Hydrogeology, groundwater levels, and generalized potentiometric-surface map of the Green River Basin lower Tertiary aquifer system, 2010–14, in the northern Green River structural basin

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5090
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

In cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, groundwater levels in wells located in the northern Green River Basin in Wyoming, an area of ongoing energy development, were measured by the U.S. Geological Survey from 2010 to 2014. The wells were completed in the uppermost aquifers of the Green River Basin lower Tertiary aquifer system, which is a complex regional aquifer system that provides water to most wells in the area. Except for near perennial streams, groundwater-level altitudes in most aquifers generally decreased with increasing depth, indicating a general downward potential for groundwater movement in the study area. Drilled depth of the wells was observed as a useful indicator of depth to groundwater such that deeper wells typically had a greater depth to groundwater. Comparison of a subset of wells included in this study that had historical groundwater levels that were measured during the 1960s and 1970s and again between 2012 and 2014 indicated that, overall, most of the wells showed a net decline in groundwater levels.

The groundwater-level measurements were used to construct a generalized potentiometric-surface map of the Green River Basin lower Tertiary aquifer system. Groundwater-level altitudes measured in nonflowing and flowing wells used to construct the potentiometric-surface map ranged from 6,451 to 7,307 feet (excluding four unmeasured flowing wells used for contour construction purposes). The potentiometric-surface map indicates that groundwater in the study area generally moves from north to south, but this pattern of flow is altered locally by groundwater divides, groundwater discharge to the Green River, and possibly to a tributary river (Big Sandy River) and two reservoirs (Fontenelle and Big Sandy Reservoirs).

Suggested Citation

Bartos, T.T., Hallberg, L.L., and Eddy-Miller, C.A., 2015, Hydrogeology, groundwater levels, and generalized potentiometric-surface map of the Green River Basin lower Tertiary aquifer system, 2010–14, in the northern Green River structural basin, Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5090, 33 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155090.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Description of Study Area
  • Hydrogeology
  • Groundwater Levels
  • Generalized Potentiometric Surface
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Hydrogeology, groundwater levels, and generalized potentiometric-surface map of the Green River Basin lower Tertiary aquifer system, 2010–14, in the northern Green River structural basin
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2015-5090
DOI 10.3133/sir20155090
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) WY-MT Water Science Center
Description Report: v, 33p.; 1 Plate: 11.0 x 17.0 inches
Country United States
State Wyoming
Other Geospatial Green River structural basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y