Permeability Architecture and Groundwater Circulation
Along a Fault-Severed Margin, Northern Hanna Basin, Carbon
Groundwater circulation through the aquifers of the Troublesome-Difficulty Creek
area in the hanging wall of the Shirley thrust fault is primarily parallel to bedding.
Cross-stratigraphic circulation between aquifers occurs only through faults and fractures
that crosscut permeable and confining layers. The interconnection of geologic features
having bedding-parallel or bedding-perpendicular permeabilities results in a permeability
architecture through which groundwater circulates downgradient from recharge areas to
points of discharge.
Water entering Madison Formation in the Shirley Mountains circulates
downgradient but upsection into the overlying Tensleep aquifer. The water discharges as
rejected recharge from the lowest topographic exposures of the Tensleep Sandstone
along the perimeters of the Hanna Basin due to a basinward reduction in hydraulic
gradients and permeability.
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