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Recharge of shallow aquifers through two ephemeral-stream channels in northeastern Wyoming, 1982-1983

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4311

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Abstract

Quantifying the recharge from ephemeral streams to alluvial and bedrock aquifers will help evaluate the effects of surface mining on alluvial valley floors in Wyoming. Two stream reaches were chosen for study in the Powder River basin. One reach was located along the North Fork Dry Fork Cheyenne River near Glenrock, Wyoming, and the other reach was located along Black Thunder Creek near Hampshire, Wyoming. The reach along the North Fork Dry Fork Cheyenne River was instrumented with 3 gaging stations to measure streamflow and with 6 observation wells to measure groundwater level fluctuations in alluvial and bedrock aquifers in response to streamflow. The 3 streamflow gaging stations were located within the 2.5-mi study reach to measure the approximate gain or loss of discharge along the reach. Computed streamflow losses ranged from 0.43 acre-ft/mi on July 9 , 1982, to 1.44 acre-ft/mi on August 9, 1982. The observation wells completed only in the alluvial aquifer were dry during flow in the North Fork Dry Fork Cheyenne River, whereas water levels in half of the observation wells completed in the bedrock aquifers or the alluvial and bedrock aquifers rose in response to flow in the North Fork Dry Fork Cheyenne River. Groundwater recharge on August 9, 1982, was calculated using a convolution technique using groundwater levels at the upstream site and was estimated to be 26.5 acre-ft/mi. The reach along Black Thunder Creek was instrumented with one gaging station to measure streamflow and with 4 observation wells to measure water level response in alluvial and bedrock aquifers to streamflow. Recharge to the alluvial aquifer from flow in Black Thunder Creek ranged from 3.56 to 12.4 acre-ft/mi. The recharge was estimated using the convolution technique using water level measurements in the observation wells completed in the alluvial aquifer. Water level measurements in the observation wells indicated water level rises in the alluvial and bedrock aquifers in response to flow in Black Thunder Creek. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Recharge of shallow aquifers through two ephemeral-stream channels in northeastern Wyoming, 1982-1983
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4311
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1987
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 29 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.