animas river type of water body
records (Babitzke and others, 1982) within the basin. While the river may not hit that mark this year, there is a wild-card type … Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks crop Spring and summer flows create whitewater sports and recreation opportunities. Precambrian rocks crop out in the eastern part of the drainage basin in Furthermore, their polluted waters are greatly diluted by the many tributaries between Silverton and Rockwood. Animas River (On-e-mas) (Río de las Ánimas, in Spanish) is a 126-mile-long (203 km)[1] river in the western United States, a tributary of the San Juan River, part of the Colorado River System. out in the southern part of the drainage basin. within the Silverton caldera, and the South Silverton district along the southern margin of the with springs flowing from mineralized fractures, some of which have been studied recently by Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife releases nearly 12,000 rainbow trout into the Animas. [15] Insect hatches of aquatic diptera and mayflies occur in the winter and spring months. Southwestern Water Conservation District, Animas La-Plata Operation, Maintenance, & Replacement Association, and The Town of Durango. This fact can be verified simply by observing the stream from the narrow-gauge Durango-Silverton train. The landscape around Animas Fork is impressive and in general the best time to visit is middle June to the end of September. The upper Animas’s high altitude; many tributaries; steep gradient; and narrow, shady canyons keep the water temperature low even in summer. ANIMAS RIVER BELOW AZTEC, NM - USGS Water Data for the Nation "When our river turned orange" [High Country News]. Following the signing of a treaty with the Ute ash-flows, lava flows and intrusions of dacitic to rhyolitic composition (Lipman and others, Juan River near Aztec, New Mexico(fig. Animas trout average 12 to 16 inches (30 to 41 cm). This is due to the presence of the Animas River, a 126-mile stretch of water that has recently been named a Colorado Gold Metal Water fishing destination. are underlain by the Tertiary igneous intrusive and volcanic rocks that formed as a result of a the Animas Canyon area south of Silverton (fig. [12] The river's fish population might also be at risk due to the toxic waste that now runs through the river. At Silverton, the river flows into the Animas Canyon. Until recently, the Animas River—known in Spanish as “El Río de las Ánimas,” or “The River of Lost Souls”—was one of only a few undammed rivers in southwestern Colorado. No matter what the water levels are, your own person river experience, or the overall conditions of the river… data from the USGS mines data bases (Ryder, 1994) are indicative of the density of mines and Rob Blair (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 1996) and Tom Cech, “The Animas River Tragedy” (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2015). rugged mountainous area of the Animas Canyon. A methane seep was reported on the river in Durango, Colorado in 2016.[5]. The heavy metals in the spill will persist in the sediments of the river for years to come. by large iron bogs at the surface. [10] The spill contained the toxic metals arsenic, cadmium, and lead, as well as the metals aluminum and copper. However, when the river reaches the valley below Baker’s Bridge, it slows and meanders back and forth in the warmth of the sun, and the water temperature rises. Mining has received more attention than any other source of pollution in the upper Animas watershed. Ultimately, the images of orange-colored water flowing through beautiful stretches of Colorado will serve as a reminder of the challenges faced in addressing the environmental legacy of the Centennial State’s mining past. The ancestral Puebloan site of Aztec Ruins National Monument is situated along the river in the present day town of Aztec and for much of its course the river flows through native Ute and Navajo lands. watershed upstream from Silverton. and mineralized by Miocene hydrothermal activity. be estimated from the distribution of mining claims and Minerals Availability System (MAS) The Animas flows through Durango, where its gradient moderates, and continues in that manner for the rest of its course within Colorado. Mineral deposits in (2015). In late spring, summer and through fall the Animas sees caddisfly and mayfly hatches as well as terrestrials such as grasshoppers. Iron bogs are found elsewhere within the basin associated the Animas River watershed at various levels of activity until 1991 when the Sunnyside Mine was Gold deposits were first discovered in 1871 on Arrastra Creek above Silverton by following The Animas bears the San Juan’s legacy of mining to this day. [11], The spill changed the color of the river to orange, and the spill was described as "devastating" by Kim Stevens, the director of Environment Colorado, who said that businesses who rely on the river for profit might have to close down. Encyclopedia Staff, adapted from Preston Somers and Lisa Floyd-Hanna, “Wetlands, Riparian Habitats, and Rivers,” in The Western San Juan Mountains: Their Geology, Ecology, and Human History, ed. The Animas River immediately turned orange as the contaminated water devastated one of this region’s most important watersheds. From the river’s origin to Baker’s Bridge, north of Durango, the gradient of the Animas varies from steep to moderate. The 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill was an environmental disaster that began at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, when Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) personnel, along with workers for Environmental Restoration LLC (a Missouri company under EPA contract to mitigate pollutants from the closed mine), caused the release of toxic waste water into the Animas River … The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides funding for the water quality data. Silverton caldera east of the town of Silverton (see fig. chimney deposits (mineralized breccia pipes, see fig. closed. [13]" The metals considered are "cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, zinc, and possibly others. intense hydrothermal alteration and mineralization events postdate the formation of the From Durango the river flows south into New Mexico through the town of Aztec to its confluence with the San Juan River at Farmington. Animas Forks is a ghost town located just northeast of Silverton, Colorado. Silverton caldera by several million years (Casadevall and Ohmoto, 1977). Fortunately, the volume of water discharged into the Animas River by Cement and Mineral Creeks is low compared to the amount in the main stream. several major mining districts have recorded production. Numerous irrigation ditches serve the surrounding farmland along the river. Brown trout as large as 36 inches (91 cm) have been caught in the Animas. Water quality deteriorates markedly below Silverton because two tributaries, Mineral Creek and Cement Creek, enter the Animas in this area. You may not know it, but there’s more than one way to enjoy the lower Animas River. Ferric hydroxide is insoluble and coats the rocks of stream beds with a light yellow to orange precipitate often called “yellow boy.”. [7], In August 2015, the La Plata County Sheriff's Office closed the river to the public after a crew working for the EPA released approximately 3 million gallons of mine waste into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas. The Animas River is 126-mile-long, originates at Animas Forks northeast of Silverton at an elevation of 11,120 feet, and flows southward to Farmington, New Mexico, where it joins the San Juan River. The Animas is a freestone fishery well populated with rainbow, brown, Colorado River cutthroat, and brook trout. In figure 2, plots of the geochemical [12], In February 2016, the Associated Press reported that the spill "dumped 880,000 pounds of metals" into the Animas River, and that "most of the metals settled into the riverbed. Pervasive and This page was last edited on 13 September 2020, at 02:41. These reactions start in the ore deposits and continue within the streams that drain them.

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