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Artesian pressures and water quality in Paleozoic aquifers in the Ten Sleep area of the Bighorn Basin, north-central Wyoming

Open-File Report 84-621

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Abstract

Major Paleozoic artesian aquifers in the southeastern Bighorn Basin of Wyoming area, in descending order, the Tensleep Sandstone; the Madison Limestone and Bighorn Dolomite, which together form the Madison-Bighorn aquifer; and the Flathead Sandstone. Operating yields commonly are more than 1,000 gallons per minute from flowing wells completed in the Madison-Bighorn aquifer. The initial test of one well indicated a flow of 14,000 gallons per minute. Wellhead pressures range from less than 50 to more than 400 pounds per square inch. Transmissivities are 500-1,900 feet squared per day for the Madison-Bighorn aquifer and 90-325 feet squared per day for the Tensleep and Flathead Sandstones. Despite extensive development for irrigation there have been few decreases in pressure. Some decreases in pressure have occurred in wells completed in the Flathead Sandstone. Fractures along linear structural features result in significant secondary permeability and allow upward interformational movement of water that affects the altitude of the potentiometric surfaces in the Tensleep Sandstone and Madison-Bighorn aquifer. Upward-moving water from the Tensleep and other formations discharges at the land surface as springs along or near these lineations. Water from the aquifers generally contains minimal concentrations of dissolved solids and individual constituents but has excessive hardness. The water is satisfactory for irrigation and other purposes when hardness is not a detrimental factor. Wellhead temperatures range from 11 degrees to 27.5 degrees C, giving a geothermal gradient of about 0.44 degrees C per 100 feet. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Artesian pressures and water quality in Paleozoic aquifers in the Ten Sleep area of the Bighorn Basin, north-central Wyoming
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
84-621
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 80 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.