Luke Air Force Base, in the Salt River Valley in central Arizona. is within an intermontane basin--the Phoenix basin--in the Basin and Range lowlands province. The Luke area, the subject of this study, extends beyond the limits of the base.
Ground-water resources of the Luke area were studied to determine the possibility of developing a water supply of optimum quantity and quality to supplement the base supply. Several wells drilled for this purpose, prior to the study, either produced an inadequate supply of water or produced ware-that had a high dissolved-solids content.
The Phoenix basin is filled with unconsolidated to semiconsolidated Tertiary and Quaternary sedimentary rocks that are referred to as valley fill. Although its total thickness is unknown, 2,784 feet of valley fill--primarily consisting of clay, silt, sand, and gravel--has been penetrated.
Percentage-distribution maps of fine-grained materials indicate a gross-facies pattern and a selective depositional area of the valley-fill materials. The maps also indicate that the areal distribution of fine-grained materials increases with depth. In general, the better producing wells, regardless of depth, are in areas where tee valley fill is composed of less than 60 percent fine-grained materials. The water table in the area is declining because large quantities of water are withdrawn and recharge is negligible. The decline near Luke Air Force Base during the period 1941-61 was about 150 feet.
Ground water was moving generally southwest in the spring of 1961. Locally, changes in the direction of movement indicate diversion toward two major depressions.
The dissolved-solids content of the ground water ranged from about 190 to 6,300 ppm. The highest concentration of dissolved solids is in water from the southern part of the area and seems to come from relatively shallow depths; wells in the northern part generally yield water of good quality.
After a reconnaissance of the area, the U.S. Geological Survey located and supervised the drilling of two test wells--wells (B-2-1) 9bcb and (B-2-1) 5abc?on Luke Air Force Base. The quantity of water produced by the wells was adequate. The dissolved-solids content of water from the wells was low, and the overall quality of water from well (B-2-1) 5abc was good. When well (B-2-1) 9bcb was perforated between 907 and 977 feet, the water had a fluoride concentration of 4.4 ppm; however, the fluoride concentration decreased to 2.8 ppm when new perforations were cut at a shallower depth, and it was decided that dilution with other base water supplies probably would alleviate any possible fluoride problem.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Geology and ground water of the Luke area, Maricopa County, Arizona