Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Geology and hydrology of the deep bedrock aquifers in eastern Colorado

January 1, 1987

Deep bedrock aquifers are present in rocks of Cretaceous through Pennsylvanian age in eastern Colorado. These aquifers are the Laramie-Fox Hills (the uppermost aquifer studied), Fort Hays-Codell, Dakota-Cheyenne, Entrada-Dockum, Lyons, and Fountain. Structural mapping indicates the aquifers are 2,000 to 9,000 ft below land surface in most of eastern Colorado but outcrop in local areas in a narrow band along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Recharge primarily occurs in outcrops and produces a northerly or easterly groundwater flow to discharge areas along the South Platte or Arkansas Rivers. Deep aquifers also discharge by underflow to Kansas and Nebraska. Some water-yielding strata in the Dakota-Cheyenne aquifer are not in hydraulic connection with the aquifer, and abnormal fluid pressures, trapped hydrocarbons, and high dissolved-solids concentrations are found in these strata. Temperature and dissolved-solids mapping indicate water temperatures of 100 to 210 in northeastern Colorado and a zone of relatively fresh water extending through a 7,000 sq mi area of the Dakota-Cheyenne aquifer in southeastern Colorado. Water levels in the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer continue to decline as much as 12 ft/yr in local areas near Denver. 

Publication Year 1987
Title Geology and hydrology of the deep bedrock aquifers in eastern Colorado
DOI 10.3133/wri854240
Authors S. G. Robson, E. R. Banta
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 85-4240
Index ID wri854240
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse