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Delineating the Pierre Shale from geophysical surveys east and southeast of Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, 2021

December 19, 2022

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center, used surface-geophysical methods to delineate the top of Cretaceous Pierre Shale along survey transects in selected areas east and southeast of Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, from April to September 2021. Two complementary geophysical methods—electrical resistivity and passive seismic—were used along 21 colocated transect surveys east and southeast of Ellsworth Air Force Base for a total of 24.7 line-kilometers. Electrical resistivity results were analyzed using EarthImager2D electrical resistivity tomography processing and inversion software. Two-dimensional earth models showing the electrical properties of the subsurface were evaluated by directly comparing the high and low subsurface resistivity values to a surficial-geologic map and nearby wells with drillers logs. Passive seismic data were analyzed using the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio method to determine the depth to the Cretaceous Pierre Shale at each survey point. The depth to the Pierre Shale along the transects ranged from 0.0 to about 19.8 meters, and the mean and median depths were about 6.1 and 5.6 meters, respectively. The elevation of the Pierre Shale and thickness of unconsolidated deposits generally increased with land-surface elevation from south to north; however, some transects displayed topographically high and low areas that did not correlate with land-surface topography.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Delineating the Pierre Shale from geophysical surveys east and southeast of Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, 2021
DOI 10.3133/sim3497
Authors Colton J. Medler
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3497
Index ID sim3497
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Dakota Water Science Center

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