Researchers at West Virginia University are conducting a study to quantify risk factors and provide guidance information related to mineral and energy extraction near U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams and reservoirs.

Sponsored by the USACE Risk Management Center, this one-year, $285,000 study involves a collaboration of researchers from six WVU departments, the University of British Columbia, and external experts. The research team will work closely with USACE Risk Management Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Huntington District Office in West Virginia.

The first part of the study proposes that an expert panel of individuals review, assess and provide interim guidance information related to mineral extraction planned near USACE dams and reservoirs.

In the second part of the study researchers will develop a solution approach for determining risk levels of mineral extraction within a range of depths and distances.

This will be achieved through a review of regulations, engineering performance data, case histories, analytical methods and a comparison of solution approaches. Risk factors, probabilistic analysis, and modeling a varying range of conditions, depths and distances will be employed. On-the-ground field investigations of existing dams and reservoirs is also proposed to assess actual or proposed effects of mining operations.

For more information on this project, visit

Founded in 1967, the West Virginia Water Research Institute is funded through the US Geological Survey. It serves as a statewide vehicle for performing research related to water issues. WVWRI is the premier water research center in West Virginia and, within selected fields, an international leader.



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CONTACT: Glenn Waldron, WV Water Research Institute