Hydrology of the Black Hills Area, South Dakota

By Daniel G. Driscoll, Janet M. Carter, Joyce E. Williamson, and Larry D. Putnam



Water Resources Investigation Report 02-4094


Prepared in cooperation with the

South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
and the West Dakota Water Development District




The Black Hills Hydrology Study was initiated in 1990 to assess the quantity, quality, and distribution of surface water and ground water in the Black Hills area of South Dakota. This report summarizes the hydrology of the Black Hills area and the results of this long-term study.


The Black Hills area of South Dakota and Wyoming is an important recharge area for several regional, bedrock aquifer systems and various local aquifers; thus, the study focused on describing the hydrologic significance of selected bedrock aquifers. The major aquifers in the Black Hills area are the Deadwood, Madison, Minnelusa, Minnekahta, and Inyan Kara aquifers. The highest priority was placed on the Madison and Minnelusa aquifers, which are used extensively and heavily influence the surface-water resources of the area.


Within this report, the hydrogeologic framework of the area, including climate, geology, ground water, and surface water, is discussed. Hydrologic processes and characteristics for ground water and surface water are presented. For ground water, water-level trends and comparisons and water-quality characteristics are presented. For surface water, streamflow characteristics, responses to precipitation, annual yields and yield efficiencies, and water-quality characteristics are presented. Hydrologic budgets are presented for ground water, surface water, and the combined ground-water/surface-water system. A summary of study findings regarding the complex flow systems within the Madison and Minnelusa aquifers also is presented.



Cover (91 KB)--1 page

Inside Title Pages and TOC (85 KB) -- 7 pages

Section -- 1 (3 KB) -- 17 pages



Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area


Hydrogeologic Framework

Climatic Framework

Geologic Framework

Regional Geologic Setting



Local Geologic Setting

Section -- 2 (5 KB) -- 26 pages

Ground-Water Framework

Regional Aquifers

Local Aquifers

Characteristics and Properties of Major Aquifers

Overview of Other Aquifers

Surface-Water Framework

Hydrogeologic Settings

Streamflow Losses

Streamflow Regulation

Hydrologic Processes and Characteristics

Hydrologic Processes

Ground-Water Characteristics

Water-Level Trends and Comparisons

Temporal Trends

Comparisons Between Madison and Minnelusa Aquifers

Comparisons for Other Aquifers

Responses to Climatic Conditions

Water Quality

Section -- 3 (2 KB) -- 16 pages

General Characteristics for Major Aquifers

General Characteristics for Minor Aquifers

Susceptibility to Contamination

Summary Relative to Water Use

Section -- 4 (3 KB) -- 25 pages

Surface-Water Characteristics

Streamflow Characteristics

Streamflow Variability

Response to Precipitation

Annual Yield

Water Quality

Section -- 5 (4 KB) -- 18 pages

Standards and Criteria

Common-ion Chemistry

Anthropogenic Effects

Additional Factors Relative to In-Stream Standards

Hydrologic Budgets

Section -- 6 (4 KB) -- 46 pages

Methods for Estimating Basin Yield and Recharge

Ground-Water Budgets

Budgets for Madison and Minnelusa Aquifers

Budgets for Other Bedrock Aquifers

Surface-Water Budgets

Combined Ground-Water and Surface-Water Budgets

Evaluation of Hydrologic Budgets

Madison and Minnelusa Flow System

Isotope Information

Background Information and Composition of Recharge Water

Isotope Distributions and General Considerations

Flowpaths, Ages, and Mixing Conditions

Rapid City Area

Northern Black Hills

Southern Black Hills

Interactions Between Aquifers

Influence on Overall Hydrology of Black Hills Area



Whole report (PDF, 23 MB)-- 158 pages

(Download Acrobat reader)


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