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Movement of ground water in coal-bearing rocks near Fishtrap Lake in Pike County, Kentucky

January 1, 1987

Eight test holes were core-drilled from various altitudes in a typical coal-bearing sequence rocks of Pennsylvania age in Pike County, eastern Kentucky. Vertical fractures were common in cores from shallow depths, but became less common or absent toward the bottom of two test holes drilled 400 and 291 ft deep. Most fractures readily injected water, and near the bottoms of the two deep holes, coal beds accepted water in the non-fractured rocks. Rhodamin-WT dye was injected in a 61-ft deep ridge-top well on October 24, 1985 and was detected in varying concentrations in water samples taken from all down-gradient piezometers at the study site on November 7, 1985. The presence of dye in down-gradient piezometers indicated that groundwater in the Eastern Kentucky coal field can move from areas of higher head to areas of lower head. The movement probably occurs in a stair-step fashion through a complex system of near-vertical fractures, and laterally through permeable rocks, which probably are the coal beds. This suggests that land uses on ridges could affect the quality of water from wells or springs at lower altitudes on hillsides or in the valley bottoms even though separated by a thick interval of rocks that include beds of low primary permeability. (Author 's abstract)

Publication Year 1987
Title Movement of ground water in coal-bearing rocks near Fishtrap Lake in Pike County, Kentucky
DOI 10.3133/wri874084
Authors R. W. Davis
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 87-4084
Index ID wri874084
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse