Alluvial Aquifers

The state’s alluvial aquifers interact closely with associated surface water flows. In high mountain catchments, groundwater contributes to streamflow when it is discharged from springs and seeps along “gaining” stream reaches. Further downstream, the flow of water may be reversed and the stream may recharge an associated alluvial aquifer in a “losing” reach. In many cases, gaining and losing reaches alternate along the same streambed depending on the relative elevations of groundwater and streamflow and local geologic conditions.

Bedrock Aquifers

Bedrock aquifers receive recharge at their outcrops on the basin margins from direct precipitation and infiltrating streamflows. The state’s shallow bedrock aquifers produce freshwater close to their recharge areas. Frequently, the same aquifer produces oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs deeper in the basins where the groundwater is more saline and unsuitable for drinking and agriculture. Wells that draw from the shallow margin bedrock aquifers can be artesian, flowing artesian, or water table wells.

Map of Wyoming’s major, minor and marginal aquifers and aquitards
Map of Wyoming’s major, minor and marginal aquifers and aquitards

Resources:

Water Resources Data System: http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu/
Online water and climate data for Wyoming, links to drought and snowpack data, sponsored by the Wyoming Water Development Commission

Wyoming Water Development Commission: http://wwdc.state.wy.us/
Agency information, Wyoming Water Planning Program, research projects and funding, publications, water development projects and public comment

Wyoming State Engineers Office: https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/seo/
Groundwater regulations, forms, water well construction requirements, monitoring network information, surface water information and data, water rights data

United States Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/water/
Data, programs and publications on groundwater, aquifers and wells; Information on quality of water resources, USGS Water Science Glossary and Hydrologic Definitions

The Hydrogeologist’s Home Page: http://www.thehydrogeologist.com/
Employment, geospatial resources, software, earth science resources, weather and climate data, environmental science equipment

National Ground Water Association: http://www.ngwa.org/Pages/default.aspx
Website for groundwater professionals, professional services and resources, research and journal publications, advocacy, educational and public service information