Goshen County, which has an area of 2,186 square miles, lies in southeastern Wyoming. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ground-water resources of the county by determining the character, thickness, and extent of the waterbearing materials; the source, occurrence, movement, quantity, and quality of the ground water; and the possibility of developing additional ground water. The rocks exposed in the area are sedimentary and range in age from Precambrian to Recent. A map that shows the areas of outcrop and a generalized section that summarizes the age, thickness, physical character, and water supply of these formations are included in the report. Owing to the great depths at which they lie beneath most of the county, the formations older than the Lance formation of Late Cretaceous age are not discussed in detail.
The Lance formation, of Late Cretaceous age, which consists mainly of beds of fine-grained sandstone and shale, has a maximum thickness of about 1,400 feet. It yields water, which usually is under artesian pressure, to a large number of domestic and stock wells in the south-central part of the county. Tertiary rocks in the area include the Chadron and Brule formations of Oligocene age, the Arikaree formation of Miocene age, and channel deposits of Pliocene age. The Chadron formation is made up of two distinct units: a lower unit of highly variegated fluviatile deposits that has been found only in the report area; and an upper unit that is typical of the formation as it occurs in adjacent areas. The lower unit, which ranges in thickness from a knife edge to about 95 feet, is not known to yield water to wells, but its coarse-grained channel deposits probably would yield small quantities of water to wells. The upper unit, which ranges in thickness from a knife edge to about 150 feet, yields sufficient quantities of water for domestic and stock uses from channel deposits of sandstone under artesian pressure. The Brule formation, which is mainly a siltstone, ranges in thickness from a knife edge to about 450 feet and yields water to domestic and stock wells from fractures and from lenses of sandstone. The Arikaree formation ranges in thickness from a knife edge to about 1,000 feet, and yields water to several domestic and stock wells in the northwestern part of the area. The Pliocene channel deposits, which probably do not exceed 25 feet in thickness, are not a source of water for wells in Goshen County.
The upland deposits, which are mainly of Pleistocene age, generally are dry and do not serve as aquifers; however, test drilling revealed several deep, buried channels occupied by deposits which probably would yield moderate quantities of water to wells if a sufficient saturated thickness were penetrate The deposits of the third terrace, which are of Pleistocene age, range in thickness from a knife edge to about 210 feet and yield water to a large number of irrigation wells in the area. The flood-plain deposits, which are of Pleistocene and Recent age, range in thickness from a knife edge to about 200 feet. Those in the valley of the North Platte River yield abundant water to many large supply wells. The flood-plain deposits along the valley of Rawhide Creek consist mainly of fine-grained materials and yield large supplies of water to well only in the lower stretches of the creek valley near its confluence with the valley of the North Platte River. The deposits along the valleys of Horse and Bear Creeks generally are relatively thin and fine grained. In the vicinity of Ls grange, however, the deposits, which are about 45 feet thick, yield moderate, supplies of water to several irrigation wells. Other Recent deposits in the area--dune sand, loesslike deposits, and slope wash--generally are fine grained and relatively thin and, hence, are not important sources of ground water.
The unconsolidated sand and gravel of the flood-plain and terrace deposits are the principal aquifers in the area. In some places