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Hydrogeologic reconnaissance of the San Miguel River basin, southwestern Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4133

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Abstract

The San Miguel River Basin encompasses 4,130 square kilometers of which about two-thirds is in the southeastern part of the Paradox Basin. The Paradox Basin is a part of the Colorado Plateaus that is underlain by a thick sequence of evaporite beds of Pennsylvanian age. The rock units that underlie the area have been grouped into hydrogeologic units based on their water-transmitting ability. Evaporite beds of mostly salt are both overlain and underlain by confining beds. Aquifers are present above and below the confining-bed sequence. The principal element of ground-water outflow from the upper aquifer is flow to the San Miguel River and its tributaries; this averages about 90 million cubic meters per year. A water budget for the lower aquifer has only two equal, unestimated elements, subsurface outflow and recharge from precipitation. The aquifers are generally isolated from the evaporite beds by the bounding confining beds; as a result, most ground water has little if any contact with the evaporites. No brines have been sampled and no brine discharges have been identified in the basin. Salt water has been reported for petroleum-exploration wells, but no active salt solution has been identified. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeologic reconnaissance of the San Miguel River basin, southwestern Colorado
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4133
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1984
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 25 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.