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Aquifer systems in the Great Basin region of Nevada, Utah, and adjacent states: A study plan

January 1, 1983

The Great Basin Regional Aquifer Study includes about 140,000 square miles in parts of Nevada, Utah, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Arizona. Within that area, 240 hydrographic areas occupy structural depressions formed primarily by basin-and-range faulting. The principal aquifers are in basin- fill deposits; however, permeable carbonate rocks underlie valleys in much of eastern Nevada and western Utah and are significant regional aquifers. Anticipated future water needs require a better understanding of the resource so that wise management will be possible. In October 1980, the U.S Geological Survey started a 4-year study to (1) describe the ground-water systems as they existed under natural conditions and as they exist today, (2) analyze the changes that have led to the systems' present condition, (3) tie the results of this and previous studies together in a regional analysis, and (4) provide means by which effects of future ground-water development can be estimated.

A plan of work is presented that describes the general approach to be taken in this study. It defines (1) the major task necessary to meet objectives and (2) constraints on the scope of work. The approach has been strongly influenced by the diverse nature of ground-water flow systems and the large number of basins. A detailed appraisal of 240 individual areas would require more resources than are available. Consequently, the general approach is to study selected "typical" areas and key hydrologic processes. Effort during the first 3 years will be directed toward describing the regional hydrology, conducting detailed studies of "type" areas, and studying selected hydrologic processes. Effort during the final year will be directed toward developing a regional analyses of results.

Special studies that will address hydrologic processes, key components of the ground-water system, and improved use of technology include evaluations of regional geochemistry, regional hydrogeology, recharge, ground-water discharge, and the use of remote sensing. Areas selected for study using ground-water flow models include the regional carbonate-rock province in eastern Nevada and western Utah, six valleys Las Vegas, Carson, Paradise, Dixie, Smith Creek, and Stagecoach in Nevada, plus Jordan Valley, the Milford area, and Tule Valley in Utah.

Publication Year 1983
Title Aquifer systems in the Great Basin region of Nevada, Utah, and adjacent states: A study plan
DOI 10.3133/ofr82445
Authors James R. Harrill, Alan H. Welch, David E. Prudic, James M. Thomas, Rita L. Carman, Russell W. Plume, Joseph S. Gates, James L. Mason
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 82-445
Index ID ofr82445
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Utah Water Science Center