Date of Award

5-8-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Milligan

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Diem

Third Advisor

Dr. Luke Pangle

Abstract

This study examined six large-scale watersheds divided into three pairs (mined and unmined), leveraging streamflow and mining permit datasets from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), to develop a novel high-resolution time series of five decades of surface mining and valley fill activity for each watershed. Streamflow metrics were evaluated for trends and any correlation with mining permit history. Both mined and unmined watersheds experienced little or no change in annual flow. Mined watersheds exhibited significant decreasing trends in maximum flow and significant increasing trends in minimum flow, and these metrics were significantly correlated with mining permit history. No effect of mining cover on runoff ratio (Q/P) was found for any watershed. Future work should differentiate mining from other land-use/land-change disturbances in each watershed and expand on the mining permit histories developed in this study.

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