Development and Migration of a Critical Habitat and Its Affect on the Colorado River Protection Strategy at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Site

  • Joseph Ritchey
  • Donald Metzler
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


Moab Wash, an ephemeral stream, transects the site of a former uranium- ore processing facility and existing mill tailings pile before entering the Colorado River near Moab, Utah, USA. Dissolved ammonia in ground water emanating from the tailings pile discharges to backwater channels of the river. The channel morphology and therefore presence of critical habitat is dependent on the flow of the wash and the river. Since 2001, the habitat area has changed such that DOE has adjusted its river protection strategy from freshwater diversion into backwater channels to include freshwater injection via wells into ground water.


Critical Habitat Channel Morphology Ephemeral Stream Mill Tailing Backwater Area 
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  1. Department of Energy (2002) Work Plan for Implementation of the Initial Action in the Sandbar Area Adjacent to the Moab Project Site. Grand Junction Office GJO-2002-299-TARGoogle Scholar
  2. Department of Energy (2006) Conceptual Design for the Moab Wash Realignment, Moab Utah. Office of Environmental Management. DOE-EM/GJ1366-2006Google Scholar
  3. Department of Energy (2008) 2007 Initial Action Final Report. Office of Environmental ManagementGoogle Scholar
  4. Department of Energy (2010) Moab UMTRA Project 2009 Ground Water Program Report. Office of Environmental Management DOE-EM/GJTAC1941Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Ritchey
    • 1
  • Donald Metzler
    • 2
  1. 1.S&K Aerospace, LLCGrand JunctionUSA
  2. 2.United States Department of EnergyGrand JunctionUSA

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