Report Abstract

HYDROGEOLOGY AND STEADY-STATE SIMULATION OF GROUND-WATER FLOW IN THE SAN JUAN BASIN, NEW MEXICO, COLORADO, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

By John Michael Kernodle

As part of a multidisciplinary regional aquifer-system analysis, a three-dimensional steady-state ground-water-flow model was constructed for the San Juan Basin in parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. The model simulated ground- water flow in 12 hydrostratigraphic units representing all of the major sources of ground water from aquifers of Jurassic and younger age.

Ten map reports in the U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologic Investigations Atlas 720 series were prepared in conjunction with this investigation. The units that were described in the atlases were the San Jose, Nacimiento, and Animas Formations; Ojo Alamo Sandstone; Kirtland Shale and Fruitland Formation; Pictured Cliffs Sandstone; Cliff House Sandstone; Menefee Formation; Point Lookout Sandstone; Gallup Sandstone; Dakota Sandstone; and Morrison Formation. Additional descriptions of the alluvial and landslide deposits, Chuska and Crevasse Canyon Sandstones, Lewis and Mancos Shales, Wanakah Formation, and Entrada Sandstone are included in this report. Much of the information in the HA-720 series was generated from digital computer data bases that were directly usable by the computer for compilation of input data for the model. In essence, the major components of the ground-water- flow model were described and documented in the series of hydrologic atlases.

The primary finding resulting from the ground-water-flow simulation was that boundary conditions and internal geometry of the aquifers are the major controls of steady-state ground-water flow and hydraulic heads in the San Juan Basin. Another significant finding was that the computed steady-state ground- water flux is a very minor component (about 1 percent) of the total water budget of the basin.

Abstract from Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4187



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