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Chapter 6
Potentiometric Surface

Groundwater flow through a porus medium is governed by the Darcy Equation:
          Q = -K * dh/dl * A                    (7)
          Q = discharge L3/T
          K = hydraulic conductivity L/T
          dh/dl = hydraulic gradient dimensionless
          A = cross sectional area L2
          1 = length in the direction of flow L
          h = hydraulic head L .

The hydraulic gradient is a measure of the slope of the potentiometric surface. Groundwater flows from a higher hydraulic head to a lower hydraulic head.

The potentiometric surface of the Muddy Sandstone slopes to the east-southeast in the Denver-Julesburg basin, as shown on Plate I. The general direction of groundwater flow is, therefore, to the east-southeast from the Laramie Range. If recharge does flow past the fault severed boundary along the flank of the range, then the potential does exist for that recharge to flow towards the basin interior.

The possibility that significant recharge flows past the fault severed boundary is remote because the fault plane is impermeable. Effects of the impermeable fault plane documented in the study area include stream flow gains along the upper segment of the gauged reach of the North Fork of Horse Creek and the line of springs along the eastern most thrust fault on Plate IV, located east of Table Mountain.

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