middle Fork of Mineral Creek. The purpose of this reconnaissance was to identify areas of emergent groundwater on the right (EGR) and left (EGL) banks, a task that was accomplished by following observed surface flows (seeps and springs) upgradient to the point at which they emanated from the subsurface. Coordinates, using a handheld global positioning system (GPS) device, and photographs were obtained at these locations of emergent groundwater. Water temperature and specific conductance were measured at a subset of locations. Elevation for each location was subsequently assigned using an existing LIDAR data set. Similar procedures were followed at additional sites such as where surface flows entered Mineral Creek (right (RBI) and left (LBI) bank inflows) and the main stem of Mineral Creek (STR). These data are provided in a visual format through the associated KMZ file (224 MB), which provides an HTML formatted pop-up of unique point data and photograph when a waypoint is selected. This release is complementary to a synoptic study conducted in 1999 (Kimball and others, 2007). References: Kimball, B.A., Walton-Day, K. and Runkel, R.L., 2007, Quantification of metal loading by tracer injection and synoptic sampling, 1996-2000, chap. E9 of Church, S.E., von Guerard, P., and Finger, S.E., eds., Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Animas River Watershed, San Juan County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1651, p. 417-495.