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Water-resources appraisal of the Wet Mountain Valley, in parts of Custer and Fremont counties, Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 78-1

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,

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Abstract

The Wet Mountain Valley is an intermontane trough filled to a depth of at least 6,700 feet with unconsolidated deposits. Ground water occurs under both artesian and water-table conditions within the basin-fill aquifer and ground-water moverment is toward Grape and Texas Creeks. The depth to the water table is less than 10 feet in an area of about 40 square miles along the central part of the valley and is less than 100 feet in most of the remainder of the valley. Ground water stored in the upper 200 feet of saturated basin-fill sediments is estimated to total 1.5 million acre-feet. Yields greater than 50 gallons per minute generally can be expected from wells in the central part of the basin-fill aquifer, and yields less than 50 gallons per minute are generally reported from wells around the edge of the basin-fill aquifer. Yields of wells in the mountainous areas are generally less than 20 gallons per minute. Most streamflow occurs as a result of snowmelt runoff during June and July. The long-term annual runoff at seven stations ranges from an estimated 0.02 cubic foot per second per square mile to an estimated 1.17 cubic feet per second per square mile, generaly increasing with station altitude. Generalized annyal water budgets for two areas in the Wet Mountain Valley indicate that surface-water outflow is only 7 to 11 percent of the total water supply from precipitation and other sources. The remaining water is lost to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration. The quality of both the surface and ground water is generally within the recommended limits for drinking water set by the U.S. Public Health Service. (Woodard-USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water-resources appraisal of the Wet Mountain Valley, in parts of Custer and Fremont counties, Colorado
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
78-1
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1978
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 56 p. :ill., maps ;26 cm.