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Ground water east of Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

January 1, 1964

The project area, which lies east of and adjacent to Jackson Lake is on the downthrown eastern block of the Teton fault, a normal fault that trends northward along the west edge of Jackson Lake. Rocks of pre-Cretaceous age are deeply buried beneath this area. Sedimentary rocks of Cretaceous age and sedimentary and volcanic rocks of Tertiary age, which have an aggregate thickness of about 30,000 feet, are exposed in the northern and eastern parts of the area. Along most of the east side of Jackson Lake, unconsolidated glacial and interglacial deposits of Quaternary age overlie the rocks of Cretaceous and Tertiary age. The unconsolidated deposits were penetrated by test drilling to a depth of 206 feet, but the maximum thickness is probably much greater. Test wells were drilled in five localities to evaluate the deposits of Quaternary age as possible sources of ground water for National Park Service facilities. In the Pilgrim Creek valley, test wells were capable of yielding 200 gpm (gallons per minute); properly constructed production wells could obtain much greater yields. Test wells at Lizard Point and Jackson Lake Campgrounds yielded more than 100 gpm, and a test well near the confluence of the Buffalo Fork and Snake rivers yielded 30 gpm. A test hole drilled in the NW1/4 sec. 36, T. 46 N., R. 115 W., was dry at 200 feet. Unconsolidated deposits of Quaternary age are the most promising source of additional ground water. Because of the extreme range in grain size and sorting, these deposits vary greatly in permeability. Their saturated thickness ranges from 0 to more than 130 feet and changes seasonally; variations of as much as 36 feet were measured (1961-62) in the Pilgrim Creek valley. In most localities where deposits of Quaternary age are ,present, small to moderate ground-water supplies can be developed; larger ground-water supplies can be developed in parts of the Pilgrim Creek valley. One well taps the Bivouac Formation of Late Pliocene or Pleistocene age, but no other wells are known to tap rocks of possible pre-Quaternary age. The Harebell Formation and Bacon Ridge Sandstone of Late Cretaceous age and the Bivouac Formation offer the best possibilities for development of additional water supplies from the consolidated rocks. Chemical analyses of water samples from 11 wells in the deposits of Quaternary age and 1 well in the Bivouac Formation indicate that the water is of generally good quality for drinking and most other purposes. Water from one well tapping lacustrine(?) sand had a dissolved-solids content of 321 ppm (parts per million); all other samples had from 87 to 145 ppm.

Publication Year 1964
Title Ground water east of Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
DOI 10.3133/cir494
Authors Laurence J. McGreevy, Ellis D. Gordon
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Circular
Series Number 494
Index ID cir494
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse