This historical document contains assessments of water supply for Aurora, Hoyt Lakes, Babbitt, Tower-Soudan and Ely from fifty years ago. While it does not describe human uses of water resources at the time, it does contain information about aquifers and ground water resources that could potentially be used for industrial, municipal or recreational purposes. "This report describes existing and potential water supplies on the eastern Mesabi and Vermilion Iron Ranges, northeastern Minnesota. Increased supplies of water are needed for expansion and diversification of the economy of the iron ranges. Specifically, supplies are needed for taconite processing, wood and peat processing, and municipal expansion. This investigation made in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation indicates that in some areas large quantities of water are available from both ground and surface sources. The most productive aquifers are the Biwabik Iron-Formation and the stratified glacial drift. East of Colby Lake, the Biwabik is not an important aquifer. On the Vermilion Iron Range, this formation is absent, and the glacial drift is commonly too thin to produce the quantities available on the Mesabi Range. Bodies of stratified drift, believed by the authors to be potential sources for large ground-water supplies, are outlined as numbered areas. Their boundaries are drawn on the basis of topography, geologic mapping, test drilling, and test pumping. The accuracy of the assessment of the ground-water supplies in each numbered area is proportional to the subsurface control. Where adequate pumpage data are available, specific capacities of wells are noted. Multiplying the specific capacity by the maximum allowable drawdown will give the short-term maximum yield of a well. Specific capacities decrease with an increase in time and pumping rate. Specific capacities of wells completed in artesian aquifers should not be compared with those of wells completed in water-table aquifers, because, in otherwise identical aquifers, the value obtained for a well in the artesian aquifer would be much lower. The geologic sections in this report are based on the indicated testhole information and open-pit mine exposures. Identification of glacial deposits from drill cuttings and correlation of deposits between test holes is tenuous. However, the sections show the sequence and general lithology that probably would be penetrated in a drill hole along the line of section. Surface-water supplies in the eastern Mesabi and Vermilion Iron Ranges are good. In the southwestern part of the area of this report, the Embarrass, St. Louis, and Partridge Rivers and Second Creek are good potential supplies. Vermilion Lake is a very large untapped potential supply in the northwest. The eastern part has a network of lakes and river systems available for utilization. Records of flow for eight gauging stations are presented. The quality of ground water and surface water is adequate for many industrial uses. Ground water commonly has a high concentration of iron and manganese and is hard. Surface water commonly has a high concentration of iron and is colored. Analyses of water from many sources are included."
Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.
Cotter, R D; Young, H L; Petri, L R; Prior, C H.
Water Resources in the Vicinity of Municipalities on the Eastern Mesabi Iron Range and the Vermillion Iron Range in Northeastern Minnesota.
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