2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)

Paper No. 41
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


ALDERKS, David O. and NELSON, Steven T., Geology, Brigham Young Univ, S 389 ESC, Provo, UT 84606, doa3@geology.byu.edu

The Wattis Quadrangle in central Utah is located in what is known as the Central Coal mining district, and is one of the largest coal bed methane plays in the world. This quadrangle has vast amounts of economic resources along with important hydrological assets. Originally mapped by Spieker, (1928) as part of a regional map of the Wasatch Plateau, a modern geologic map of the Wattis 7.5 minute quadrangle has recently been produced. This map aids in the interpretation of the sequence stratigraphy of the Cretaceous Star Point Sandstone, as well as having implications as a predictive tool for the location of new coal deposits. The Star Point Sandstone is also used for an analog to modern fluvial dominated deltas for possible hydrocarbon traps. Mapping has also helped determine possible flow paths of near-surface groundwater and mine waters in the area, on the basis of lithology and fracture control. Mayo (2003) developed a model of groundwater flow in the Wasatch Plateau, and this model was tested in this area. This water was analyzed for stable isotopes, 3H, 14C, and dissolved solutes. Mean residence time data complied with stable isotopes suggest mine waters were recharged during the Pleistocene, and the springs discharge modern waters with short residence times, consistent with Mayo, et al (2003).