Water resources of Hot Springs County, Wyoming

Water-Resources Investigations Report 93-4141




The wells and springs inventoried in Hot Springs County most commonly had been completed in or issued from the Quaternary alluvium, Quaternary terrace deposits, Fort Union and Mesaverde Formations, Cody Shale, and the Frontier and Chugwater Formations. The largest discharges measured were from the Quaternary terrace deposits (400 gallons per minute) and the Phosphoria Formation (1,000 gallons per minute). Discharges from all other geologic units varied, but most wells and springs yielded 50 gallons per minute or less.

Water-quality samples collected from springs that issued from the Absaroka Volcanic Supergroup, the Bighorn Dolomite, and the Flathead Sandstone had the lowest dissolved-solids concentrations, which ranged from 58 to 265 milligrams per liter, and the least variable water types. Water from the volcanic rocks was a sodium bicarbonate type; whereas, water from the Flathead Sandstone was a calcium bicarbonate type. Water types for all the other aquifers varied from sampling site to sampling site; however, water samples from the Fort Union Formation and the Cody Shale were consistently of the sodium sulfate type.

The effect of oil- and gas-development at Hamilton Dome on thermal spring discharges at Hot Springs State Park near Thermopolis was studied. The estimated drawdown from 1918, when the Hamilton Dome oil field was discovered, to 1988 was made using drill-stem data from previous studies. Drawdown at Big Spring in the Park was estimated to be less than 3 feet on the basis of recent oil- and water-production data, previous modeling studies, and the estimated water-level drawdown of 330 feet in wells at the Hamilton Dome oil field.

Streams originating in the Plains region of the county, such as Middle Fork Owl Creek, are ephemeral or intermittent; whereas, streams originating in the mountains, such as Gooseberry Creek, are perennial. Average annual runoff across the county ranges from 0.26 inches at a representative streamflow-gaging station near Worland in the plains region to 5.4 inches in the Owl Creek Mountains and southeastern Absaroka Range.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Water resources of Hot Springs County, Wyoming
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Report: v, 90 p.; 2 Plates: 16.50 x 26.44 inches and 25.78 x 17.71 inches
United States
Hot Springs County