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Evaluation of surface geophysical methods for collection of hydrogeologic data in the Nebraska Sand Hills region

January 1, 1994

The practicality of using surface geophysical methods for obtaining geohydrologic data in the Nebraska Sand Hills region was studied during the summer of 1984. Seismic refraction and electrical-resistivity equipment were used, because an evaluation of geohydrologic data indicated that results of surveys made with this equipment probably would yield the most useful data. The study area, which included parts of Garfield, Holt, and Wheeler Counties, was selected because it is geohydrologically representative of the eastern part of the Sand Hills region, and because sufficient geohydrologic data were available for use in evaluating the results of geophysical surveys. Geophysical methods were evaluated for their ability to consistently detect selected geohydrologic horizons. These horizons in descending order, are: the water table, the top of Quaternary silt beds, the top of Quaternary sand and gravel beds , the top of the Tertiary Ogallala Formation, and the top of the Cretaceous Pierre Shale. The top of the Pierre Shale generally is the base of the aquifer, which consists of all of the 500 to 700 ft of overlying deposits. Evaluations of the geophysical data indicate that seismic refraction surveys are best suited for determining the depth to the water table, but are not effective in studying beds below the water table. Vertical electrical soundings provided data on the depth to water table and the top of the silt beds. Available geohydrologic data, however, indicate that with some changes in data collection or interpretation techniques, it may be possible to obtain information on the top of the sand and gravel deposits, the top of the Ogallala Formation, and the top of the Pierre Shale with vertical electrical soundings. Use of either geophysical method could enhance the results of geohydrologic investigations in the Nebraska Sand Hills region. (Author 's abstract)

Citation Information

Publication Year 1985
Title Evaluation of surface geophysical methods for collection of hydrogeologic data in the Nebraska Sand Hills region
DOI 10.3133/wri854195
Authors M. J. Ellis, R.A. Hiergesell
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 85-4195
Index ID wri854195
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse