In support of Yucca Mountain site characterization studies, a hydrogeologic framework was developed, and a hydrogeologic map was constructed for the Death Valley region. The region, covering approximately 100,000 km 2 along the Nevada-California border near Las Vegas, is characterized by isolated mountain ranges juxtaposed against broad, alluvium-filled valleys. Geologic conditions are typical of the Basin and Range Province; a variety of sedimentary and igneous intrusive and extrusive rocks have been subjected to both compressional and extensional deformation. The regional ground-water flow system can best be described as a series of connected intermontane basins in which ground-water flow occurs in basin-fill deposits, carbonate rocks, clastic rocks, and volcanic rocks. Previous investigations have developed more site-specific hydrogeologic relationships; however, few have described all the lithologies within the Death Valley regional ground-water flow system.
Information required to characterize the hydrogeologic units in the region was obtained from regional geologic maps and reports. Map data were digitized from regional geologic maps and combined into a composite map using a geographic information system. This map was simplified to show 10 laterally extensive hydrogeologic units with distinct hydrologic properties. The hydraulic conductivity values for the hydrogeologic units range over 15 orders of magnitude due to the variability in burial depth and degree of fracturing.
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USGS Numbered Series
A Hydrogeologic Map of the Death Valley Region, Nevada and California, Developed Using GIS Techniques