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A Quantitative Approach to Evaluate Changes in Hydrologic Conditions of Headwater Streams: A Case Study of Restoration and Recovery Following Longwall Mine Subsidence

Joshua M. Silvis, Brian C. Benson, Michael L. Shema, Mark R. Haibach
Published: 8 August 2019
 by  MDPI
Hydrology , Volume 6; doi:10.3390/hydrology6030067

Abstract: Mine subsidence can induce streambed ruptures that pirate surface water from a stream. Current understanding of the effects of longwall mining on streams lacks rigorous analytical approaches to detect hydrologic effects and does not consider the efficacy of streambed restoration techniques to address flow disruption. CONSOL Pennsylvania Coal Company, LLC (CPCC) collected and analyzed pre-mining, post-mining, and post-restoration stream discharge and flow duration data from 51.9 km of streams overlying its Bailey Mine to define pre-mining flow variability, detect post-mining changes, and evaluate post-intervention flow recovery. The primary intervention method for restoring stream flow was bedrock permeation grouting. Pre-mine and post-mine baseflow data were compared using both parametric and non-parametric hypothesis testing, which yielded similar results. An environmental flow assessment method for headwater streams using probabilistic risk assessment and correlation analysis of change threshold criteria was developed to differentiate hydrologic change as induced by mine subsidence or explained by natural variability. The method is objective, pragmatic, and statistically delimited.
Keywords: environmental flow / Flow Restoration / Mine Subsidence / headwater stream / Fracture Grouting

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