Evaluation of Fracture Flow at the Coles Hill Uranium Deposit in Pittsylvania County, VA using Electrical Resistivity, Bore Hole Logging, Pumping Tests, and Age Dating Methods
Gannon, John P.
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The Coles Hill uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County, VA, is the largest un-mined uranium deposit in the United States. The deposit is located in the Virginia Piedmont in a geologic unit located immediately west of the Chatham Fault, which separates the granitic rocks of the Virginia Piedmont to the west from the metasediments of the Danville Triassic basin to the east. Groundwater at the site flows through a complex interconnected network of fractures controlled by the geology and structural history of the site. In this study groundwater is characterized in a small study area just south of the main deposit. Methods used in this investigation include electrical resistivity profiling, bore hole logging, a pumping test, and age dating and water chemistry. In this thesis groundwater flow is confirmed to occur from the Piedmont crystalline rocks across the Chatham Fault and into the Triassic basin at the study area as evidenced by pumping test data and static water-level data from observation wells. Well logs have identified fractures capable of transmitting water in the granitic rocks of the Piedmont, the Triassic basin metasediments and the Chatham Fault but the largest quantities of flow appear to occur in the Triassic basin. A definable recharge area for the groundwater present at Coles Hill can not yet be determined due to the complexity of the fracture system, but age dating confirms that groundwater is composed of both young and old (>60 years) components, indicating that at least a portion of groundwater at Coles Hill originates from a more distant area.
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