Shamokin Creek Watershed Assessment

Cravotta, C. A. III, and Kirby, C. S., 2004, Effects of Abandoned Coal-Mine Drainage on Streamflow and Water Quality in the Shamokin Creek Basin, Northumberland and Columbia Counties, Pennsylvania, 1999-2001, US Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4311.
Main report (2.3 MB .pdf; requires Acrobat Reader)
Appendix A - Water Quality spreadsheet (0.9 MB; requires MS Excel)
See projects page for reports comprising Appendix B (Scarlift; Growtiz et al., 1983; Reed et al., 1985; Wood, 1995)


In summer of 1999, the Northumberland County Conservation District was awarded a grant totaling $114,700 by the PA Department of Environmental Protection 319 Program. This total includes matching funds and in-kind services from the US Geological Survey, Bucknell University, and the SCRA.

The USGS team was led by Dr. Charles Cravotta, a hydrogeochemist with considerable experience in mine drainage and its treatment. Dr. Carl Kirby led the Bucknell University efforts. Dave Moratelli and Steve Ulceski administered the grant for the Nothumberland County Conservation District.

The overall objective was to characterize the chemistry and flow of mine discharges and selected stream sites within the watershed. The data were entered into a geographical information system (GIS) database developd by Carl Kirby and Bucknell students to allow the data to be analyzed in a systematic fashion. This study goes a long way toward developing a comprehensive plan for the watershed.

  • This study began in the summer of 1999 with a review of the existing data from several sources and preparation of a quality assurance plan.
  • The first of two rounds of field work (flow rate, field chemistry, sample collection) were completed in August of 1999 by USGS and Bucknell personnel with SCRA volunteer help.
  • USGS personnel completed macroinvertebrate (aquatic insect) sampling and electrofishing in October of 1999. Click for a brief summary of electrofishing results - several species of fish were found in Shamokin Creek!
  • The second round of field work was completed during March 14-16, 2000.
  • USGS personnel completed a second round of electrofishing in October of 1999. Click for pictures of some of the fish.

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