Shallow ground water in the Boulder-Fort Collins-Greeley area, Front Range urban corridor, Colorado, 1975-77

Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4058



Shallow ground water may limit the location of construction and excavation projects in parts of the Front Range Urban Corridor. A shallow water table occurs from 0 to 50 feet below the land surface principally in the alluvial deposits along the streams and rivers in the Boulder-Fort Collins-Greeley area. This shallow water table underlies approximately 400 square miles and is maintained by natural recharge within the South Platte River basin and by the infiltration of irrigation water that is diverted into the basin from streams and reservoirs in the Colorado and the Laramie River basins. Return flow from irrigation, which is mostly ground water, helps maintain the flow of the South Platte River and its tributaries. The report includes a map from which depth to water table and the direction of ground-water movement can be determined. The map, compiled on a topographic base, shows the areal extent of the saturated materials and the altitude and configuration of the ground-water surface. The water-table contour map was prepared using data from approximately 400 wells. Monitoring of shallow ground-water within the study area shows depths to water have changed only slightly over the last 20 years, except for some seasonal and drought-related fluctuations. Gradients, computed from ground-water measurements, range from 27.7 feet per mile in Lone Tree-Spring Creek valley to 10.3 feet per mile in the South Platte River valley. The shallow ground-water underflow from the major tributaries in the basin is about 29,000 acre-feet per year, and underflow calculated at a cross section near Kersey is about 12,000 acre-feet per year. 

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Shallow ground water in the Boulder-Fort Collins-Greeley area, Front Range urban corridor, Colorado, 1975-77
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 83-4058
DOI 10.3133/wri834058
Year Published 1983
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description 1 Plate: 41.96 × 31.86 inches
Country United States
State Colorado
City Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley
Other Geospatial Front Range urban corridor
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