The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineering Center, investigated the use of surface geophysical methods to delineate the top of the Cretaceous Pierre Shale along survey transects in selected areas within and near Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Two complementary geophysical methods—electrical resistivity and passive seismic—were used along 26 co-located transect surveys within and near Ellsworth Air Force Base for a total of 12.7 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 driller logs. Passive seismic data were analyzed using the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio method to determine the depth to the Pierre Shale at each survey point. The electrical resistivity and passive seismic results were compared to driller logs from nearby wells to delineate the top of the Pierre Shale. The depth to the Pierre Shale along the transects ranged from about 2.4 to 20.3 meters, and mean and median depths were about 9.2 and 9.0 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 sometimes did not correlate with land-surface topography and may affect local groundwater flow.
|Title||Delineating the Pierre Shale from geophysical surveys within and near Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, 2019|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Map|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|