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Reconnaissance of stream biota and physical and chemical water quality in areas of selected land use in the coal-mining region, southwestern Indiana, 1979-80

January 1, 1994

To help meet the goals of the Surface-Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, the U.S. Geological Survey is assessing the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of surface water within the coal-mining region of southwestern Indiana. This report discusses benthic-invertebrate and periphyticalgal communities in streams draining homogeneous-agricultural, forested, active/reclaimed-mine, reclaimed-mine, and unreclaimed-mine watersheds--and relates the biological communities to the physical and chemical characteristics of the streams.

Alkalinity and pH were lower and the concentrations of dissolved solids, suspended solids, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, iron, manganese, aluminum, and zinc were higher in unreclaimed-mine watersheds than in the other land-use watersheds.

Numbers and community diversity of benthic invertebrates were less at sites affected by mining than at agricultural or forested sites, owing to (1) synergistic effects of low pH, metals, and unsuitable habitat and (2) lack of colonizing drift organisms because of the small drainage area upstream from the mined area. Only a few organisms, such as the caddisflies Cheumatopsyche and Hydropsyche and the chironomids Chironomus and Cricotopus were found in streams draining mine areas.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1982
Title Reconnaissance of stream biota and physical and chemical water quality in areas of selected land use in the coal-mining region, southwestern Indiana, 1979-80
DOI 10.3133/ofr82566
Authors D.J. Wangsness
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 82-566
Index ID ofr82566
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization