Geology and Hydrology of the Truxton Basin and Hualapai Plateau, Northwestern Arizona

Scientific Investigations Report 2020-5017-B
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation
By: , and 
Edited by: Jon P. Mason



The geology of northwestern Arizona is prominently displayed on the canyon and cliff walls that compose the high-desert landscape of the Hualapai Plateau and that border the Truxton basin. The Truxton basin is a small topographic basin filled with Quaternary and Tertiary deposits and volcanic rock (about 1,600 feet thick near Truxton, Arizona) that overlie Proterozoic crystalline metamorphic rocks in the west or Cambrian sedimentary rocks in the east. The Hualapai Plateau is a large block of Paleozoic-age sedimentary rocks that are dissected by many deep canyons. Most surface-water drainages in the Truxton basin and Hualapai Plateau are ephemeral and flow only in response to significant precipitation events, but a few drainages have perennial reaches that are supported by groundwater discharge from springs. Saturated basin-fill sediments in the Truxton basin compose the Truxton aquifer, which is currently used as a water supply for the community of Peach Springs, Arizona, and supplies a small number of livestock and domestic wells. Usable groundwater on the Hualapai Plateau is in either perched water-bearing zones close to land surface or in the Muav Limestone aquifer at depths of greater than 2,000 feet below land surface. To date, only two test wells have been drilled through the Muav Limestone on the Hualapai Plateau, and neither of those wells encountered water in the limestone, indicating the unit is not saturated in all areas of the plateau.

Suggested Citation

Mason, J.P., Bills, D.J., and Macy, J.P., 2020, Geology and hydrology of the Truxton basin and Hualapai Plateau, northwestern Arizona, chap. B of Mason, J.P., ed., Geophysical surveys, hydrogeologic characterization, and groundwater flow model for the Truxton basin and Hualapai Plateau, northwestern Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5017, 9 p.,

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Geology
  • Hydrology
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geology and hydrology of the Truxton basin and Hualapai Plateau, northwestern Arizona
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2020-5017
Chapter B
DOI 10.3133/sir20205017B
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Arizona Water Science Center
Description iv, 9 p.
Country United States
State Arizona
Other Geospatial Hualapai Plateau, Truxton Basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details