The Colorado Geological Survey (CGS) is a state government agency situated within the Colorado School of Mines. They provide a wide range of scientific publications and maps.

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  • Impact analysis and development patterns for the oil shale region Mesa, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties, Colorado

    THK Associates, Inc. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    This report is part of the Colorado Oil Shale Environmental Program, a major complex of studies and activities begun in 1971 to provide information and guidance for oil shale development in Colorado. This final report "Impact Analysis and Development Patterns Related to an Oil Shale Industry: Regional Development and Land Use Study" was prepared for the Colorado West Area Council of Governments, the Oil Shale Regional Planning Commission, and the Regional Development and Land Use Planning Steering and Monitoring Committee by THK Associates, in cooperation with the Denver Research Institute and Bickert, Browne and Coddington. The major objective of this study of community impacts was to provide decision-makers the necessary information on which to base planning in order to mitigate the potentially great impacts of an oil shale industry. As study of impacts, it deals more with the hardware requirements of communities—schools, housing, sewers, land use, water—than the people impacts. It provides valuable regional timetables and quantification of the necessary growth hardware. As such, this report should be invaluable to the region in planning.
  • Regional oil shale study environmental inventory, analysis, and impact study, Piceance Creek Basin, Rio Blanco and Garfield counties, Colorado

    Burke, Hubert D.; Vlachos, Evan; Thorne Ecological Institute (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    The major objective of this study of community impacts was to provide decision-makers the necessary information on which to base planning in order to mitigate the potentially great impacts of an oil shale industry. As study of impacts, it deals more with the hardware requirements of communities—schools, housing, sewers, land use, water—than the people impacts. It provides valuable regional timetables and quantification of the necessary growth hardware. As such, this report should be invaluable to the region in planning. The objectives of the Environmental Inventory Analysis and Impact Study were (1) to examine a number of the more sensitive components of the ecosystem and to establish baselines from which changes in the environment due to oil shale development could be evaluated and (2) to evaluate the effects of a series of alternatives and the long-range consequences for all interrelated aspects of physical and human environments.
  • Colorado oil shale: the current status

    Hecox, Walter (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1979)
    This overview of the status of oil shale was prepared by the State of Colorado, at the request of Mr. Paul Petzrick, Director of Shale Resource Applications for the U.S. Department of Energy. The Executive Director's Office, Department of Natural Resources, accomplished this task with the help of the Colorado Energy Research Institute. (Note that the Colorado Geological Society assisted along with other Federal and State agencies.) The material in this briefing book provides a general background to oil shale and the potential impacts of its development. It is not meant as a technical discussion of all the issues and problems associated with the development of this energy resource. Rather, it is intended as an overview for those people not intimately knowledgeable concerning Colorado and its oil shale resource.
  • Tax lead time study for the oil shale region: fiscal alternatives for rapidly growing communities in Colorado

    Lamont, William (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    Based on currently used revenue sources, public revenues are likely to be insufficient in the oil shale region for the first five to eight years after development is initiated. The basic problem is timing and distribution of tax revenues to support new development when and where needed. This problem primarily affects cities, towns, and school districts. The basic purpose of this study is to review alternative revenue sources for local governments and potential techniques for handling revenue timing and distribution problems created by rapid population growth. The discussion of the oil shale industry and what is likely to happen or not to happen is under constant speculation and revision. Information and projections contained in this report are furnished to provide a context for problem solving by local governments in the oil shale region.
  • Surface rehabilitation of land disturbances resulting from oil shale development: final report, phase I

    Cook, C. Wayne; Colorado State University. Environmental Resources Center (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974-03)
    The Phase I report is organized into the following chapters: Chapter 1. Geomorphology of Piceance Creek Basin; Chapter 2. The natural vegetation in the landscape pf the Colorado oil shale region; Chapter 3. Ecosystems and their natural and artificial rehabilitation; Chapter 4. Evaluation of mining techniques; Chapter 5. Physical and chemical characteristics of overburden, spoils, and soils; Chapter 6. Characteristics of spent shale which influence water quality, sedimentation and plant growth medium; and Chapter 7. Water requirement for stabilizing and vegetating spent shale in the Piceance Basin. The Phase II report is organized into Phase II-A Vegetative stabilization of spent oil shales and Phase II-B Revegetation of disturbed surface soils in various vegetation ecosystems in the Piceance Basin.
  • Report on economics of environmental protection for a federal oil shale leasing program

    Tweedy, John B.; Cameron, Russell J.; Cooley, Frank G.; Prien, Charles H.; Sargent, Ralph; Colorado. Governor's Oil Shale Advisory Committee (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1971-01)
    This report was prepared at the request of Thomas W. Ten Eyck, Director of Natural Resources of the State of Colorado, by a subcommittee of Governor John A. Love's Oil Shale Advisory Committee, known as the "Special Committee on Economics of Environmental Protection" (SCEEP). It examines the impact of commercial oil shale operations on the natural resources of the Piceance Creek Basin and the related socio-economic consequences to determine whether or not a federal leasing program can be initiated with adequate environmental safeguards.
  • Oil shale and the future of a region: Garfield, Mesa and Rio Blanco counties, Colorado; a summary report

    Colorado West Area Council of Governments (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974-09)
    In 1973, the functions of the Oil Shale Regional Planning Commission were incorporated into the newly formed Colorado West Area Council of Governments. The governing board of the Council is made up of a member of the Board of County Commissioners from each of the four counties (Garfield, Mesa, Rio Blanco, and Moffat) in Planning and Management Region 11, and an elected representative from each county representing the municipalities. The Council continued the investigations begun by the Oil Shale Regional Planning Commission. The findings and recommendations of the Regional Development and Land Use Study are summarized in this report.
  • Collapsible soils in Colorado

    White, Jonathan L.; Greenman, Celia (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 2008)
    Collapsible Soils in Colorado describes the geologic setting, the geomorphic and soil conditions, locations of potential susceptibility, and engineering properties of collapsible soils in Colorado. This bulletin is the result of a comprehensive and multi-year effort to understand collapsing soil behavior and the geologic and geomorphic conditions where they can form. In addition, this report contains a 1:1,000,000-scale map of Colorado that shows locations of soil collapse compiled from soil test data and damage incidents, climatic exclusions zones, and areas of the state where collapse-prone soil may exist. Collapsible soils are a widespread geologic hazard in the state, common in almost all semi-arid non-mountainous areas. The CGS program addressing this particular geohazard has increased public and professional awareness of collapsible soils. At the same time, through robust evaluation and research, it has improved the existing geological and geotechnical professional standard-of-practice related to the hazard. Note: The Association of American State Geologists announced that their annual John C. Frye Memorial Award for 2009 is granted to the CGS and the staff members who authored EG-14.
  • Artificial recharge of ground water in Colorado: a statewide assessment

    Topper, Ralf E.; Barkmann, Peter E.; Bird, David A.; Sares, Matthew A.; Young, G. B. C.; Keller, J. W.; Duchene, H. R.; Carlson, J.; Wait, T. C.; Greenman, Celia; et al. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 2004)
    Ground water aquifers can be used as reservoirs to provide increased water storage capacity in Colorado through an intentional, engineered water recharge process to aquifers called "artificial recharge." CGS has completed an assessment of the current and potential use of artificial recharge in our state. The report widely addresses several pertinent aspects of artificial recharge including the reasons for using the technique; the current methods or technologies used; where artificial recharge is being done in Colorado, the US and internationally; types of aquifers that can be used for artificial recharge and which Colorado aquifers are best suited for water storage. An inventory of artificial recharge projects within Colorado identified 19 active operations as of 2004. A weighted ranking system was established to evaluate the key physical properties of the state's sixteen highest-potential unconsolidated aquifers and 29 highest-potential consolidated aquifers. The evaluation of the available storage capacity in Colorado's highest-potential aquifers was guided by the desire to find opportunities to develop large-scale artificial recharge projects, i.e., defined as having storage capacity in excess of 100,000 acre-feet. Thirteen of the sixteen primary unconsolidated rock aquifers have sufficient storage capacity to accommodate a large-scale project. In aggregate, the lower South Platte River alluvium and the San Luis Valley alluvium have the capacity to store in excess of one million acre-feet. All but two of the 26 primary consolidated rock aquifers also have sufficient storage capacity. Because of their large areal extent and head freeboard, the majority of these aquifers can store millions of acre-feet of water.
  • Energy resources of the Denver and Cheyenne basins, Colorado: resource characteristics, development potential, and environmental problems

    Kirkham, Robert M.; Ladwig, L. R. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1980)
    This report presents the results of a 32-month study of the geologic characteristics, development potential, and environmental problems related to the exploration for and development of energy resources in the Denver and Cheyenne Basins, Colorado. Coal, lignite, uranium, oil, and gas energy resources are evaluated for their development potentials. The report is organized into the following sections: Introduction, General geology; Coal resources; Uranium resources; Oil and gas resources; and Land use conflicts related to energy resource development. The investigation was conducted by the CGS and cooperatively funded by a U.S. Geological Survey Grant on the Study of Environmental Impact of Energy Resource Development in the Denver Basin, Colorado.
  • Promises and problems of a "new" uranium mining method: in situ solution mining

    Kirkham, Robert M. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1979)
    This study was a cooperative investigation conducted by the CGS and funded by a U.S. Geological Survey Grant on the Study of Environmental Impact of Energy Resource Development in the Denver Basin, Colorado. It was presented at the 5th Governor's Conference on Environmental Geology held in Grand Junction from October 9-12, 1979. As technology advances and the economy changes, new mining methods are researched and developed by industry and the Federal government. Planners may encounter situations where industry wishes to utilize a new, unfamiliar mining technique to recover a mineral resource. Many of these methods offer considerable socio-economic and environmental advantages over conventional mining and milling techniques. Other of these methods, however, may result in significant impacts that concern planners. This paper describes only one of these methods, in situ solution mining, which is a relatively old technique that recently has been successfully used to extract uranium. This report presents the mining and processing techniques, wastes and effluents, waste disposal and control, monitoring programs, environmental effects of accidents, and restoration.
  • Geologic hazards in the Big Thompson Canyon area, Larimer County, Colorado

    Soule, James M.; Rogers, William B. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1976-12)
    The intense rain and subsequent flooding on the Lower Big Thompson River basin region between 31 July and 01 August 1976 activated or accelerated several geologic processes. The main Big Thompson Canyon area was directly affected, along with its tributaries and drainages. This mapping project delineates the location of geohazards resulting from the storm as well as areas where similar adverse events could occur sometime in the foreseeable future. Plates 1 through 4 include: 1) Index with introductory text; 2-3) West and East map halves; 4) geomorphic features formed by flooding.
  • Coal mine subsidence and land use in the Boulder-Weld coalfield: Boulder and Weld counties, Colorado

    Amuedo and Ivey; Myers, A. R.; Hansen, J. B.; Lindvall, R. A.; Ivey, J. B.; Hynes, J. L. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1975)
    The problem of subsidence resulting from the undermining of the surface has received a great deal of study over the past 100 years. Much of this work has been done in Europe where industry, population density, and coal mining tended to grow and develop in the same areas. Damage to surface structures in highly urbanized areas such as the Ruhr and the English Midlands led to intensive investigations as to how to predict where and when subsidence would occur and how to prevent or minimize such subsidence. Until recently most of the significant research on surface subsidence was done abroad and has been published in journals which are not easily obtainable or are in a language other than English. In Europe, most underground coal mining is done by methods different than those commonly used in the Boulder-Weld coalfield. For this reason, one must be cautious in applying European principles of subsidence prediction to the Boulder-Weld coalfield where the layout and condition of the mines are quite different. In the last decade, land development has encroached on the undermined area of the Boulder-Weld coalfield, and the importance of subsidence has been recognized. This study is directed primarily toward the problems of land-use in those undermined areas where subsidence has occurred in the past and may occur in the future. Absolute predictability of the amount and area of subsidence in the Boulder-Weld coalfield is not possible with records now available. In Europe land-use plans have evolved to take subsidence into account, and detailed records have been maintained over long periods of time. It is unfortunate that the level of record-keeping in the Boulder-Weld coalfield has not been geared to land-use needs, because the present lack of data severely limits the accuracy of subsidence prediction. Within the limitations imposed by the adequacy of mine data, this study is intended to bring together a body of information that will be useful to planners and geologists involved in bringing the land to its optimum use.
  • Roaring Fork and Crystal valleys: an environmental and engineering geology study, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, and Pitkin counties, Colorado

    Olander, Harvey C.; Lamm, Nancy B.; Florquist, Bruce A. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    An environmental and engineering geology study has been made of the Roaring Fork and Crystal Valleys. The 300 square mile study area encompasses parts of four counties (Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, and Pitkin) in west central Colorado. The purpose of the study was to compile sufficient information to prepare comprehensive maps (Plates 1-3) and text concerning the environmental and engineering geologic characteristics of the Roaring Fork Valley, from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, and the Crystal Valley, from Carbondale to the vicinity of Marble, Colorado. Report sections include: Introduction; Environmental and Engineering Geology (with detailed discussion of the surficial and bedrock geology); Groundwater and geologic resources; and Conclusions. Also included are four appendices.
  • Environmental and engineering geology of the Windsor study area, Larimer and Weld counties, Colorado

    Shelton, David C.; Rogers, William P. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1975)
    Engineering and environmental geology of the Windsor study area, covering eight 7.5-minute quadrangles in Larimer and Weld counties. Included are the cities of Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Windsor. Model geologic baseline-data study for a rapidly urbanizing area. 11 plates (1:48,000 and 1:96,000). Information included on plates: a) Bedrock geology; b) shallow surficial materials; c) slope analysis; d) drainage basins and areas of past flooding; e) existing land use; f) sand and gravel resources; g) groundwater availability; h) water quality and sources of potential pollution; i) bedrock surface topography of valley-fill areas; j) solid waste disposal suitability; k) energy and mineral resources (excluding sand and gravel).
  • Potentially swelling soil and rock in the front range urban corridor, Colorado

    Hart, Stephen S. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    Swelling is generally caused by expansion due to wetting of certain clay minerals in dry soils. Therefore, arid or semiarid areas such as Colorado with seasonal changes in soil moisture, experience a much higher frequency of swelling problems than eastern states which have higher rainfall. The Front Range Urban Corridor includes the foothills and piedmont area of Colorado from Fort Collins and Greeley on the north to Pueblo and Canon City on the south. This area includes more than 80 percent of Colorado's population. Although only half of the 30 sedimentary bedrock formations that are exposed in the Urban Corridor contain swelling clay, these swelling formations underlie all of the major cities. Swelling clays are, therefore, one of the most significant, widespread, and costly, but least publicized, geologic hazards in Colorado. The report sections include: What is swelling clay; How can one recognize swelling soil or rock; Examples of swelling clay damage; Potential hazard areas in the Urban Corridor; What can be done to minimize damage; and Suggestions for further study. Also included are four appendices containing a) Glossary, b) Sources of project data, c) Factors influencing swelling of natural clay soils, and d) Methods for estimating swell potential from soil index properties.
  • Engineering geology report for planning district 9, state of Colorado

    F.M. Fox & Associates (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    This report presents the results of a comprehensive investigation of the geology and engineering geology of Planning District 9, State of Colorado. Planning District 9 includes the counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan. Within the Planning Districts, specific geologic factors which should be considered to insure safe, efficient and environmentally sound land use decisions. This investigation was done on a reconnaissance basis and the factors include, but are not limited to, the following: a. Mineral resources which affect land use decisions; b. Massive land movements or other unstable surface conditions; c. Areas of swelling soils, settling soils or other soil factors that will affect foundation construction; d. General areas of flood danger and/or erosional hazards; e. Areas of high water table, both permanent and seasonal; f. General geologic constraints that will affect selection and operation of solid waste disposal sites; g. Pollution potential and other possible hazards associated with old mine tailing dumps; h. Other critical factors which may become evident during the course of the study. The report identified four problem areas. Two problem areas, similar in nature, are listed together as IA and IB. Problem Area IA is Sleeping Ute Mountain in western Montezuma County, and IB is the area of the La Plata Mountains on the Montezuma-La Plata County border. Problem Area II is located in eastern Dolores County. Problem Areas IIIA and 11 IB are both in San Juan County. Problem Area IV is located in eastern Archuleta County. Specifics of these problem areas are provided in the report.
  • Engineering geology report for planning district 1, state of Colorado

    F.M. Fox & Associates (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    The purpose of this report is to present the results of a comprehensive investigation of the geology and engineering geology of Planning District #1, State of Colorado. District #1 includes the counties of Morgan, Logan, Washington, Yuma, Phillips and Sedgwick. Within the Planning District, specific geologic factors which should be considered to insure safe, efficient and environmentally sound land use decisions. This investigation was done on a reconnaissance basis and the factors include, but are not limited to, the following: a. Mineral resources which affect land use decisions; b. Massive land movements or other unstable surface conditions; c. Areas of swelling soils, settling soils or other soil factors that will affect foundation construction; d. General areas of flood danger and/or erosional hazards; e. Areas of high water table, both permanent and seasonal; f. General geologic constraints that will affect selection and operation of solid waste disposal sites; g. Pollution potential and other possible hazards associated with old mine tailing dumps; h. Other critical factors which may become evident during the course of the study. Geologically, District #1 is similar throughout and the area has shared a consistent geologic history. Specific geological engineering and planning considerations were given to the following soils and rocks: alluvium, loess, dune sand, sedimentary rock and the Pierre Shale.
  • Engineering geology report for planning districts 7 and 13, state of Colorado

    F.M. Fox & Associates (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1974)
    This report was originally prepared for Planning District 7 which has since been divided into two planning districts, 7 and 13. The purpose of this report is to present the results of a comprehensive investigation of the geology and engineering geology of Planning Districts 7 and 13. Planning Districts 7 & 13 include the counties of Lake, Chaffee, Fremont, Custer, Pueblo, Huerfano and Las Animas. Within the Planning Districts, specific geologic factors which should be considered to insure safe, efficient and environmentally sound land use decisions. This investigation was done on a reconnaissance basis and the factors include, but are not limited to, the following: a. Mineral resources which affect land use decisions; b. Massive land movements or other unstable surface conditions; c. Areas of swelling soils, settling soils or other soil factors that will affect foundation construction; d. General areas of flood danger and/or erosional hazards; e. Areas of high water table, both permanent and seasonal; f. General geologic constraints that will affect selection and operation of solid waste disposal sites; g. Pollution potential and other possible hazards associated with old mine tailing dumps; h. Other critical factors which may become evident during the course of the study. The report identified six problem areas in Planning District 7. Problem area I is the Leadville mining district in northeastern Lake County. Problem area II is the Spanish Peaks region with the associated radial dike swarms. Problem area III covers disseminated areas of potential avalanches. Such areas are common in alpine regions, which includes the Sangre de Cristo Range, the Wet Mountains, the Mosquito Range and the Sawatch Range. Problem area IV encompasses areas that were covered by glaciers in the past. Glaciers have covered most of the high mountain ranges, including the Sangre de Cristo Range, the Mosquito Range, and the Sawatch Range. Problem area V includes areas of extremely complex geology. There are several located in the major mountain ranges, including the Mosquito, Sangre de Cristo, Sawatch, and Wet Mountain Ranges. Problem Area VI includes groundwater in Pueblo County, areas of which may be contaminated significantly by radioactive material. Specifics of these problem areas are provided in the report.
  • Geologic aspects, soils and related foundation problems, Denver metropolitan area, Colorado

    Hamilton, Judith L.; Owens, W. G. (Colorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes LibraryColorado Geological Survey. Department of Natural Resources, 1972)
    The purpose of the study was to provide a non-technical summary of the soils and related geologic problems in the Denver Metropolitan area. Data from published and unpublished sources have been synthesized and incorporated into this report in a form that can be used by the general public, planners, engineers, architects, contractors, governmental agencies, and land developers. The study area includes approximately 500 square miles in Township 2 South through Township 5 South and Range 67 West through those portions of Ranges 69 West and 70 West of the 6th P.M. which lie east of the Dakota sandstone hogback. The geologic and soils conditions of the Denver area tend to create several difficulties in construction. The major soil problems are: swelling soils, settling soils, and potential landslide areas. Soils developed from swelling clays or clay shales increase in volume on exposure to moisture and often cause cracking of sidewalks, streets and building foundations. Common methods of treatment of these soils to prevent swelling are provided.