The investigation in the Bonanza Lake area of northwestern Power and southeastern Blaine Counties was made to determine the direction of ground-water movement and to ascertain the relation of the regional ground-water body to the Snake River. The surface of the area is nearly flat to gently rolling, and slopes to the west. Lake Channel, an abandoned channel of the Snake River, and a few volcanic cones modify the gentle relief. The climate is semiarid, the annual precipitation ranging from 10 to 15 inches. Most of the area is uncultivated and covered with sagebrush, the predominate vegetation. A significant amount of the area is dry farmed; about 500 to 650 acres is irrigated with ground water pumped from wells or from ponds in Lake Channel. The Bonanza area and vicinity are underlin by windblown deposits of Recent age (not shown on the geologic map); alluvium with admixed windblown material and black basalt, both also of Recent age; undifferentiated Snake River basalt, of Pliocene to Recent age; the American Falls lake beds and Cedar Butte basalt, or Pleistocene age; of the Raft Lake beds and Massacre volcanic and associated rocks, of Pliocene(?) age. The alluvium contains ground water at shallow depth, but because of its limited areal extent it is not an important aquifer, The Snake River basalt is the most important aquifer in the area and yields water to irrigation, domestic, and stock wells. Several springs discharge from the basalt into Lake Walcott. The Cedar Butte basalt is a major aquifer supplying water to a number of stock and domestic wells and to Bonanza Lake. Ground water moves southward and southwestward through the area from the Aberseen-Springfield tract on the northeast and possibly from the downstream end of American Falls Reservoir. Part of the ground water is discharged to the Snake River and Lake Walcott and part moves westward out of the area of the main ground-water body. The amount of ground water can not be determined from the data bow available. Data from dam-site borings and wells suggest the possibility that a part of the ground water in the area may be perched above the regional water table.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Preliminary report on ground water in the Bonanza Lake area, Power and Blaine counties, Idaho