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September 1999
Volume 51    Issue 9

Watershed approach to evaluating impacts of abandoned mines in the Bear Butte Creek basin of the Black Hills

Mining Engineering, 1999, Vol. 51, No. 9, pp. 33-40
Davis, A.D.; Webb, C.J.; Durkin, T.V.


ABSTRACT:
The goal of this project was to use a watershed approach in the evaluation of water-quality impacts from past mining activities and ongoing restoration projects in the Bear Butte Creek basin of the Black Hills. The Bear Butte Creek basin is a small, well-defined drainage in a heavily mineralized area of the Black Hills. Numerous inactive and abandoned mines are present in the basin, as well as the recently active Gilt Edge gold-mining facility. Strawberry Creek drains the Gilt Edge area and is a tributary of Bear Butte Creek (Fig. 1). This project initiated an evaluation of the impacts of past mining activities and environmental restoration in the basin. Water-quality data were analyzed, stream surveys were conducted and two restoration projects were monitored to help evaluate the effectiveness of the watershed approach and to help identify practical remediation techniques that could be applied to other watersheds.


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