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Numerical simulation of the cumulative effects of land-use change and aggregate mines on ground-water flow and wetlands along the South Platte River, Brighton to Fort Lupton, Colorado

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PROJECTS

Numerical simulation of the cumulative effects of land-use change and aggregate mines on ground-water flow and wetlands along the South Platte River, Brighton to Fort Lupton, Colorado.

Study Area: South Platte River Valley from Brighton (Adams County) to Fort Lupton (Weld County), Colorado
Period of Project: 2004-2005
Project Number: BDY00
Project Chief: Rick Arnold
Cooperator: Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

BACKGROUND:

The South Platte River valley between the City of Brighton in Adams County and the town of Fort Lupton in Weld County, Colorado, contains many wetland areas that provide habitat for wildlife in the Front Range Urban Corridor. The extent of aggregate mining along this reach of the South Platte River valley continues to increase as the demand for aggregate grows in response to urban development. Furthermore, the presence of aggregate pits can affect the direction of ground-water flow and water levels in the alluvial aquifer adjacent to the South Platte River. Because wetlands are sensitive to changes in ground-water levels, the hydrologic effects of aggregate pits also may affect vulnerable wetlands near pits. Changes in land use and land cover can have significant influence on economic and environmental quality at multiple scales, and mapping land-use changes is fundamental to the health and viability of the Nation’s natural and developed environments. A study of the cumulative effects of land-use change and aggregate mining on ground-water flow and wetlands is needed to provide information useful to planning and regulating aggregate mine sites so effects on wetlands and wildlife may be minimized while meeting aggregate resource needs.

OBJECTIVES:

To improve understanding of landscape change and provide scientific information concerning the potential effects of land-use change and aggregate mining on ground-water flow and wetlands in the South Platte River Valley from the city of Brighton in Adams County to the town of Fort Lupton in Weld County, Colorado.

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 15-Dec-2016 17:51:44 EST