Hydrogeology of the Great Basin region of Nevada, Utah, and adjacent states


The many geologic formations and rock types found in the Great Basin can be grouped into 12 major hydrogeologic units on the basis of lithology, areal extent, and water-bearing characteristics. The units range in age from Precambrian through Holocene, and represent metamorphic rocks, carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks of both marine and continental origin, and plutonic and volcanic rocks. Regional aquifers are comprised of basin-fill deposits in all parts of the Great Basin, Paleozoic carbonate rocks (limestone and dolomite) in the eastern Great Basin, and possibly Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic rocks in some parts of the Great Basin.

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    • "Carbonate-rock aquifers underlie most of eastern Nevada, including the Spring Valley area, and often form deep regional flow systems that encompass several valleys (Thomas et al., 1986; Plume, 1996; Hershey et al., 2007; Welch et al., 2007). The carbonate rock aquifers are thousands of feet thick and provide a connection for groundwater flow from mountain block recharge areas to valleys (Plume, 1996; Thomas et al., 1996; Mankinen et al., 2006; Lundmark et al., 2007; Welch et al., 2007). "

    Quaternary International 11/2015; 387:139. DOI:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.01.153 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic and selenium concentrations along with the major solutes were measured in ground-waters sampled from springs in Pahranagat Valley and Ash Meadows, Nevada, Death Valley, California, and from wells from the Nevada Test Site and Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The multivariate statistical technique correspondence analysis was applied to the data to determine relationships between the groundwaters from these areas, the aquifer materials and the As and Se concentrations, and to examine the relationships between As and Se and the other chemical parameters included in the statistical analysis. The correspondence analysis indicates that a strong relationship exists between chloride and Se in the groundwaters and that As is not associated with chloride. The strong association between chloride and Se suggests that Se behaves more conservatively than As in these oxygenated, circumneutral pH groundwaters. No strong association was observed between the As and/or Se concentrations of the groundwaters and the aquifer material with which these waters interact (i.e. regional Paleozoic carbonate aquifer, Tertiary tuffaceous volcanic rocks, and/or basin-fill deposits). However, it is likely that sampling of groundwaters from the various aquifers was insufficient to determine relationships between the aquifer materials and groundwater chemistry. Associations were observed between the groundwaters of the Nevada Test Site and Yucca Mountain regions and the groundwaters of the regional carbonate aquifer that discharge at Ash Meadows and Death Valley, suggesting mixing of these waters. Ground-water from the regional carbonate aquifer in Pahranagat Valley, which is upgradient from the Nevada Test Site, Yucca Mountain, Ash Meadows, and Death Valley, exhibited no association with groundwaters from these regions.
    Journal of Hydrology 04/1996; 178(1-4):181-204. DOI:10.1016/0022-1694(95)02804-8 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rare earth element (REE) signature of ground waters from both felsic volcanic rocks on the Nevada Test Site and from the regional Paleozoic carbonate aquifer of southern Nevada resemble the REE signature of the rocks through which they flow. Moreover, the REE signatures of Ash Meadows ground waters are similar to those of springs in the Furnace Creek region of Death Valley but different from shallow ground waters from predominantly tuffaceous alluvial deposits in the Amargosa Desert, perched ground waters from felsic volcanic rocks, and ground waters that have only flowed through the regional Paleozoic carbonate aquifer. The similar REE patterns of Ash Meadows and Furnace Creek ground waters support previous investigations that suggested ground waters discharging from the Furnace Creek springs are similar to the ground waters emerging from the Ash Meadows springs. The REE patterns indicate that the contribution of ground water from the Amargosa Desert to the Furnace Creek springs is of minor importance. Our REE analyses along with previous stable isotope, ground-water potentiometric surface relationships, and geologic structure analyses support ground-water flow from east to west in the fractured and faulted carbonate rocks beneath Ash Meadows, the Amargosa Desert, and the southern end of the Funeral Mountains. Our observations are contrary to some previous investigations that identified shallow ground waters from the central and northwestern Amargosa Desert as a substantial component of the ground water that discharges from the Furnace Creek springs.
    Ground Water 09/1997; 35(5):807-819. DOI:10.1111/j.1745-6584.1997.tb00149.x · 2.31 Impact Factor
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