The hydrogeologic framework was delineated for the ground-water flow system of the three basalt formations and two interbeds in the Yakima River Basin, Washington. The basalt units are nearly equivalent to the Saddle Mountains, Wanapum, and Grande Ronde. The two major interbed units between the basalt formations generally are referred to as the Mabton and Vantage.
The basalt formations are a productive source of ground-water for the Yakima River Basin. The Grande Ronde unit comprises the largest area in the Yakima River Basin aquifer system. This unit encompasses an area of about 5,390 mi2 and ranges in altitude from 6,900 ft, where it is exposed at land surface, to a depth of 2,800 ft below land surface. The Wanapum unit encompasses an area of 3,450 mi2 and ranges in altitude from 5,680 ft, where exposed at land surface, to a depth of 2,050 ft below land surface. The Saddle Mountains unit, the least extensive, encompasses an area of 2,290 mi2 and ranges from 4,290 ft, where exposed at the surface, to a depth of 1,840 ft below land surface.