Surface water, ground water, chemical analysis, atomic absorption analysis, coal mining
Personnel of the Arkansas Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute conducted preliminary investigations on the chemistry and quality of surface and ground water associated with 12 coal-bearing sub-basins in the Arkansas Valley coal field. The coal field is approximately 60 miles long and 33 miles wide but only in 12 areas coal is thick enough and has proper quality to be termed commercial. Both surface and underground sample sites were established in each of the sub-basins with some minor variations in four areas where not all types of sites could be located. Water was collected from 19 surface points and 19 underground points in the established areas. Both field and laboratory analyses were made and elemental contents are reported herein. In the main, the chemistry and water quality suggests that all water is suitable for agricultural and industrial uses. To obtain potable water, treatment must be made to reduce calcium, magnesium, sodium sulfate and iron. The mineral content of the water is due to its contact with coal-bearing zones and, as such, reflects the mineral content of the coal. However, it is recommended that additional studies on the petrography and geochemistry of the coal, overburden and underburden is in order. Also, it is recommended that at least one detailed study be made of one of the coal sub-basins where geologic parameters can be completely established with regard to hydrogeology. This report is an important first step in determining the character and quality of Arkansas coal which must be fully understood to fully utilize this important mineral resource.
Stroud, R. B.; Spellman, J. L.; Potts, R. R.; and Oakley, A. J.. 1985. Chemistry and Apparent Quality of Surface Water and Ground Water Associated with Coal Basins. Arkansas Water Resources Center, Fayetteville, AR. PUB 113. 95