Mapping of shallow aquifers in the northern Front Range area of Colorado has been completed as part of the U.S. Geological Survey Front Range Infrastructure Resources Project. The aquifer mapping was undertaken as part of a comprehensive effort to better define the mineral, energy, cartographic, biological, and water resources that are critical to the support and development of the area's infrastructure, such as streets. highways, airports, and buildings. The aquifer mapping was undertaken in cooperation with the Colorado Division of Water Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
The shallow aquifers have been mapped in a 2,450-square-mile area extending as an approximately 30-mile-wide band from north of Fort Collins to the Arapahoe-Douglas County line south of Denver (fig. I). The shallow aquifer mapping in the Denver metropolitan area was published in 1996 as Hydrologic Investigations Atlas HA-736 (Robson. 1996). Shallow aquifer mapping in the Greeley-Nunn area was published as HA-746A (Robson, Arnold, and Heiny, 2000a); mapping in the Fort Collins-Loveland area was published as HA-746B (Robson, Arnold, and Heiny, 2000b); mapping in the Fort Lupton-Gilcrest area was published as HA-746C (Robson, Heiny, and Arnold, 2000c); and mapping in the Boulder-Longmont area was published as HA-746D (Robson, Heiny, and Arnold, 2000d).
Each of the five atlases contains five map sheets at 1:50,000 scale showing:
1. The thickness and extent of the unconsolidated sediments (loose gravel. sand. silt, and clay) that overlie the bedrock formations in the area (fig. 2).
2. The altitude and configuration of the bedrock surface.
3. The altitude of the water table and direction of ground-water movement.
4. The saturated thickness of the shallow aquifers.
5. The depth to the water table in the shallow aquifers.